A tool to track e-mails is a really good invention. A really good invention to drive you nuts.
I don’t really remember when I specifically discovered MailTrack, but I do remember the day I installed it, because it seriously marked my life.
We are talking a before and after here.
Like so many people today, my life revolves around emails. Projects are determined, new contacts are made, contracts are sent – and in my inbox is where it all happens.
My livelihood depends on being available through email.
So I thought, “Hey, keeping track with all the emails I send out should increase productivity!”. Once I found MailTrack, it was like all my prayers were answered. I read through the product description and everything was so easy and straightforward: For each mail you send, you will be able to see when the mail is opened, and how many times it’s read.
What MailTrack did not tell me
Well, that my life would change for the worst.
Before I knew it, I was checking my sent folder way more than my inbox. I would obsess over if anyone had seen my emails, and if they actually did – that was not enough.
I also needed to know how many times they’d read it.
Openly said – not thought – phrases like “If this person have read my mail 7 times, and 26 minutes after I sent for the first time, THAN WHY AM I NOT GETTING AN ANSWER?”
That became a regular thing to say. To myself. Out loud.
There’s a feature that when somebody opens your mail, a pop-out window appears on the corner of your screen. I figured out after a while that when someone read your mail several times in a row, or when that window appeared many times, someone was writing their reply.
Surely enough, a couple of minutes after that pop-out window sequence, a spankin’ new email landed on my inbox.
Now, if you haven’t already figured out my obsessive nature by reading this post up to this point, let me explain it to you: Every day when I saw that window sequence start, I could not keep my eyes off it.
I just KNEW that they were going to reply to my mail.
It got to this point about two weeks before I decided to uninstall MailTrack. This was just getting out of control. So I had to make a decision.
Why I decided to break up with MailTrack
Someone (someone with a bigger problem than me) could easily argue that this was just the perfect way of having everything under control. With all kinds of tracking devices nowadays, all arguments in favor really tells you that tracking tools puts you in the driver’s seat. It’s about being in control in an age where things moves fast and can sometimes be daunting to keep up with.
That is totally fine when it comes to monitoring large sets of numbers, or keeping up with algorithms, or even when you just need a reminder in a hectic week.
But keeping track of when someone reads your mail or not is a little bit on the stalker side of things, to be honest.
Yes, you should follow up when you don’t get an answer. But don’t be a robot about it.
Do you wish for a tool that keeps track of who screen your calls? You see people on the street everyday getting a phone call, looking at the screen, and not picking up.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you could actually see if someone screened your call on purpose, or if they haven’t seen your missed call yet?
I don’t think so. Or….did I just come up with an awesome app idea?