The Freshet: Perfect Personal Email

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I have over 86,000 emails in my inbox right now.

My email has been out of control for a number of years. I use multiple inboxes in gmail to manage it, and I've tried numerous strategies to organize and maintain it on a daily basis, but the fact remains.... I am snowed under by email and feel awful about it. Even my friends joke that if they want to reach me they shouldn't email. As someone who dislikes clutter and is considered an expert on home related design questions, this is my own Waterloo. So it was a nice surprise this past week when I when I discovered my email solution.


Actually, this came to me as a fully formed dream last week. I woke up and wrote it down. It's a dream, but I love how it took my anxiety and solved the problem in a dreamlike and compelling way. :)

And the name, Freshet, was in my head from reading On The Banks of Plum Creek to my daughter. It's a great word: "A flood resulting from heavy rain or a spring thaw."

THE FRESHET: Love your inbox again.

$6 per Month
6 Emails a Day
100% Response Rate

The Freshet is a new personal email service that is designed to solve the problem of overrun inboxes and get you to a 100% respond rate from day one. It works by doing something that no email service does, which is closing the door to your inbox and not allowing people to email you until you can respond. It's your friend and politely says "no" for you.

For $6 a month the Freshet is an online email service which will take in all of your email and addresses. It's your personal inbox, but there's a hitch: The Freshet starts off by only allowing you to receive 6 emails a day. If any more emails are sent to you, it will send an automatic response to the sender saying that your box is full and they should try to resend later. It also tells them that you reply to 100% of the emails that you receive, so it's worth trying again later.

At only six emails a day, you will have a very happy inbox and you can take your time answering them safe in the knowledge that you are protected and your inbox is not just going to keep filling up throughout the day.

Respond quicker than six a day? Good for you. Then The Freshet will start to allow more to get through to you, but it will NEVER allow more than you can reply to in a day. In this way it can expand to find the perfect amount that you can handle each day and keep you at a 100% response rate.

Studies have found that the average email response capability is around 20 emails a day, which is much less than people usually think and the reason why we are all drowning in mail.

Throughout the day The Freshet carefully saves and categorizes all of your email by sender, removes spam, easily unsubscribes you for email lists and then sends you a report card by mail each month giving you your monthly stats and congratulating you on your 100% response rate.

The Freshet helps you tame the beast, so that when you open up your inbox you can smile again.

For those of you who may have missed it, this is a fantasy problem-solving solution, not a real product. Do you wish for something like "The Freshet" too? What's your "dream" email solution?

(Image credits: Shutterstock/Shutterstock)

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.