Microsoft and Google continue to invest in new email applications — Google just released a new version of Gmail, for example — but personal email is basically dead.
I can think of two times in the last several years where I relied on using a personal email account: When I was buying a house and had to discuss the purchase with several parties, including a lawyer, mortgage broker, and real estate agent. The second time was when I was in contact for a new job and needed to send around a resume. That could have been done just as easily with a text message.
Over the past several weeks, I've noticed that my personal email inbox is almost nothing but advertisements and deals.
Right now, for example, my inbox has offers from Brooks Brothers, eBay, Hilton Honors, Kayak, Goodreads and Bloomingdale's. The last message I opened was one from my brother two days ago pointing me to an interesting story in The New York Times, a note he could have — and usually does — send by text message.
It's annoying to even open my personal inbox now, even though I use Gmail's tools to automatically sort it as much as possible. (Follow my guide to clean up your email inbox.)