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25 June 2008 / April


To my long list of favorite numbers (3, 17, 31, 51, 131…), I’d like to welcome a new member.

I’m typically not vigilant about archiving my emails* as soon I’m finished with them, usually allowing them to accumulate for a few days (or longer, if their importance necessitates it).  But once I have inbox counts in the 40s or 50s, I collect what seems like an appropriate number of older messages and hit that sweet little “archive” button that sends them off into oblivion without really sending them off into oblivion.

But what is an “appropriate number” of messages?  Simple: however many leave me with a second and distinct “appropriate number” of messages in my inbox.  This is a fuzzy calculation; mostly I’m looking for something that requires scrolling in my browser window but isn’t much longer than my sidebar.  Something in the 30s.

Apparently, something like 38.

Because completely unintentionally, nine times out of ten I will be left with exactly 38 emails in my inbox.  Which is frequent enough to be slightly creepy while also strongly suggesting that 38 is the ideal number of emails to have.

Also, 38 is 19×2.  And what’s 19-2?  Seventeen!  I don’t know about you, but I am convinced: 38 is awesome.

*For those who don’t understand what this is: get Gmail.  Freaks.


One Comment

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  1. Rachel / Jun 25 2008 9:23 pm

    See, I started off trying to do the same thing with keeping my inbox clean, but I’m now at about 800. And that’s after archiving about 50 yesterday. My life is so unorganized.

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