The idea of "tech solvency" was my gut response to email bankruptcy.
In a moment of despair, some people have deleted thousands of emails from their inbox and then sent a message to their entire address book, saying, "If you've sent me anything important in the last two years, please resend it."
This is tragic. Not only is it a baby-with-the-bathwater solution (because real, useful communication has been lost along with the cruft!), but -- crucially -- anyone who does this has destroyed their single best opportunity to fix the root cause of the problem!
Practice makes perfect. If you want to get better at processing email, what better way to train those muscles than to practice better email techniques on a big pile of your own real email?
When I got the idea of training your email skills on your own inbox, I realized that this was just one small piece of the geek pie. People don't just need a better way to handle their email. They need more insight into their entire technological lives. In desperation, they are doing exactly the opposite of what will actually get at the root causes of their chaos.
For every person who has their email under control, there are ten who have all the tools that they need, but don't even know it. For every person who loves their computer, there are ten others who want to throw it out the window. I want to help you to start down the road of becoming the one out of ten.
You -- and your computer, mobile phone, and other tools -- deserve to flourish. Your tools are a means to an end: keeping your life balanced and moving in the direction that you want. Find the tools that work for you. Learn more about the tools that you already have. Find new and constructive ways to think about your work and your goals. Stay in control while keeping your perspective.
Keeping your life together for the long term, using the right tools to the fullest. This is what it means to use technology to stay solvent.