In his 15 years as a tech journalist, Scott Kirsner has covered everything from eBay scammers to Kinect healthcare monitors. But when it comes to email, the man who survived on an i-opener for six days keeps it simple. Email philosophy: Kirsner tries to adhere to Paul English's "one-touch" method, though he doesn't stick to it 100% of the time. As a consequence, he sometimes suffers from that most common of email-induced afflictions: slippedthroughthecracksphobia.

Rules of contact: 1)  To-the-point subject lines always beat canned press pitches. 2) @ messages stand a better chance of grabbing his attention than emails do, as he (currently) gets less of them. 3) Keep the snam to a minimum, please.



  • Email service: Gmail
  • Email interface—desktop: Apple Mail, Gmail web browser for searching
  • Email interface—phone: Mail app
  • Phone: iPhone
  • Third party apps/tools: None at present. He tried Sanebox, but found he didn’t like the extra step of checking the Sanelater folder.


  • Unread count: In the thousands.
  • Work emails received in a given weekday: 75-100
  • Work emails responded to in a given weekday: ~20
  • Desktop vs phone:  Tends to check more from his phone, because his job is very mobile.
  • First checks email: 8am, at home, on laptop or phone.
  • During the day:  Kirsner checks email throughout the day, as he can’t predict when news will come in. (He checks twitter a bit more frequently than email, though less as a story source and more as a momentum gage.)
  • Last checks email: ~9-10pm, because sometimes he’ll get late-night notifications of morning launches.
  • Email overload level: yellow.

Want to see how Scott's email habits compare with a venture capitalist's and a technology consultant's? Dive into the following:

Want your inbox profiled? Email me: clairew at ripariandata dot com.