Are You An Email Hoarder? Let’s Discuss

Posted December 4, 2018 by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction in Let's Discuss / 45 Comments

My husband just changed some administrative stuff on our email accounts to make things work more smoothly, and he noticed that I had over 10GB of email saved. He gently suggested that I might want to delete one or two (thousand) things.

I wasn’t surprised. Especially when I considered the fact that I really don’t ever delete anything. I went and checked out my Feed Your Fiction Addiction email, which I assumed—correctly—was one of the main culprits. And here’s what I found:

  • Hundreds of giveaway notifications—both from me and to me.
    I mean, these are really important to save for years, right? What if I one day I need to know which blog I won that one random book from in 2013? Or what if I want to count the number of times Danielle Hammelef has won a giveaway on my blog? (It’s a lot—she’s an awesome giveaway participator.) What will I do if I don’t have this data at my fingertips?!
    —I’ll let you know, because I have now deleted them all—well, I think I kept ones from the last few months, but that’s it.
  • Media assets for hundreds and hundreds of blog tours.
    This one is probably the worst because there are usually lots of attachments in these emails. But at least I can always have quick access to all those tour banners and author photos. They’re not like in the posts or anything. Or stored in my Media library. Nope, I obviously need to save all those files in my email.
    —Deleted them all.
  • Every email interaction I’ve ever had with a fellow blogger.
    —Okay, so these I mostly kept because … I don’t know, I like you guys. And typically if an interaction was worthy of email (as opposed to comments), it feels at least semi-important. I just couldn’t hit the delete button!
  • Review requests that were received from publishers.
    So, I’m not so crazy that I’ve saved every review request I’ve ever received, but for some reason if they come directly from a publisher contact, I always save them. Even if I didn’t end up reviewing the book. I’ve always told myself it was because I wanted to keep track of publisher contacts, but if I’m being honest, I think there’s a certain feeling of accomplishment that comes from getting review requests from a publicity person at a publishing house.
    —I deleted some of these. Especially older ones or books I didn’t end up accepting for review. I made sure that I held onto at least one request from each publishing contact that I’ve dealt with in the last year or so.
  • Interactions with authors from my first blogoversary giveaway.
    Back when I celebrated my first blogoversary, I did a HUGE giveaway with over 50 winners. I gave away as many of my favorite books I’d read as I could, and almost all the prizes were books donated by authors. And I kept every email interaction with those authors.
    —These were probably the hardest for me to delete, but I did it anyway. I had SO many of them, and most of them were just quick notes to say, “Sure I’ll send a book” and then me telling them who won and them saying they sent it. Still, nostalgia made these hard to delete. These authors supported me in my earliest blogging days!

This is just a small selection of the stuff I’d accumulated in my FYFA mailbox. I’m not usually a pack-rat, but deleting emails can be hard. Hoarding instincts start to kick in, and I second-guess every deletion, even when it’s an email I’ve had for five years and haven’t looked at once in all that time.

Am I alone in this? Do you ever clear out old emails and find that you’ve preserved way too much of your life’s story via an inbox? Can you convince yourself to delete? Should I really have held on to all those old emails? I want to know!


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45 responses to “Are You An Email Hoarder? Let’s Discuss

  1. I love this topic. I’m always holding onto emails, but most of the time it’s things I think I’ll need or did need at one point and just never deleted. I really need to spend time and go through the whole list some day, finally deleting the ones I really don’t need and maybe storing information from an email that I need or want somewhere else!


    • That’s usually how mine starts too. I (think I) have a good reason to hold onto the email at first, but then I never go back and delete stuff. But now I’m trying to be better about thinking about whether or not I really need to keep something. And I’ll try to go through and delete stuff more often. Probably.

  2. Haha, I have a tendency to be an email hoarder, but I force myself to delete emails because it’s really hard to find the important one when I have to sort through 1000 of them. I save all of those “improve your business” emails from Pinterest and AdSense. I always tell myself that I’m going to read about how people make money from blogging, but then I never do. Maybe that’s why I’ve never made money from blogging.

    • Oh, those newsletter ones are the worst—I actually realized I never went through the folder that I have those in. I save a ton of them because I think I’ll read them later. And it’s worse because every once in a while I actually do. So, see, I can’t possibly delete them. (Okay, heading over to delete—most of—them now.)

  3. I’m guilty of the opposite but in my inbox 🙂
    I’m so obsessed with keeping my inbox empty (a ADHD trait I guess, can’t handle cluttered stuff because I can’t then concentrate) that I often delete important emails by mistake!
    I do tend to hoard many, author interactions especially! I do admire that you were able to delete them! 🙂 Great post 🙂

  4. I have a policy now after getting a talking-to from my hosting company. *ahem* I move old email into folders that are NOT my inbox. For some reason, this is better for servers. Then I delete attachments on anything older than a year. Hopefully I didn’t need anything! I also go through and delete anything blog comment related. Man, those are numerous!

    S. J. Pajonas recently posted: Sunday Update – December 2, 2018
  5. Oh my gosh, I relate to this post so much, haha. Part of the reason is that I sometimes just don’t think to delete an email after I read it. But I also just like to save emails just in case? Like, who knows if I’ll need them or want them or find them helpful at some point! (Typical hoarder response lol.) And I mean, “Okay, so these I mostly kept because … I don’t know, I like you guys.” That too lol. Same for requests or interactions with publishers, it does give me a sense of accomplishment. But I figure it doesn’t really hurt to save emails. If I ever hit a limit one day, I can worry about it then!

  6. Danielle Hammelef

    I’ve never read a post about this topic before, so this was awesome. Yes, I have way too many emails. I have, however, started using the search function to delete emails, for example from the grocery store I shop at (I only receive adds online now to reduce paper) and still have much to do. All of these past emails are actually an anxiety creator for me, so I need to weed.

  7. I’m not too bad about keeping emails. I label and then archive almost everything (except true trash and spam, like Julie). But about once a month, I click on the labels and then delete what I don’t really want/need.

  8. Oh boy, count me in. *raises hand sheepishly* I am horrible about saving emails. Like just in case I might need to refer to it at some point. What that “just in case” would be, I don’t know. LOL Once in a blue moon I go on a little weeding out frenzy but I still have emails filed away in folders like a true hoarder. LOL

  9. I am the exact opposite of you. I delete everything! If you looked in my inbox right now, there are about 5 emails, all flagged, because they are for blogtours and giveaway winners. I have a few folders, but I don’t have a ton of emails in there either.

    Sam@wlabb recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: Let's Throwback
  10. Nicole why are we always the same person!? Okay- literally just about 2 weeks ago, I deleted EVERY email ever. A few exceptions of some stuff i needed to keep for reference purposes, and that one from Twitter when Isaiah Washington followed me because come ON, but nearly everything else (and I am talking except for less than a dozen or so- from both personal AND blog accounts) was sent to Garbageland. Because just like you, I noticed that I had SO many emails- I had used up well over half of my gmail space, and they give you a LOT. I was so overwhelmed at the thought of purging that I just… hit the huge “delete all” button. They asked if I was sure, because they know me, then asked if I wanted to undo, because again, they still know me. Inevitably, one or two of those tens of thousands of emails will end up having been moderately important but… it was so EASY once I convinced myself I wouldn’t die from deleting them!

  11. I am the worst at email. Not only do I not delete, but I’m not saving them either?? because I just let everything sit in there. Even junk mail. I just browse past it and don’t open it or anything, but don’t bother to delete it. If I am looking for something specific, I just search for it in the search bar. I don’t even sort anything into folders. It’s basically every Type A personality’s nightmare. I have 19,646 in my blog’s inbox. The inbox!! hahaha. My co-bloggers at the tour company I help run would not appreciate it if I did that to that inbox I’m sure. But I had it well on it’s way until Jana joined up and she had a little panic over the situation. It’s clean now 🙂

    But I think it’s a good idea to think about cleaning up my blog tour co. email. Like do we NEED the tour info for tours over 3 years old?? Even if they are organized, it’s still taking up room. And publishing ppl jump companies so much, those contacts probably aren’t even there anymore.

    I’ll probably have to delete all one of these days out of my blog email though– thanks for reminding me of that 🙂

  12. I tend to delete pretty ruthlessly but there are some things that I’ll hang onto. You never know when you may want to go back! I used to be that way though- I saved a LOT of stuff and had tons of folders. Now I hang on to a lot less! There have been times though when I wish I had saved something, so I guess it’s a fine line. 🙂

  13. I can confidently say this is one of the things I’m actually good at keeping on top of! According to google, only 0.36gb is currently used for my blogs email. LOL. I tend to go in once a month or once every other month and clean it out. I keep important emails from publishers or other bloggers, or netgalley. I know sometimes when your approved for books they attach what they want in regards to your review to the approval email. I learned this lesson the hard way though. When I came back to my blog in 2017 and was getting things restarted, I had 2011-most of 2017 email to go through for the blog. It took so long to get through it all.. LOL. So since then I make sure to take the time to keep it clean and organized.

    Brittani @ Hope, Faith & Books recently posted: November Wrap-Up & December TBR
  14. My email isn’t so much as preservation as it is laziness. Haha. About twice a year I do a major purge but I do tend to keep anything from publishers, so I know who to contact in the future if I ever need to. I also keep author interactions because warm fuzzies!

    • Laziness is a huge factor. Sometimes you need to save something for a little while and it takes too much effort to find it again later to delete it. But often I could save myself a lot of headaches by just hitting delete right after I read it. There are lots of things I save that I just don’t need to.

  15. Jen

    I just had this conversation with my mom because she literally has over 5k emails and I’m like mom just start deleting them lol. It was giving me anxiety eeks! I actually have three different email accounts…blog, personal and book stuff. And within those I have them go into 4 different categories. I only save super important stuff and the rest I get rid of when I’m done with them. And I usually go back through my emails and double check everything is cleared out that I’ve read and done usually when I’m blow drying my hair. 🙂

    • You’re very organized. I have several different email accounts, but my husband has made it so that they all go to the same inbox (and then I label them and file them from there). I know that if I had to look in different places for my email, a lot of stuff would just never get looked at. I’m sort of a disorganized mess.

  16. I’m the worst at email in that I don’t actually check my blog email all that much…I have a personal email where all important things like stuff about my job goes, but my blog email is mostly just Twitter notifications, so I check it about once a week just to check nothing important has come in. And I literally never delete anything, so my email account is just insane!

  17. Oh I’m the exact same way! In fact one of the things I’m considering doing over vacation is organizing all my saved emails. And by organizing I mean deleting a whole bunch. But my fear is that the second I delete something I’ll be searching for it the very next day, which has happened. But at least I’m good at deleting and organizing. I just keep whatever I’ve put away in a folder for all eternity.

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