Marie Kondo… on email

Kind of a genius move from Google to get the biggest name in organizing your life to endorse Google file products.

It’s really just fluffy nonsense. Set a goal to process emails daily. Yes, sure, OK. Can-do. The rest of it is just showing you basic surface-level features that already exist, like search.

Still, it’s an interesting thing to consider. Do your digital files spark joy? If they don’t, how do you get rid of them? Should you get rid of them?

It seems like the calculus is very different digitally than it is in the physical world. If you have a pair of old ice skates you haven’t worn in 13 years in the garage, I’d vote that getting rid of them is a good plan. There is some mental freedom that can come from a physical space less cluttered. But if those ice shakes could disappear, taking up no space, and yet be retrieved instantly at any time, isn’t that wholly different?

That’s what email feels like to me. Maybe the inbox is more like my garage analogy. Can’t let stuff linger there. No clutter allowed. But I don’t need to delete them. I can usher emails to my infinite archive. I have every email I’ve ever sent or received available to me, and is the cause of no clutter-based ill effects.

Nobody is advocating for deleting anything here, I’m just thinking about where real-life organization and digital organization overlap and where they don’t.

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