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Author Topic: How do you organize your email?  (Read 7829 times)

superboyac

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How do you organize your email?
« on: January 13, 2006, 12:27:00 PM »
I'm interested in how some of you powerusers organize your email.  Maybe you can help me come up with a better way, or maybe my way is good enough.  I thought it would be an interesting discussion.

I'm the kind of person that hasn't deleted an email since I started using email about 10 years ago.  I keep it all like a packrat because I consider it part of my personal history.  However, as you can imagine, it gets a bit much.  Here is my organizing philosophy, most of which is accomplished with automatic filtering, some of which is organized manually once or year:

--All of my personal correspondences (friends, family) go into a big "personal" folder.  I don't subfilter at all, it's just one big block of email sorted by date.  If I could thread it like newsgroups, I would, but it's impossible to thread email as well as newsgroups...I've seen no program that can do it (i think it's a limitation in the email protocol itself).

--Email that is not very personal that I consistently get on a large volume gets it's own folder.  Examples of this are emails from discussion groups, or emails related to ebay/paypal, etc.

--I filter out annoying email or other stuff that is not necessarily spam, but still pretty annoying.  This includes things like forwards, and group emails that are not addressed to me personally.  They go into a "forwards" or "misc" folder depending on my algorithm.

--I also keep a two sets of archive folders.  These apply only for my personal folder and outbox folder.  Once a year, I make a new archive folder for that year, one for personal and one for outbox.  I transfer all of that year's messages into the box.  This way, it keeps my personal and outbox mailbox a manageable size and I can always go back and check out older messages I have sent/recieved.


So that is how I do it, I'd be interested in how some of you do it.  I know I have some friends who sort out their emails in separate folders for each contact.  That's a little bit too much for me because then I lose the overall chronological feel to the messages.  Also, most of friends don't save all of their email, just a few that they really want.

mouser

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2006, 12:28:49 PM »

cranky

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2006, 11:01:37 PM »
I filter mail by having multiple email accounts: one for trusted friends and family, one for etiquette challenged friends and family, one for work/school.   Then it passes through SpamAssassin server side, Disruptor OL locally, and some additional categorizing rules

housetier

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2006, 01:21:25 PM »
First spamassassin tries to eliminate spam

Then my filters kick in, putting emails for/from mailing lists into their own folders, one per mailing list. These filters filter by recepient and sender, one filters by topic.

The rest stays in the top folder until I read and sort it. If I find I have to do this more than twice a week I try to write a filter.

I use Sylpheed-Clasws as email program

superboyac

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2006, 05:06:25 PM »
First spamassassin tries to eliminate spam

Then my filters kick in, putting emails for/from mailing lists into their own folders, one per mailing list. These filters filter by recepient and sender, one filters by topic.

The rest stays in the top folder until I read and sort it. If I find I have to do this more than twice a week I try to write a filter.

I use Sylpheed-Clasws as email program
Sylpheed-Clasws?!  That is crazy!  I have never heard of that.

housetier

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2006, 05:09:39 PM »
yeah I mispelled the name but not the url: It is Sylpheed-Claws, to be found at http://claws.sylpheed.org/

allen

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2006, 08:39:36 PM »
I used to be a die hard, folder-based organizer.  Now I've adopted the general Gmail/M2(Opera) approach to archiving everything, applying labels only to important/frequent access stuff, and relying on search when I need to view something else.

It took me a while to get used to this approach -- going from controlled structure to a complete break from any sort of structure/organization.  The result is outstanding, however -- using search, I can locate messages much more quickly than clicking through a hierarchy of folders.

It's both an easier/lazier approach . . . and more effective.  Especially when dealing with hundreds of thousands of messages.

kfitting

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2006, 08:46:42 PM »
I completely second Allen... Opera's M2 email, despite it's shortcomings, has me totally sold.  I cannot stand a folder-based appraoch anymore!

Kevin

housetier

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2006, 10:45:18 PM »
I feel both of you on this, but I haven't found an email solution yet that has all of

1) slick interface
2) gpg
3) labelling/tagging of messages

gmail has 1 & 3; claws has 1 & 2. I kinda like the web interface of gmail, but I wish I could somehow bundle it with GPG. I'll save this for a thread of its own.

Tagging is a nice thing indeed once you get used to it.

Josh

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2006, 03:19:08 AM »
Basically, I have a section for newsletters, with a subfolder for each particular letter associated with a message filter. I have a personal folder with sub folders for family, financial stuff, important (subfoldered) and software reg info for when I buy something. Then I have a misc folder for stuff that I just store to have in case.

cettolox

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2006, 09:35:33 AM »
I use outlook 2003, use rules to folders for important mails (work ones) and put all personal mail in a "personal" folder, uncategorized.

I alse have created a favorite meta-folder (that is my very home folder) called "Inbox & Sent" (outlook calls it a "search folder"): my objective is to let this folder be empty. So I always file mails from this "meta-folder" to real folders. With this trick I have real folders that contain not only the received mail, but alse the mail I sent.
In this way I can export/save/share/search a folder about a certain subject being sure that it contains mails received as well as mails I sent.

And then I also use www.x1.com for extensive and quick searches on the whole pst file.

By to all,

/Stefano

housetier

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2006, 09:49:21 AM »
... folders that contain not only the received mail, but alse the mail I sent.

That is another thing I find really great about the webinterface of gmail: the way they keep "conversations" together makes sense to me. With my current email client I have to bcc: myself and not keep a copy in "sent mail" to get something similar. It doesn't work very well though.

Can someone tell me if thunderbird is able to display messages like that? It is very useful for mailing lists I post to.

superboyac

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2006, 11:31:57 AM »
Have any of you tried the program Mailbag Assistant?  Supposedly it digs through your emails and you can extract them and export it to html.  It's supposed to be really cool.  I've messed with it a few times, but not seriously because I ddidn't know what I'd use it for.  Check it out:
http://www.fookes.com/mailbag/index.php

urlwolf

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2006, 12:26:31 PM »
Another vote for opera M2.

app103

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2006, 07:56:09 AM »
I have multiple gmail accounts...each for a different purpose.

All mail from them is forwarded to my main gmail account, where it is labeled with what account it came from.

Then all newsletters are labeled with the name of the newsletter and archived.

My labels are sorted in the labels list by adding a letter to the beginning to of each to classify them by type. (E for email addresses, L for lists, P for projects, N for newsletters, F for family, etc)

Same is done with other mail, labeling it with something that can identify it, and immediately archived if that category makes sense to archive.

What I am left with in my inbox is a few stray unclassified emails, stuff that's very important, and whatever the spam filters didn't catch.

If it's something I want, chances are it has a label. Most things without a label are spam.

I let a lot of the newsletters pile up (ones that send 2-3 short ones a week) and read them all at once, when I have time for it.

My only wish was that one of my isp's would allow me to forward my mail from my 4 account boxes to gmail. Then I would really have things under control.

Deozaan

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2006, 11:19:18 PM »
I have multiple gmail accounts...each for a different purpose.

All mail from them is forwarded to my main gmail account, where it is labeled with what account it came from.

You know that you don't need to have separate gmail accounts for this? Just sign up for e-mail using (for example) app103+list1@gmail.com, app103+list2@gmail.com, app103+family@gmail.com and then use the filters to set their labels. I heard about this long ago (probably on this site) but have just started putting it to use and it is very handy.


app103

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2006, 03:18:49 AM »
I have multiple gmail accounts...each for a different purpose.

All mail from them is forwarded to my main gmail account, where it is labeled with what account it came from.

You know that you don't need to have separate gmail accounts for this? Just sign up for e-mail using (for example) app103+list1@gmail.com, app103+list2@gmail.com, app103+family@gmail.com and then use the filters to set their labels. I heard about this long ago (probably on this site) but have just started putting it to use and it is very handy.

Someone mentioned that to me awhile back but my experience is that as soon as you add a '+' to your email and type it into a box in a webform it gets rejected as an invalid email address, so that wouldn't be very helpful.

allen

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2006, 08:58:39 PM »
It's handy over newsgroups and public posting -- and with submission forms that will take it. It's true, however, that many don't allow it.  Actually, my address was rejected the other day because it has a dot in the alias . . . <grumbles>

Fortunately, gmail addresses are valid with or without dots. So my.name@gmail is the same as myname@gmail.

Deozaan

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2006, 11:32:40 PM »
Someone mentioned that to me awhile back but my experience is that as soon as you add a '+' to your email and type it into a box in a webform it gets rejected as an invalid email address, so that wouldn't be very helpful.

Not every time. Sometimes, yes. But surprisingly less often than I thought.


orcsbr

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2006, 05:56:48 PM »
I use Thunderbird with Gmail.
I filter off my mailing list subscriptions with folder rules.
Then, in each folder, i use thunderbird's labeling system to mark messages as 1) important ; 2) cool ; 3) personal ; 4) to answer ; 5) waiting. Each message can be labeled quickly by typing 1 2 3 4 5 on the keyboard.
I don't move messages after i read or answer them to an archive to keep my inbox clean, because if i want to see what i have to work with, i just filter all messages with the "to answer" label. After i answer them, i relabel them to "personal" or "important", depending on the case. Some of the mailing lists i subscribe are full of messages labeled as "cool", or "important".

mouser

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2009, 07:03:01 PM »
I was just watching gothic use claws mail (formerly sylpheed claws mentioned above by housetier) and it's pretty impressive and looks almost identical to thebat, which is my email program of choice on windows.  Gothic says it's probably more a program for power users, but if you are a fan of thebat on Windows and are looking for an alternative to thunderbird on linux, it's definitely worth a look.

cettolox

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Re: How do you organize your email?
« Reply #21 on: May 31, 2009, 05:25:48 AM »
I use outlook 2003, use rules to folders for important mails (work ones) and put all personal mail in a "personal" folder, uncategorized.

I alse have created a favorite meta-folder (that is my very home folder) called "Inbox & Sent" (outlook calls it a "search folder"): my objective is to let this folder be empty. So I always file mails from this "meta-folder" to real folders. With this trick I have real folders that contain not only the received mail, but alse the mail I sent.
In this way I can export/save/share/search a folder about a certain subject being sure that it contains mails received as well as mails I sent.

And then I also use www.x1.com for extensive and quick searches on the whole pst file.

By to all,

/Stefano

Now, beyond what I wrote up here, I use also "conversation" grouping (ordered by received time), so that every conversation (thread) that gets a new message in it is automatically moved to the top of the "inbox and sent" folder.

/Stefano