Email Stats

This is not an original idea, but I've been thinking a lot lately that I'd like more stats from my email software. (I use Gmail for everything at the moment.) For example, I'd like to know how many different individuals I've corresponded with in the last week/month/year. I'd like to know how many emails I've sent and how many I've received. I'd like to know what the average time in my inbox is, and what times of day I sent messages.

And I'd like it all in pretty charts and graphs.

The reason I'd like to know all this is because I spend a large number of my working hours doing email. And if you can't measure, you can't improve. And also? I like charts and graphs.

I think, in the future, we'll have much better self-reporting tools. And it'll seem primitive that we were as blind to our activities as we are today.

(I think Outlook's Journal was an attempt at this, but I never understood that thing.)

Update: Matt Haughey writes—in September 2000—(I said this wasn't an original idea): "Just last week, some coworkers and I were talking about how email apps should capture stats and help people organize their day or workflow. Eudora now does stats. I can already tell this is going to be a great addition."

I was one of those coworkers! (Thanks for the reminder, Matt.)