Don’t Be a Filing Clerk: Bill Gates on Information Overload

CNET reports that Bill Gates talked to some chief executives about email overload yesterday.  Here’s what he had to say about email:

"There is a real temptation that the thing that comes in the latest is the one you shift your attention to, even though that may be the least important," Gates said. The result, he said, is that people either have to leave everything "in one big bucket" or they have to spend a lot of time creating lots of folders. "That turns you into a filing clerk."

Don’t be a filing clerk.  As we have discussed before, it is imperative that you get yourself an email strategy.  Using methodology and tools like ClearContext Inbox Manager it is possible to stay on top of your email.

In a related story, given plans for Office 12, this is a big problem that has captured Microsoft’s attention.  Microsoft Group Vice President Jeff Raikes is quoted in the article:

…the average worker gets about 10 times as much e-mail now as in 1997. That’s projected to increase another fivefold in the next four years, Raikes said.

To handle that increase… Microsoft is trying to develop software that can do a better job of sorting out the really important messages. The concept of setting rules that let designated contacts such as one’s boss or children reach their intended recipient in a meeting while everyone else gets sent to voice mail has been around for a while, but Raikes said that scenario is getting closer to reality.

In our opinion, intelligence beyond simple rules is required to handle these kinds of email volume.  ClearContext’s patent pending algorithms have been built to analyze an email message on several characteristics, including sender, thread participation, directness of the email, etc., to prioritize and organize according to importance.  The reality Raikes speaks of is already here!