My Email Inbox

As my term as Editor-in-Chief rolls on, I will probably end up annoying many in the community with my editorial decisions on particular manuscripts by either rejecting yours or accepting one you consider unworthy. But there is another way in which I might be annoying you: when I ignore your emails.

Email is one of our primary means of direct communication and I make time for it every day. That said, it can overtake my life if I let it, so I intentionally limit my time on email. I get somewhere between 20 and 80 non-spam emails a day, and sometimes I don’t get around to answering all of them with specific replies the same day they come in. Sometimes I need to think about the reply and can’t do it immediately. I try to remember those emails that demand quick attention, but my work time is very fragmented and such emails are sometimes pushed out of my mental to-do list. Furthermore, once they are scrolled off of the first page of my inbox, the chance of reply is greatly diminished.

For me, people in my office have my full attention. I will rarely answer the phone when I am meeting with someone. Email is an even lower priority. I make time for it, but only a limited amount of time, and it could be that I don’t get around to answering you that day, that week, or at all.

What I am saying is this: please know that you are not alone in your frustration with me about a lost, forgotten, or ignored email. Please don’t take it personally; I just didn’t get around to responding to it and my multi-tasked life made me inadvertently drop it off my list. I am requesting that you simply resend it with a gentle reminder.

I will leave you with this humorous comic from


While funny, it’s not applicable to me: I am actually asking you to please remind me, on whatever cadence you feel is necessary.


One thought on “My Email Inbox

  1. Pingback: Editing While Ill | Notes from the JGR-Space Physics Editor-in-Chief

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