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At home I store them all and I use your same blame game mentality. However, here at company X a new edict has just been issued limiting the size of the mailbox to 2 gigs. Two gigs you say? No big deal you say? Well when every sends every email as full HTML with cute little embedded images ... you get the picture. So now I no longer have the great power of memory. I offered the Email team a quarter to pay for my extra storage but that almost got me fired, literally, I did it and got punished : )
What specifically is disabled? I just asked our Exchange admin and he was not familiar with any policy that could be created on the Exchange Server that would prohibit you from moving messages to your local Personal Folder. Maybe there's a "hidden" feature that he is not familiar with.
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I almost never delete a non spam email message. I have 100s of thousands of emails in my gmail box and also 10s of thousands of emails in my work outlook box although all of this at work email is stored on the local machine since they give us less than 250MB of total mail space.
Why do I have 100s of thousands of emails on gmail surely I am not that popular... The main reason is I am signed up to over 20 email lists (os and programming) with the largest being the linux kernel mailing list. This subfolder currently has 150 thousand emails.
I receive regular e-mails from my employer about various events at their facilities, special offers, etc. Those are typically deleted right away, as they do not apply to me 97% of the time. But I also communicate with various individuals throughout the company since my job actually covers a vast amount of responsibility. I also communicate regularly with a few vendors.
But how is it setup? All of the non-specific e-mails (company offers, event notifications, etc.) go to my inbox. Everyone who I communicate with occasionally but not too often, they go to the inbox and stay. But everyone who I communicate with quite often, I have folders for all of them, as well as for specific projects. And I have many rules enabled in Outlook. They all filter e-mails to their corresponding folders.
The oldest message in my inbox is from December 2011. However, I was given a company e-mail not long before that, if I remember correctly. But I in all, I have a few thousand e-mails spanning all of my folders.
djj55: Nice but may have a permission problem Pete O'Hanlon: He has my permission to run it.
I'm using Mozilla Thunderbird and I don't need to ever delete mails because with the Expression Search Add-on[^] I can find any email within seconds, it searches through all my mail accounts (unified inbox) in lightning speed.
I don't delete emails, ever. Not even spam, there's a spam folder for that. I used to start with a fresh inbox every 1st of January, but stopped doing that about two years (edit, wow, time flies) five years ago and now my Inbox (unified from 6 email accounts) is at 3136 mails.
EDIT: Sorry, that's 3136 unread mails. Looks like the total number is 34,313
I also use several accounts to alleviate the spam. I generally use rules and/or move relevant emails asap. Have 100's of project folders and sub-folders. And since I'm constantly in contact with outside sources I have to keep these - for legal purposes. Thus far my Unified inbox(es) has 5700 messages (the rest of 7 years of emails are in their respective folders - upwards of 100k messages). I archive annually - the archives combined inbox = 15k msgs.
Size-wise my profile (Thunderbird's Mail storage folders) combined size = 25GB. Estimated total of 500k msgs. I receive lots of messages with big attachments as well - max limit of 15MB / msg - usually CAD files / graphics.
I'm using Mozilla Thunderbird
I'm with you on that. TB's thus far the best client I've ever used. Tried some others, but TB's UI is intuitive enough for me. And after they've solved the 4GB folder size limit, I love it even more.
There are some technicalities I still feel it lacks though: I'd like it to use MailDir instead of MBox (for ease of backups through something which makes incremental backups). Better contacts storage would also be nice (the mab / ldap is simply not as good / interoperable as others I've seen).
That said, even with that "huge" profile and "large" number of messages - I love TB's search capabilities (even the built-in ones, though the addons just add to perfection). The unified indexed search far surpasses what OL can give you. The quick-folder filter (like OL has) is much more useful, since you can quickly tell it to filter by sender / recipient / subject / content or any combination of those by simply clicking once. And if you want true fine-tuning then the old filter dialog gives you full control (it's like being able to combine multiple Advanced Finds in OL). And due to TB's extremely well implemented indexing - such a search never takes more than 1 sec on my entire set of messages (including the archives).
I can remember when I last was forced to use OL (2007) - it was deathly slow, crashed all the time, had to unload PST files all the time to try and make it usable. then unload and reload others so I could continue with other msgs. And finally got fed up royally after it started loosing msgs due to crashes. Thanks to TB nothing like that's happened again.
Agreed. If you use TB, then you don't need to organize into folders. The search tools are nearly as fast as opening a different folder to find a msg. It's certainly faster than filtering, sorting AND browsing as is the fastest way to find something in Outlook: e.g. if you want say a message from sender X between 2 dates with word Y in the subject and mentioning phrase Z in the body. In TB, that's a lot faster - not to mention you can use any one of the 3 standard searches to perform this easily and equally fast (you can even save searches as "virtual" folders - think similar to GMail/Opera's groups filters).
The reason I have mine setup with hundreds of physical folders is due to archiving / backup, not for organizational purposes - TB makes that unnecessary (as you've mentioned). I need to archive the emails together with the project(s) themselves. Simple to include a TB folder (i.e. the file named as the Folder + it's msf index file + the folder containing its TB sub-folders). And previously it had issues when your folder size became larger than 4GB, since a year or so ago, Mozilla's fixed that issue.
But as I've mentioned: I'd like to see TB using MailDir - that would mean that I could run a backup to just copy the new messages over, not the entire folder every time.
Edit: And one thing I absolutely love is the conversation views / functionality. The built-in conversation view is as per the new Outlook's (only it's been there for years now). then it also has conversation view as per GMail, or you can also install the ThreadVis addon to have the conversation time-line in the message header so you hover over any of the msgs in the header to see a preview and click on it to open the message. Makes research on who said what when much easier!
But I have many folders which emails not dealt with remain unread, if I'm dealing with them then they get flagged so that they appear in my task list.
Lobster Thermidor aux crevettes with a Mornay sauce, served in a Provençale manner with shallots and aubergines, garnished with truffle pate, brandy and a fried egg on top and Spam - Monty Python Spam Sketch
I organize mine much the same way, with the following difference. I treat my InBox as the 'hot list' and at least look at messages as soon as they arrive.
I've found the key to keeping my InBox small is to deal with the nonsense, ego spam, and worthless crap as quickly as possible. Those from outside companies can usually be deleted based on the subject line alone. In-house messages sent to the entire company can be skimmed and deleted after a few seconds. Only messages from the bug system and my direct coworkers get significant attention. Messages for issues that will take significant time get moved to my 'to-do' list and then archived. All others, once I deal with a message and respond to it, it gets moved to a folder and archived.
The end result is that my InBox usually has less than a dozen messages in it.
Currently only ~110. And that's with absolutely no active cleaning up. For 12 years.
Of course, our IT team has an extremely aggressive delete policy that can't be altered except with director approval. Us peons are only allowed 60 days worth of email. Anything older is auto-deleted. Not archived. Deleted.
The reason for such draconian policies? Lawsuits. If you can walk up to a judge and say "You honor, we've had this policy for ten years. So no, I can't comply with your order to recover an email from 6 months ago", they tend to let it slide.
Try the program in my sign. It let you dynamically classify your e-mails by constructing persistable filter expressions of any complexity and sort them as you need. Give it a try, you may like it if you have such a problem ...
Having way too many emails to deal with? Try our SQLized solution: Email Aggregation Manager[^] which gets your email sorted, found and organized beyond known precision.
I have 9,900 in the Inbox at the moment. Spam gets a Block Sender designation immediately; other stuff gets categorized and assigned a rule if it's something related to an interesting subject and I care enough to make a folder. Everything else accumulates until 1) Outlook crashes, or 2) I get a new computer. I expect either to happen sometime soon.
I always keep the Inbox empty and move the mails to sub-folders based on sender and subject. And once a year, I will move the work emails from exchange to local pst so that it does'nt exceed the limit.
This is my personal choice and I am sure everyone will have their own ways of maintaining personal & official mailboxes.
I have used Chrome as my work-horse browser, for some years now.
Like other people commenting on this thread, I set-up a fairly complex source/topic folder hierarchy, for which I set up Chrome Filters to automatically label incoming e-mail, and I also set up Filters to label mail from myself to the same domain, or person(s). So, I can open one folder, and see all mail from, and to, a certain person, group of persons, or a specific domain (like CP).
My InBox has been on a crash-diet, ever since I analyzed what was "transient," and really didn't need to be kept for more than seven days.
This is the crash-diet:
1. for every recurring source (domain) of e-mail I considered transient, I constructed a Chrome filter that automatically labels the e-mail from that domain (or some particular sub-domain within that domain) with the label: "Delete Me."
2. Then, I set-up a simple Chrome script titled "cleanUp:" that goes through all InBox messages, and moves ones with the "Delete Me" label to the Trash, if they are move than seven-days old. See footnote  below for where I got the Script, and learned how to use it within Google Chrome.
3. Then, I set a "trigger" in the Chrome scripting facility to run "Clean Up" once every seven days.
Initially, I had to manually run the script many times from the Chrome Script window: evidently Google's servers allow a user's GMail script to run for only so long, until they time-it out. After about thirty runs of the Script, some 4000 messages had been moved to the Trash, and I deleted them.
I feel so much lighter now that my InBox weighs a little under 3000 items
 I posted the link to the resource that showed me how to use Google Scripts here on CP in the "Free Tools" section on February 23: [^]. And, that link gave me the sample code I modified only slightly in my "cleanUp" script.
"Good people can be induced, seduced, and initiated into behaving in evil ways. They can also be led to act in irrational, stupid, antisocial, mindless, and self-destructive, ways when they are immersed in 'total situations' that impact human nature in ways that challenge our sense of the stability and consistency of individual personality, of character, and of morality."Dr. Philip G. Zimbardo, in "The Lucifer Effect" 2008: ISBN-10: 08129744
My job title account is bombarded constantly and requires serious ruthless deletion to stay manageable, despite this it is sitting at 4.5 GB, god know how many actual mail items that is across the hundres(/thousands??) of sub folders.
My personal work account isn't quite as bad, and despite giving it a good clear out and deleting tons of stuff from years agon that I no longer have any dealing with, it is still sitting at aroung 1.1 GB.
As for my home accounts, no idea as I am not near them to check. I think the last time I culled and cleaned out then compressed was aroung 1GB pst file.