My year in email

More from the end of year file. Eudora generates statistics of my email usage and I thought I’d take a look at what’s happened in 2006. I have two email addresses: phil@ for my personal email and lists@ for all my mailing list email and messages generated by various scripts on websites. These statistics are for both of these together.

Eudora statistics

I think the rise in overall messages received is due to running a few more automatic scripts for work in the last few months, all of which output emails to let me know what’s happening. The sudden rise from December 2005 to January 2006 is probably from having more than two weeks offline and downloading all the email in January.

The Junk chart is a bit more interesting. The low percentages for last year are when I was using Spam Arrest to block email from unfamiliar senders. There was a jump after that but things were getting a little better with the Spam Assassin filtering I had at When I switched to TextDrive in the summer spam rose again as their Spam Assassin installation doesn’t learn over time. So my phil@ email now routes via a Gmail account which does a pretty good job of filtering, probably causing the drop around October. I think the rise since then has been mainly spam coming in through lists@. I may have to send all that via Gmail too, or find a better solution. Bah.

It’d be great if other applications offered this kind of data. I know Tom Coates has said many times that iTunes should be doing loads of charts and graphs by default, but this could be expanded to almost any app. Unfortunately Eudora only keeps statistics for the current and previous years which is a shame — I’d love to look back on how spam has increased over the years for example.


  • I'm sure you know this but spam volumes in general increased 73% in the last 3 months of 2006. 92.6% of all email messages are spam [BBC]. It's a sad indictment of the internet, really, or at least human misuse of it.

  • I didn't know that, thanks Dan. Grr, awful people, making life difficult for everyone else.

  • You read 40,000 emails last year (800 a week)? - is this physically possible, or healthy? Off topic - you once reviewed a book called (I think) "Getting Things Done" (forget who by) which I thought about buying but forgot about. Would you recommend it?

  • A lot of those emails are on mailing lists, one in particular, that can mostly be skimmed through very quickly -- they're often only a few lines long and don't require me to respond to them.

    Yes, 'Getting Things Done' is good. While it won't all be relevant to how you like to do things there are probably enough good ideas in it for it to be useful to most people. My notes on it are here.

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Friday 29 December 2006, 3:35pm

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29 Dec 2006 at Twitter

  • 5:52pm: Off round a friend of Mary's for seasonal drinks.
  • 3:40pm: I have finished all RSS feeds. I have read everything in the world and I can relax. For a few seconds.
  • 2:39pm: Right, back to the computer-shaped grindstone.
  • 1:56pm: Mmmm, lunchtime. Last of the leftovers I think.
  • 10:52am: Laboriously fixing a load of truncated data due to an ill-advised and bodged switch to a utf-8 database some time ago.
  • 10:03am: Has anyone seen my spoon?