Poll: What do you feel is an acceptable number of unanswered emails in your inbox?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 22:29
SITE STAFF
Sep 27, 2009

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you feel is an acceptable number of unanswered emails in your inbox?".

This poll was originally submitted by dutchbike

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:29
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Unopened emails Sep 27, 2009

You mean unopened rather than unanswered, don't you? And whether it is urgent to open them at once or not depends on what sort of emails they are.

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Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:29
Member
German to English
+ ...
Unopened Sep 27, 2009

If the question is genuinely about unopened e-mails, then I should have answered 0. I always open everything straight away and deal with it as necessary. But sometime I leave a couple of e-mails unanswered for a little while.

I can't resist the ping of an e-mail and have to go to it straightaway, on the offchance it might turn out to be something interesting!


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Maria Drangel  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 07:29
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Depends on what type of e-mail it is... Sep 27, 2009

I see the beginning of the e-mail in addition to the subject line and some e-mails I don´t bother to even open as I receive so many each day. If it is from a potential client I will check them up on the Blue Board, if they have a poor rating and I am fully booked for the nearest weeks or if I see that the e-mail is going out to a group and I am fully booked for a few weeks then I may not even reply to it. If there is an acutal offer I will get back very, very quickly and if it is an existing client I usually get back within 10 minutes after receiving their e-mail. I check e-mails from my cell phone as well, so I will get a buzz in my pocket even if I am taking the dog for a walk, or I have left the office for the day.

Generally I reply quickly but there are occations when I do not reply to e-mails which I do not rate as important and there are occations when I do not even open an e-mail (mainly commersial offers from companies trying to sell ME something).


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Sophie Dzhygir  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 07:29
Member (2007)
German to French
+ ...
Other Sep 27, 2009

It does not depend on the number, but on the type of message.

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Oliver Lawrence  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 07:29
Partial member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
Indeed Sep 27, 2009

Sophie Dzhygir wrote:

It does not depend on the number, but on the type of message.

Adverts, automatic notifications, KudoZ answers selected by peer agreement, for example, can all wait (or go straight in the bin..)


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Catherine Winzer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 07:29
German to English
+ ...
No unread e-mails, but 6-20 unanswered Sep 27, 2009

I tend to leave e-mails that require a response in my inbox until I have dealt with them. My inbox therefore usually contains a combination of unanswered messages and messages that are there to remind me to do something.

I think 6-20 is manageable. More than twenty isn't exactly "unacceptable", but it does start to look daunting!

I hasten to add that I usually reply to business e-mails immediately, but will often leave the message in my inbox until I have done the work. For private e-mails, the time it takes for me to reply varies.


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Steve Booth  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:29
Member (2007)
English to Arabic
+ ...
depends on whether the email requires a response Sep 27, 2009

I get lots of emails that don't require a response but they may sit in my inbox for some time before getting deleted
I am a bit of a hoarder and do this with emails as well it is not uncommon for me to have over 2000 emails in my infolders (not my inbox as i have rules that splits the mail up depending on where it is from or what it is for)
work emails get read immediately and replied to if needed
most other emails get read in slower time or binned if unimportant.
every now and then i have a clear out and delete old email but still keep anything i feel may be useful in the future


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Paul Kachur
Germany
Local time: 07:29
German to English
+ ...
Whilch inbox? Sep 27, 2009

Do you mean your business mail inbox? Then as few as possible. As for the rest, it's up to you.

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Alexandra Goldburt
Local time: 22:29
English to Russian
+ ...
Where is "depends" option? Sep 28, 2009

It makes a world of difference whether it's a cry for help from a dear friend who just had a personal crisis, or an e-mail from a stranger asking me if I'm willing to translate for her at 4 cents per word.

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:29
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Business e-mails? Sep 28, 2009

It would be busness suicide not to answer a business e-mail that requires a response immediately after it is read.

On the other hand, if it's a long message from a forgotten friend, I often send a quick acknowledgment and flag it for future attention.

With e-mails that I want to comment on but am not required to, I may answer them immediately or flag them for later.

When I review my flags, sometimes I re-send an e-mail so it will come back in at the top of the stack.

You don't want to know how many flagged e-mails I have in my Inbox.


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keelin feeney  Identity Verified
Ireland
Local time: 06:29
Member (2007)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Depends on the email Sep 28, 2009

I generally read all my emails immediately as they come up on my Blackberry which is beside me while I work. Generally, I will answer the email within 10 minutes if it is a regular client or some job that sounds positive. Otherwise I will wait till I have a work break.

I don't put my emails into their specific folders until I have completed the job. Then I will file them so if I am doing a job and have 5 emails from that client, I will have at least 5 emails in my inbox...though answered.

I also keep other emails of interest in my inbox such as upcoming conferences, translation contests...so I have about 12 emails in my inbox at any time but only maybe 1 or 2 that still needs to be answered (if that many).


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Giuliana Buscaglione  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 07:29
Member (2001)
German to Italian
+ ...
A matter of habit... sometimes courtesy Sep 28, 2009

Hi,

I don't like to have unanswered e-mails in my inbox and reply immediately to business emails, while less urgent matters can wait until I have a break, but they are answered the same day.

I wish a specific group of colleagues on duty could reply - out of courtesy they seem to lack, to email sent to them for profession-related matters.

Giuliana


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