Are you playing The Email Game?

Email Game POST


So I’ve been playing a little game with myself. It’s been going on for a while and I thought it was time I shared it with you.

It’s called The Email Game.

This isn’t a euphemism for anything. It’s an actual game. About email. That you play with yourself.

If you have an inbox of exploding proportions like mine, any help to slay it is most welcome. Until now, I’ve tried a range of strategies ranging from setting rules, only checking at certain times of day, being ruthless about deleting and so on.

But none of these have ever left me feeling anything less than overwhelmed by the sheer volume of emails I receive.

And while we’re talking about sheer volume, let’s take a look at this:


This screenshot has not been photoshopped. This is what my inbox downloaded the other day.


I’ll admit, this was a collection of emails over a period of time. But it sometimes feels representative of the number of queries that come my way on a regular basis.

I’ll admit, I don’t answer them all. That would be impossible.

Within those gazillion emails are legitimate queries that require legitimate responses. But trying to conquer them can sometimes feel like trying to climb Everest.

Until The Email Game came along.

This quirky browser-based “game” helps you get through your emails, rewards you with cute faces when you’ve reached certain milestones and rewards you with points when you’ve actioned enough messages.

Importantly, it only allows you to see one email as a time, so you’re forced to make a decision about that email before you can move on to the next one. There’s also a handy little timer that turns an angry red if you’ve spent too much time on a single email. The aim is to get through your inbox as quickly as possible.

It may not be for everyone but it’s certainly helped me power through my emails faster than any other strategy I’ve used lately.

You can check it out here:



In fact, it’s just helped me deal with the backlog of emails that have accumulated while I’ve been busy with this week’s rebranding. Hope you like our new look Australian Writers’ Centre. If you have any feedback, I’d love to hear from you.

Just send me an email.

About Valerie Khoo

Valerie Khoo is founder and national director of the Australian Writers' Centre, the country's leading centre for writing courses. She is a journalist, blogger and author. Her latest book is "Power Stories: The 8 stories you MUST tell to build an epic business" (Wiley). Valerie is a keynote speaker, small business commentator, and investor and mentor to startups and businesses in Australia.
  • Nicole Miller

    This game initially stressed me out! I’ll have to get used to the timer approach. I need to retrain my dithering ways Thanks for the great tip!

    • valeriekhoo

      I know! It initially stressed me out too. But now I’m loving it. In some sessions I average 6 seconds per email. Stick with it – you’ll become a email slaying machine :)

  • Robin Henry

    Valerie, I’m surprised you aren’t using an autoresponder system to answer some of your email. There must be many emails that could be dealt with automatically at least in the first instance.

    • valeriekhoo

      Hi Robin. Indeed that’s already in place with enquiries on courses. And I use Textexpander as well. It’s still a big job!

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