What does your Outbox say about you?

In my job, I know that I spend a lot of time in front of my computer reading and writing emails. But some tidying up of my Inbox yesterday led me to some interesting observations

Last year, I wrote 8,405 emails. That’s an awful lot - if I only worked 250 days a year, that’s 34 a day (gosh, when do I get any work done?).

I wondered what they were all about, so I tested some words, to see how many emails I’d used them in. And then tested the antonyms (well, ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’ aren’t antonyms, by you may see what I’m getting at).

Word Frequency Frequency Word
Learning 1,845 565 Teaching
Interesting 319 14 Boring
Office 2832 910 Home
Blog 1661 869 Talk
IT 5,431 70 Human
Sorry 829 673 Problem

So what does that tell you about my life?

  • ‘Learning’ is 4x more important than ‘Teaching’?

  • One in five of my emails are about learning.

  • Life is 22x more ‘interesting’, than ‘boring’?

  • ‘Office’ is 3x more important than ‘home’?

  • ‘Blogging’ is twice as frequent as ‘talking’?

And finally, what does it say about me, when I say “Sorry” in 1 in 10 of my emails.

What does your “Sent Items” say about you? It’s easy to find out – use the Outlook “Search Bar”


And it pops the answer in the bottom left hand corner of the window   SearchSentItems1

Comments (2)
  1. Jon Nowicki says:

    ‘ if I only worked 250 days a year ‘ so are you saying you work more or less this is the question?

  2. Ray Fleming says:

    Hi John,

    In this ‘always on, always available’ world, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to work out when I am working, and whem I’m not. If an email pops in on a Sunday from work, and I look at it on my phone, and then I respond, is that working? Even if it’s only 10 minutes. Even if I’m looking at it because I’m waiting outside the village hall to pick up the kids from ballet? It’s time I wouldn’t use otherwise, but is it working or not?

    One of the themes of today’s workplace is that in some jobs it’s becoming increasingly complex to work out what’s "working time" and what isn’t.

    Anyway, I should stop being a workaholic and go home 🙂


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