View Full Version : Email Clutter

6-9-11, 12:24pm
I have an obsession to keep my email files clean and normally only have about 5 emails hanging around in the read/sent files.

I do have a "saved file" that I keep emails that have information I might need to refer back to. Like when I set up my Twitter account...I used it once (just don't get the whole Twitter thing), or perhaps my anti-virus software serial number, etc.

But other than that - I clean my files daily - it is like having an overflowing IN basket on my desk (which I don't have) nagging me all the time.

A fellow employee likes to keep his old emails, like an archive - and he has hundreds in his files and he is comfortable with that.

How do you handle your old sent/received emails?

6-9-11, 12:39pm
I only have emails that need attention in my in folder. Like for online purchases that haven't arrived yet, people I need to respond to or call. There's usually only 2-5 emails in my inbox at a time.

Other ones I want to keep, I put in in file folders, one file folder for friends & family, one for my husband, one for online accounts, and one for online purchases.

6-9-11, 1:21pm
I don't worry much about the ones organized in a subfolder. I do keep a pretty empty inbox. It might only have have 5-10 emails in it at a time, to remind me of things I need to do.

I do the same at work. I've taught my coworkers email organization skills. They asked for the help after they cpvering my desk when I was off earlier this year, and seeing empty inbox and all my subfolders. It's amazing that sending less than five minutes first thing each morning to sort emails by customer makes a such a huge diference.

At work, IT has told us to not keep emails more than six months old, unless they are for reference.

6-9-11, 2:42pm
I am like you. I clean it up all the time, and I unsubscribe from things, and I use a good spam filter so I never even see that stuff.

6-9-11, 8:45pm
I get rid of as much as possible, as fast as I can!

6-9-11, 10:44pm
I clean up my personal e-mail every 4 to 6 months, generally keeping any personal correspondence and getting rid of routine stuff like business and association newsletters. Because of limitations on html in our office e-mail, I have to send some business-related newsletters home.

All of you would be horrified by my work e-mail archive, several gigabytes over about 3 years in a network drive folder!Splat!.

I use the archives almost daily, but am just about ready to let 2008 go to digital heaven.

6-9-11, 10:51pm
Purge and cleanse, that's me! http://planetsmilies.net/cool-smiley-1779.gif

6-10-11, 12:56am
I go to bed every night with an empty email box:-) By empty I mean any and all files (even the trash!)

6-11-11, 2:09pm
I have two personal email accounts that I keep pristine with daily maintenance. I respond immediately to the emails that need a response, archive the ones I need in a "for future reference" folder, and delete the rest. Work email is an entirely different story. I simply don't have the luxury of time to keep it organized, so my in box serves as the archives.

I used to have a paranoid sense of "I need to keep this for documentation" at work. I've discovered that simply isn't true. I could keep emails to simply prove I'm right, but it's not worth the effort. So now and then I simply declare email bankruptcy and delete my in box and start over.

6-11-11, 9:59pm

5-6-12, 8:14pm
I don't know why I have such issues with my inbox. It's always full of stuff, no matter how many times I hit "delete."

This is not a work account, either, so what's the excuse? I also have a huge "save this" box.


5-6-12, 9:07pm
At work, the inbox is only for things that still need to be attended to--basically, a to-do list. I have a ton of sub folders, and everything gets filed or deleted as soon as I have read it. It doesn't seem all that time-consuming because it has been a habit for so long...

It drives me batty when people lose emails or tasks because it's "buried in my inbox..."

At home I am not so meticulous--I don't email much for personal communication so that box is more for receipts for online purchases, etc. I clean it up every once in awhile...

5-6-12, 9:32pm
I'm very much like Amelia, both at home and work. Emails only remain in both work and personal inboxes if they are reminders, need to be attended to, etc. At work my sent folder is empty as responses that need to be kept are in the proper sunflower. My email organization is the envy of my coworkers and I've been asked to show them how to do it. Much easier to find things!

5-6-12, 9:48pm
We recently have had some software issues at work and I heard a fellow employee concerned that his several YEARS of emails might be lost!

Wow, I have like several days worth --my emails did get lost in the shuffle -- and didn't miss any of them!

5-6-12, 10:00pm
My system is a lot like yours, Greg. I can't tolerate digital clutter any more than the real stuff. I generally purge the sent folder and other folders once a month, unless it's something I want for reference. Even then, I'll often print to Adobe, save it on the hard drive, and then zap the email.

Imagine my horror when I did a massive cleaning, made a mistake, and had to restore files from my backup drive, only to realize it never deleted *anything* since it came to live with me. AARRRGGHHH!!! !Splat!

5-6-12, 10:02pm
I have to keep 6-12 months worth due to my industry. But when one woman resigned last year (after 14 years), she was found to have over 13K emails! She was management.

Sad Eyed Lady
5-6-12, 10:41pm
Move anything to folders I need to keep, clean out the rest, dump the trash and unsubscribe! I hate having a full inbox. I'm not always as diligent as I would like to be, but I try. I never have that many, but like it when it is down to 0-5!

5-7-12, 8:41pm
Like others, I usually have 5 or ten emails in my inbox. They are all things that I need to respond to or think about and just haven't gotten to. I have three sub folders where I move online purchases until they arrive, volunteer projects with links to documents that I need to reference occasionally, and personal notes from friends and relatives that I may want to re-read. I clean up sent and deleted folders every couple of weeks. Back in my working days I was much less organized, though it never seemed to cause problems. Just more clutter and less time to deal with it.

iris lily
5-7-12, 9:39pm
First thing I do at work is empty my inbox. Things don't sit there waiting for anything. Oh it's true that a couple times a week one email may hang around there overnight, but usually--nope.

At home it's more complicated because DH and I share an email address. So we have to pay attention to if the other person has read the message. But our method is this: I delete all things that I think are junk or that are for me and I'm done with them. He checks the trash bin before emptying it. It works for us. I will keep up to 3 messages in the inbox as reminders for upcoming things, but usually the things I keep are shuttled off to their subject folder. And then I ruthlessly clean out the subject folders several times annually.