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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.
26,000 + in my gmail in box. 10 years or so in there. HAve never ever deleted anything. Love the search function. alittle over 2000 in my work inbox after 2 years. Again I don't delete anything. I use the search functionality to find stuff
To err is human to really mess up you need a computer
I have a holding inbox where I rake everything into it that the rules don't hit. Thru the day, the fires will come in again, but as I get time, I go to the holding inbox, check flags for follow-ups or attachments. I have pst folders back to 2000 and have named everything with the same naming conventions each year. Some years I have 2 or 3 pst's because they throw up after they get to be over a gig. I reply to all customer requests within 24 hrs, even if I can't help them yet, and follow up prior day fires. We need more people!
First, immediately delete the crap like "we made a new sale" etc.
I have a series of folders for each change I'm working on, tied to our tracking software--so a "Bugs" folder with sub-folders of Bug n, Bug n + 1, etc. Same for user stories, etc.
Then, I'm (reasonably pretty) diligent about moving things from Inbox into the proper folder upon sending the ticket for QA. Pretty easy since the ticket # is in the subject.
For more random emails from people which don't mention the ticket number (whether I'm the author or the recipient), I endeavor to move them to the appropriate folder immediately.
Then, every [once in a while, usually when I need a little break], I review Inbox and Sent and see if there's anything which needs to be addressed.
I'm in a pretty fortunate position though, as I and the product owner have a sterling relationship, and neither of us has to worry about the petty politics. If something comes up, we review how we missed it, and move on to fix the problem and address the system so that doesn't recur without needing to get others involved and point fingers.
So, maybe my appraoch isn't the best for you, as it sounds as if you're in a situation where you feel you need to have that arsenal of documentation behind you.
Wow, I have only about half a dozen new emails a day. I delete immediately anything that isn't important, and delete project-related emails as soon as they are not relevant. I archive a few emails that seem to have long-lasting interest. This archive gets flushed every couple of years in hard disk crashes, and I've never missed it. I don't get all that much true spam (1-2 a week). The commercial emails I do get respond to their "unsubscribe" requests.
If I ever find I've deleted something important, the organization always seems to contain an email hoarder who I can ask.
I moved over my domain email to Gmail five years ago and have never looked back.
My current stats are Inbox (39,745) and Spam (2,399) where I receive on average about 325 emails/day with 25 of these being automatically filtered as important and the remaining 300 designated as spam which are automatically deleted after 30 days.
In the past I managed my own email server which I accessed through my Outlook client which took about an hour out of my day to manage and wade through all the emails especially since I had to keep refining my junk email rules to keep out all of the spam which for the most part is automatically done by Google when using Gmail.
In the five years since, I manage everything remotely through my Google Dashboard with nothing downloaded locally and with Google's powerful search capabilities I am able to quickly find any email I have ever sent or received without having to necessarily set-up the folder infrastructure to keep everything neat and tidy like I use to have to do with Outlook and instead just use various labels and such and sometimes not even these as their search works so great.
I literally have gained back an hour to my schedule for everyday of the week which is some 365 hours/year or 9.13 forty hour weeks/year or one full 52 week year every 5.70 years if my quick off the head arithmetic is correct and I still never have ever deleted an email except for spam of course, but the pain of managing it all rest Google's more than capable hands and all for free at that leaving me to do other more productive and less mundane pursuits.
Last Visit: 31-Dec-99 19:00 Last Update: 16-Jan-17 13:55