For the past several months, I’ve been watching my incoming email with Gmail Meter and I’ve got a real problem. The hell with the exercise and smoking resolutions, it’s time to do something about email!

Gmail Meter is a free tool for analyzing email and for the past several months, I’ve been getting a monthly review of incoming, outgoing and plenty of other details about the once hallowed and amazing, but now dreaded, pesky, love it or leave it electronic mail.

One of the characteristics of the holidays and for that matter weekends is the way email and social media updates slow down. At least for now, folks prefer to back away from the computer when they’re not at work and weekdays continue to be the peak period for digital traffic.

I took some vacation last month, but when my Gmail Meter update arrived at the end of the month, I suppose I had the time to admit there’s a problem.

Looking back at November was even worse.

My work email…

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 2.25.09 AM

Ok.

6,668 Emails Received. – I’ll admit as a director of an Internet company, there’s plenty of email that arrives in my work inbox that are merely notifications. I’ve setup a sophisticated rules that automagically sort those into client folders and other avenues. There were sent from 1,515 senders and more than a 1/3 were sent directly to my work mail.

My activity indicates that I sent 723 emails back out and that went to 66 people. Now that seems reasonable.

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 2.25.39 AM

There are other insights and some not so surprising, including the daily graph that shows most email activity occurs between noon and 6pm.

Gmail will categorize your top senders, recipients, weekly traffic and even categorize your mail and count the word count of each.

My personal account which is on that I use for personal bills, friends and family (plus other interests), shows another consuming amount of content coming into my life.

My personal email…

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 2.33.48 AM

SO what to do…

This is a real problem. Despite the effort I’ve taken to sort mail, I’m sick of the expansion of this litter. The sheer notion that I’m receiving close to 7,000 emails a month is absurd and stressful and who needs any more of that?

There’s a lot of work to do here too. I’m planning on picking up the pace to unsubscribe and unplug from this nonsense and with a little luck, perhaps I can cut this by more than half before Summer. I suppose it would be good to come back to this topic in another six months and see how well I’m doing.

The future…

There’s argument on both sides of the subject of email.

Ryan Holmes with Hubspot predicts email will decline with social networks and instant messaging.

Jay Baer has his own perspective.

Nevertheless, I have some real work to do.

Summary…

I enjoy looking at personal quantification tools and Gmail meter has  provided me with much-needed insight.

However, if you think this is bad – wait til you see what RescueTime is telling me…