Most people do it. You get an email with an attachment, that has likely been sent to several of your co-workers as well, and after reading it, you file it away in an Outlook folder for safe keeping. There it stays, likely never to be looked at again.

After a while, all of these little emails with their attachments start to add up. According to the 2014 edition of the annual Email Market Study, conducted by the Radicati Group (, the average worker sends about 80 emails per day. If 50% of these are kept forever (which is the norm), that means each worker will add about 8,000 emails to their mailbox this year. While this doesn’t seem overwhelming, consider that a lot of these contain attachments (the 8,000 emails could actually be 16,000 or more individual records), and that many of the emails are sent to multiple people (numerous duplicates of both emails and attachments are being retained).

The Radicati study also projects that business email usage will grow by 7% annually over the next four years, which means the 16,000 emails and attachments you file away this year will grow to 20,000 in 2017. Within a few short years, your mailbox will be bursting at the seams, with over 100,000 emails and attachments, all sitting there just waiting for some attention, but knowing that the odds of ever being opened again is slim.

Corporate information is growing exponentially in all directions. The sooner this mass of data is brought under control, the easier it will be to find what you really need.