An email’s lifecycle: Do all emails go to heaven?

Ideally, every email we touch should have a standard lifecycle: they are born into our inbox, they grow replies and after passing from our attention they find a final resting place that marks them as processed.

We’re born, we live, and and after we die we get put in either a casket or an urn. It seems like a neat arrangement that makes sure the world holds only the cleanest memories of our time here. Our emails do not seem to share such an arrangement, though: most of them are left in limbo, condemned to spend bit-ternity as half-finished tasks or forgotten carcasses in the depths of our inbox.

Granted, thinking of an email as something that has a lifecycle is not immediate. Its very nature as a transitory message seems to contradict the perspective of a continuous narrative with a logical end. But every email has an intent