Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site November 01, 2014, 09:10:24 AM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Your Support Funds this Site: View the Supporter Yearbook.
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: How do you manage your email?  (Read 22243 times)
superboyac
Charter Member
***
Posts: 5,716


Is your software in my list?

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: September 04, 2008, 06:34:36 PM »

What a great question, right?  I am very curious how all of you experienced users manage your boat loads of email.  I want to hear the whole philosophy: rules, filters, tags, categories, flags, whatever you use to sort through the volume.

As much of a computer nut as I am, you'd think I have a solid organizing philosophy for email.  I really don't.  I have a bunch of rules setup, but now that I think about it, it's kind of chaotic and not very efficient.  So I'm wondering how you guys do it.

What happens to incoming mail?  Do you archive, do you delete when you're done?

Personally, I haven't deleted anything (that wasn't spam) since 1996.  Email is personal history, I keep it all.  But I should organize it better and it should be more automated.

Also, if you know of any good url's to articles already written about this, please share!
Logged

Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2008, 06:38:54 PM »

I use Outlook 2007 (and before that 2003 and before that 2000...) and organize my mail into folders using Rules. If you're by any chance looking for a Spam solution, I can recommend Spambayes... I love it and it's free!
Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
superboyac
Charter Member
***
Posts: 5,716


Is your software in my list?

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2008, 07:00:09 PM »

No, no, Darwin, you don't get off that easy!  No, this is not about spam; this is about the real stuff.  So, what are your rules?  What's the philosophy behind it?
Logged

Ehtyar
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 1,236



That News Guy

see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2008, 07:20:24 PM »

I use Thunderbird and my 5 accounts (soon to be 3, email accts are a bi7ch) all go into a single inbox. I imagine I will eventually have to do my own spam protection (probably spam assassin, <3 perl) as the email accounts are hosted with my domain, and their spam protection is a tad too aggressive.

Ehtyar.
Logged
superboyac
Charter Member
***
Posts: 5,716


Is your software in my list?

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2008, 07:30:37 PM »

Please, people, I don't mean to be rude, but this isn't about spam.

Ehtyar, I use The Bat!, and I think one of the great strengths of The Bat is it's ability to handle multiple email accounts relatively painlessly.  Check it out.
Logged

Ehtyar
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 1,236



That News Guy

see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2008, 08:03:04 PM »

I prefer the single inbox idea actually. I can't really see the point of multiple inboxes; I can see which account the email went to. Thunderbird will, however, allow you to specify a folder in which to place email from each individual account.
I wouldn't use The Bat! as it's closed source, Thunderbird is open source, and provides excellent extensions, including GPG/PGP support.
[shameless plug]Thunderbird 3b1 out soon[/url][/shameless plug]

Ehtyar.
Logged
Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2008, 08:18:22 PM »

Sorry about introducing the S*** topic  embarassed It was meant as an aside (and I should have labelled it as such).

Anyway, I organize the e-mail from my 8 e-mail addresses first into folders by subject/category and then into folders by e-mail account. I have rules that do this for me. Note, though, that Outlook applies the rules in order (and of course, as far as I can tell, won't let you rearrange the order that the rules are applied in  Angry) so I have all of my "category" rules set to run before my E-mail account specific rules. Thus, I might get an e-mail to my Yahoo! account that relates to UltraEdit and another that is from a friend. The "UltraEdit" rule moves the Ultraedit mail to my Ultraedit folder (which is a subfolder of my "Software" folder) but leaves the e-mail from my friend. Outlook goes through the rest of the rules and when it gets to "Yahoo" moves my friend's e-mail into my Yahoo folder.

I use EZDetach to get rid of large attachments and thus have stopped archiving my messages. I"m going to go back to doing so, though. NB DetachPipe is probably a better choice for detaching attachments but I found that out AFTER I bougth a licence for EZDetach. The one feature that makes DetachPipe more attractive to me is its ability to remove an attachment and recognize it, so that the next time the same attachment is "seen" it is simply deleted and a link to the previously saved attachment is inserted into the e-mail. EZDetach simply renames the duplicate attachemts resulting in much larger archives. I've written to the developer to request the DetachPipe solution be adopted but nothing has happened so far (though I did get a response indicating that it was "going on the list"). Otherwise, EZDetach is brilliant. I opted for it over DetachPipe initially because of licensing policy differences...

Not sure what else to include here, but will add more as it occurs to me...
Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2008, 09:42:20 PM »

Just to clarify, my inbox is organized into Folders by e-mail address for "general" e-mail (like the imaginary one from my imaginary friend above) and into specific folders for different categories. Thus, I have a folder called Software that contains subfolders for receipts, registration keys, newsletters and so on. Any relevant e-mail gets shunted in here (wherever it belongs) regardless of what e-mail account it is received through... Whatever is left over in the Inbox after the "specific" rules have run gets shifted to the e-mail specific folders at the end of the rule filtering "cycle".

What can I say? It works and I am comfortable with it. It's pretty simplistic, though!
Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
dspelley
Charter Member
***
Posts: 83


But it's a dry heat.

see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2008, 11:01:35 PM »

I use Outlook 2007 both at home and work, but the way I handle my email at each location is very different.

I work for a fairly large company (4300+ employees) and there are policies and procedures put in place by our IT department (at the direction of our Legal department) that dictate how our email is handled. Each week, email in our Inbox and Sent folders that are older than about 2 months are purged and moved to a temporary trash can. We can retrieve those messages during the next week, but then they are gone. Email that we have filed into folders (either by moving it there or by the use of rules) is similary purged if it is older than 18 months. Same deal applies - we can retrieve it during the following week, and then it's gone.

The whole process is built around corporate document retention policies that take into account what can be considered "corporate records". Implicit in the policy are considerations about legal "discovery" procedures, etc. We are unable to archive email, move it into folders outside of Outlook, etc.

I do move email into folders according to projects, or topics, or by organization. I manage an R&D program and do a lot of projects with universities, national labs, consultants, etc. I do use some rules (for newsletters and other regular bulk mail), but for the most part I manually move email into folders. I also make pretty regular use of Outlooks ability to convert email into calendar appointments and tasks.

One product I have used for several years that I have found very useful is Nelson Email Organizer (NEO)  http://www.caelo.com/index.php
Makes it easy to see email from a particular sender (no matter what folder it's in), see all attachments, find by date, etc. Also has some easy ways to make rules.

At home I use a similar process, but use a lot more rules. I also don't have to worry about how long I keepstuff. We get a lot of email related our kids' school, shopping, banking and investments, books, newsletters, etc - so most of that stuff is handled by rules. With earlier versions of Outlook I used a spam filter (using whitelists) called Qurb. http://www.qurb.com/ It looks like they were bought by CA.
Logged

We are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on.
--- Richard Feynman (1918-1988)
Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2008, 01:13:47 AM »

http://www.43folders.com/izero

Inbox zero is a good base to start with if you haven't heard of it.

I haven't been doing this but I'm sure I can make it work. (I'm currently dealing with my bookmark problem)

Set a review schedule of your own choice. The longer the time, the longer the review time.

Ex.

If you review your e-mails once a week, then set a day per week to organize everything.

A month? Then set a week.

A year? Then set a month and so on and so forth.

Basically on this review day, make it a priority to remove every e-mail in your inbox to another section be it a tag or a folder. Skim it only. Don't read it thoroughly, click on any external links or attachment or reply to any e-mail.

Since you're doing this, you want a folder where it's e-mails you urgently want to reply to.

An even better section if you have tons of this is to have a section for the e-mails you want to reply to and the e-mails you need to reply to but only make this for urgent e-mails. You'll see why later on.

So you've emptied your inbox. Now every review time, do this. It should be easier because you have less e-mails.

Now here's where the different categories help. Because each e-mails are separated into each categories, you can now get yourself into a reading groove without jumping from topic to topic. This means those tons of e-mails you have is now no different than a webpage you haven't read. Sure, it's still needs to be read but now it has one theme so now you can read it at your own pace without feeling pressured. It's like a book only in e-mail format. It also means you'd get to read more e-mails because you know what to expect and you are interested within that reading time frame.

Now with the exception of the urgent e-mails, switch the date of the entries to oldest first. This makes it more interesting to you because you don't feel like you're reading through old stuff the more you get through. Every item you are reading in that category is getting newer and newer so there's more incentive for you to get to the end of your e-mails and it doesn't feel like you're just cleaning up on old stuff.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 01:16:34 AM by Paul Keith » Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
housetier
Charter Honorary Member
***
Posts: 1,321


see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2008, 04:06:06 AM »

I filter my mails by ListId into subfolders: "if ListId contains whatever move mail to INBOX.whatever". This keeps the mails from the many mailing lists under control, and my INBOX does not fill up as quickly. Certain senders' emails are silently deleted, I won't even get a notice of their deletion.

After this, SpamAssassin goes through the new mails, deleting those which seem junk. I do not care about false positives because in case of mailing lists there often is a reply quoting the important parts of the email.

Because I have five accounts set up in my email program, and the folder structure is quite extended I make use of the "Unread Folders" view the program offers: only folders with unread messages are shown.

I ignore the sender's priority setting. It is I who decides when to read an email, if I read it at all. I do not read all the emails, and reply to even fewer, although I would have something to say to most.

My mail program is, of course, Thunderbird.  Thmbsup
Logged
nosh
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 1,388


View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2008, 06:14:00 AM »

Two main POP3 accounts + (client based) whitelisting.
Everything gets deleted as soon as it's read/responded to. Stuff that can't be dealt with on the spot goes into Drafts and gets deleted as soon as it's dealt with. Anything worth saving is Cut&Pasted (oh well!) into my organizer.

I like to keep it clean clean clean!  cheesy
Logged
Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2008, 07:53:02 AM »

Ah yes - forgot about the Unread Messages view. Indispensible  Thmbsup I have it set to display my messages organized by folders...
Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
justice
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 1,889



Solve issues simply.

View Profile WWW Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2008, 07:57:06 AM »

I delete everything from inbox immediately, unless I need to do it (keep in inbox to remind myself), or I know I'll need it later (reference), or it's taken care of by automated filters. First I wanted to keep all my email in case i needed it. Now I know that i won't need 50% of all work email when i get it so jsut goes in the bin. I always sort my inbox so that it's not more than one sometimes two screens, if i can't filter it i delete it. if i done it i delete it.

With home mail, gmail makes it harder to delete it as it promotes archiving, so i use archive instead, and clean up any crap mail after i read through search results for something (when you find 20 mails regarding a lost password that you know you changed and written down for example).

I do explicitly not use the unread messages view because i rather clean up and delete from inbox, that way my search results are better.
Logged

superboyac
Charter Member
***
Posts: 5,716


Is your software in my list?

see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2008, 11:29:33 AM »

For the life of me, I don't understand why anyone would want to keep deleting email vs archiving.

But there are a lot of great ideas here.  dspelley, I like that Outlook plugin, I'll have to check it out.

I'm also going to search for some GTD methods that have to do with email management.
Logged

mwang
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 204

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2008, 02:43:15 PM »

I also keep all my mail since the mid 90s, sans spam. I started out with Eudora and Agent, then OE, The Bat, Becky and now Thunderbird. (Tried Opera's M2 once, but it handled Chinese mail poorly.)

It used to be a pain to switch mail client, for converting mail database was difficult, especially when many MUA didn't really adhere to standards.

Now I no longer worry about such things, for I have a mail server for myself, on a Linux box. With IMAP, I can now retrieve mail with whatever mail client I like at the moment. I use mostly Thunderbird, but Becky still does certain things better.

I use a 3-account sets for regular mail, one public (A) and two private (B & C). A is just a front. When mail for A arrives, my server deliver it to B & C. B is for regular uses. I keep a small part of mail on it, filed into relevant folders -- family, office, etc. Most messages are discarded after being read and dealt with. Old kept messages are regularly purged. So Account B is always mean and lean, with important recent mail I could find easily.

Account C is for archive. Outgoing messages are bcc'ed to C as well. C keeps everything, one folder per year, and the folders are duplicated by Thunderbird in local folders on my desktop. They not only serve as backups (though the server is regularly backed up, too), but also allow Archivarius to index them. When I couldn't find an old message on account B, I search with Archivarius, which is very fast!

Spam is dealt with on the server, too, with Spam Assassin, which is pretty good for larger servers, but even better for a dedicated server, for it can be trained and configured very precisely.

I also create other accounts when I need to register an email address with some online service, but don't want to get spam. Mail to those addresses is never really delivered.
Logged
Curt
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 6,343

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2008, 02:54:05 PM »

Ah yes - forgot about the Unread Messages view. Indispensible  Thmbsup I have it set to display my messages organized by folders...

You also forgot to check the number of posts you have created...
 - this was number 4444 !!!! 

Keep them coming, Darwin!  thumbs up
Logged
mwang
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 204

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2008, 03:35:39 PM »

You also forgot to check the number of posts you have created...
 - this was number 4444 !!!!

Hmmm, here DC says it's post no. 4453 from Darwin. Not that I have any problem with either amount though. Keep them coming indeed.
Logged
urlwolf
Charter Member
***
Posts: 1,784



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2008, 03:40:24 PM »

I use Opera M2. Great productivity tool -as long as you don't need PGP-. Does IMAP fine.
Logged
Darwin
Charter Member
***
Posts: 6,979



see users location on a map View Profile Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2008, 03:42:05 PM »

Heh, heh, thanks Curt (this one's for you!).

mwang - it's because I've been posting quite a bit of drivel today...  embarassed and the post count has been updated since I made that post.
Logged

"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
mwang
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 204

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2008, 03:49:56 PM »

mwang - it's because I've been posting quite a bit of drivel today...  embarassed and the post count has been updated since I made that post.

Looking at the exact same post and it now says 4455, and it suddenly dawn on me that it means the current total you've posted. Gosh! I've always thought the number refers to that very post. (I.e., it's no. xxxx from you.) That's why I felt strange. Silly me.
Logged
app103
That scary taskbar girl
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 5,294



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2008, 06:20:45 PM »

I love Gmail because it can keep my inbox clean of everything not important, including most spam.

I use filters a lot. Almost everything is filtered to apply labels.

I use labels a lot. Labels are more powerful than folders, since you can apply multiple labels to a single email rather than just archiving it to a single folder.

When I am on a pc that can handle it, I like the newest interface with the color coded labels.

For example:

I can take digital magazine subscriptions and add a label with the name for each magazine, then color code all magazine labels to be same color, then set a filter to automatically label & archive all the magazines when they come in.

When I feel like reading magazines, I can easily find the labels in the list by looking for the color, then reading the label name to see if that's the one I want.

I can take everything that comes from sources related to my money (paypal, bills, bank, etc) and set up a filter to give them a label each, make all the labels bright red so they jump out at me when I see them in my inbox.

I apply a label of "attachments" to anything that comes in with one, which makes it very easy to see all mail with attachments with a single click of the label name.

Any time I see something in my inbox that doesn't have a label added to it, I try to add some sort of label(s) and set up a filter for it, deciding if this would be something I must have in my inbox when it arrives, or if it can be archived for later when I have more time. Anything archived is never marked as read unless the filter is set up to do that, which is almost never. Labels having unread mail appear in bold in the list with the number of unread mail next to it.

I star everything in my inbox that I have read but need to attend to later. (like maybe a reply, or check a link, or make a phone call) I remove the star when the action is completed.

There are things I keep when I am done reading, there are things I trash too. It depends on if it is something that has a purpose in keeping. I have alerts for stuff that serve no purpose after I have read them & responded. They get trashed after I do.

I keep all sent mail, newsletters, anything I might possibly want to refer to at some other point in the future.

I even keep most of that silly crap people forward me, like jokes. I found a "useful" purpose for it and was glad I did, since a friend's mother sent me a few years worth I can use for daily posting on a website. My friend thought it was a real hoot that I started a website from all his mom's forwarded joke emails.  cheesy

And searching for something in old mail is pretty good in Gmail, so even if I can't remember where I filed it, it's still pretty easy to find.

And I can use a single gmail account as my main account, and make all mail that comes to the rest of my gmail accounts automatically forwarded to the main one and then archived in the original account, label incoming mail with the account name they came from as they arrive. All other filters and labels I have set up will also apply to all of that mail as it comes in. And I can even reply as those email addresses from the main one without having to log out and log into that particular account.

And best of all, since it is webmail, I can access it from any pc (and there is even a mobile version too). It would have been a real bummer when my other pc died to lose access to everything that I had set up, till I had a better pc that could run some particular email client I may have favored on my dead pc, which probably couldn't run on my old slow hunk of junk. And since it is webmail, it's cross-platform too.

(BTW: Gmail mobile & basic html versions have NO ADS!)
Logged

Armando
Charter Member
***
Posts: 2,682



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2008, 07:24:51 PM »

Most of it is archived into 3 folders (since mid 90s). When emails are more or less from corporations selling stuff and other insignificant content, I delete instantly.

Apart from my inbox in which I receive stuff from ALL my pop3 accounts (I used to separate into 2 different inboxes -- work & personal... Might have to do that again, but not worth it at the moment...), I've got :

1- emails I sent
2- emails I received
3- "Someday, maybe" -- Slightly following GTD. Stuff that I might look at later, when I've got plenty of time.

[EDIT: forget that I have 3 other categories, but almost never use them :
a- Delegate : when I need something to be taken care by someone else (I usually forward instantly, so almost never use that category)
b- Waiting for... (an answer, etc.) : I should use that one more, but I usually just revisit my sent and Inbox folders, and leave my "waiting for stuff" there. It doesn't bother me.
c- Reference : important messages for future reference. Almost never use that anymore. Use X1 to find anything I need...

Anything that's in my Inbox needs to be done, so I don't have a separate "action" folder. I revisit the inbox many times a day as if it was an action list -- urgent or important stuff, I assign a special action/task to.

I tend to suffer from the "Out of sight, out of mind" syndrome, so I try to keep stuff in the same place as much as possible. Same for my tasks/actions, etc. [/Edit]

I don't organize more than that : I receive so much stuff, it would take too much time -- and it's easy to make mistakes (hummmm.... that should be here... where is it!!! I'll take time to tag stuff only if it's going to be important parts -- references, tools -- of very specific projects, etc.) ! I don't use OUtlook or whatever filters either, as that can be achieved with X1 and other software on the fly. Finding anything is easy with desktop search software.

right now, mail gets accumulated in my PST file. One day I might export everything into something else. But I'm not there yet. Wink
« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 11:31:05 PM by Armando » Logged

"I suppose it can be said that I'm an absent-minded driver. It's true that I've driven through a number of red lights on occasion, but on the other hand, I've stopped at a lot of green ones but never gotten credit for it."
Glenn Gould
Grorgy
Supporting Member
**
Posts: 820

see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2008, 08:19:48 PM »

I delete it, some stays on gmail, because i couldn't be bothered deleting it, stuff i bring into outlook, hangs around for a while then is...deleted.  If its important then its actioned at the time, but 99.9% of my email is such ephemeral stuff it just isn't worth the complexity of trying to sort it or back it up.  When i was working for a large telco at one point it was the same, most, if not all of it, was only of any interest to me for a few hours or days, perhaps a week or 2 then it passes into history.  I must say though i regret having lost some of the jokes  Grin
Logged
app103
That scary taskbar girl
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 5,294



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2008, 05:20:45 AM »

I must say though i regret having lost some of the jokes  Grin

You can have minetongue

And no clutter in your email inbox or saved mail, either.
Logged

Pages: [1] 2 3 Next   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.064s | Server load: 0.09 ]