Emails, Emails, Emails!

As of this second I have 1,622 emails waiting for me. I’m not talking about spam, I’m talking about real people wanting real responses. It’s not that I don’t respond to emails, it’s just that I get so many everyday from people all over the world that unless I spend all day every work-day responding to email, there is no physically human way I would ever be able to keep up on a consistent basis. In no way am I trying to sound ungrateful! I appreciate each and every email I receive, as someone thought enough of us to take time to write a question, comment, request, etc. Thank you! It’s just that I am letting you know why it sometimes takes me quite a while to personally respond to your emails.

But today is the day. Starting now, until I go to bed tonight, I am going to bang out as many of these Inbox-sitters as possible! I’m ready to rock!

Here’s a quick, and very honest question for you all – How in the world do you keep up with your email flow? I know I’m not the only one in the world who gets a lot of emails. So, do you have a process or routine? What do you do?!

Help a brother out!

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • David

    I use a modified version of David Allen’s Getting Things Done system for pretty much everything. With email, the inbox needs to be cleared as much as possible every morning. With your volume, that might not be possible. So when I log in each morning, I do a quick read of every email; it is then responded to if it will take less than 2 minutes, marked “Follow-up” for later reading and response if it will take longer than 2 minutes, sent to someone else if it needs to be delegated, or deleted/archived. I also have a label marked “Hold” for those items where I have to wait on someone else to act before I get to do anything.

    Then I’ll go through my Follow-up folder as I have time. Like I said, with your volume of emails this might be a little more difficult. Priority Inbox (if you use gmail) might help there.

    Blessings, brother.

  • http://www.livingitout.com Rachel

    Andrew sorry to be a voice of doom but I’m not sure you’re going to get through them… not without sacrificing a whole lot else you do (inc sleep).

    How about categorising us, categorising the emails, and passing messages onto those of us who might be able to help? I’d take some! And that Jon Trouten always sounds very wise.

  • Mrs T

    Tell your followers that you get so many & to please not send them unless it is very urgent. Use your assistants, which I’m sure you do.
    Be thankful your ministry is growing!
    Remember you have about 20 books to read this year LOL, so get some help with that e-mail!!!!! :) ;) :D ;D
    Note: Do not neglect prayer.

  • http://naytinalbert.blogspot.com Nathan

    Kevin and I are making bets here at the office. He thinks you will respond to 70; I think 82. Good luck.

    PS- feel free to forward a few to us if needed. :)

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      Who won the bet?

  • http://imagaybloke.tumblr.com Paul Clevett

    What you need to do is look for common threads in the emails, those questions people ask over and over and create a kind of WIKI for them, then, have an auto reply that says

    “Dear Friend,

    I get 1.2 million emails a day, please can you first check our wiki for the answers you are looking for, otherwise please email 2ndemailaddress@marinfoundation.com

    Thank you so much for your support

    Paul :-)
    BTW you guys are great

  • http://pmpope68@yahoo.com Pat Pope

    Actually, since I got on Facebook, my e-mails have dwindled. Many of them were subscriptions to blogs or other sites that are now available through Facebook, so that accounted for a lot of my e-mails. You may need to delegate (if possible) the management of your inbox. I used to be an executive assistant and that’s one of the things I would do for my bosses. We would work together and devise a list of what I could handle on my own and what absolutely needed to be viewed and handled by them.

  • http://melindaguerra.myadventures.org melinda

    I’m with David up there… the ones that I can respond to in five minutes, I do.
    The ones that can be answered from some FAQ lists I have laying around, I do with that.
    The ones I can send to someone else to answer, I do.
    The ones that take more than five minutes, I leave in my inbox, and use my 2 hours/morning and one free day/week to respond to.

    …which leaves me currently with 43… I was at 200 non-spam messages on Monday.

    Another secret… I scan the email… and if they say it’s their second or third send, I answer those first. The other people can stand to wait for a little bit…

  • http://www.loveisanorientation.com Andrew Marin

    Well, I completed 273 emails yesterday! Took me 9 hours, but felt quite accomplished :)

    I digging everyone’s responses about the quick answer/delete/delegate. I’ll try doing that starting today. And an FAQ page…that will be on our new website (hopfully up soon).


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