Deleting and managing my emails

On Saturday I spent a large amount of time deleting emails. When I say ‘deleting emails’, I don’t just mean clicking a button and moving emails from the Inbox to the deleted files folder; I mean I actually made myself go into the deleted files folder, and permanently delete them! Mind you I did open up the files I wanted to keep – for sentimental reasons, for important reasons or for resource-building reasons – and saved them to my data folders.

It was really bizarre the things I had kept in my Inbox. For example, I had kept every blog comment notification, every forum update notification – stuff that I could find nearly as quickly online – and I also had kept a lot of my email correspondence, when just keeping the last email with all the comings and goings underneath it would have done just as well. In November I did a major email cull and deleted about 700 emails! On Saturday I deleted from my Inbox about 200 and permanently deleted roughly 500.

After all that, I hope I haven’t deleted anything important by mistake! But the moral of my story is to watch what I decide to keep. I’m learning to delete the last email if a reply comes through, and to delete blog notifications once I’ve looked at them. If I find an interesting link in an email but don’t have time to read it then and there, I open it up on my internet browser as a tab and leave it there until I can come back to read it later. Google Chrome, the browser I’m temporarily permanently using, is set to ‘save and quit’, so that when I close the browser, the tabs will reappear when I next go online. This way the link doesn’t get lost in my Outlook, because I’m reminded to read it every time I use the internet. Hopefully, I can keep my emails better maintained from now on!

The moral of the story is: please – watch what emails you keep!  You don’t need what you might think you need to keep!

What works for you? How do you sort your emails?

 Some links I was reading up on email management:

How to never ever check your email again

The only four things you should do with new email

How to simplify email management

How to slay the post-holiday inbox dragon

Inbox-zen

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3 thoughts on “Deleting and managing my emails

  1. Good on you, Jess! I never thought of culling my emails before. In fact, I kinda like the little bar at the bottom of my inbox that says “656 items”. It makes me feel special :). But I congratulate you on your guts and motivation to get your emails organized! Well done.

  2. Ah, yes! Email management does take up quite a bit of time, especially if I don’t take care of it RIGHT away. I try to do what you mentioned, and as soon as I have taken care of the subject (be it a comment, or something like that) I delete it immediately. I shudder to think of how many emails I would have if I didn’t do that!

    Another fun thing is to play the Email game! Here’s a link to it: http://www.emailga.me/

    I’ve only played it once, but you set an amount of time, say thirty seconds, that you have to decide what to do with an email. You have various options, and then after you have gone through so many emails you’ve cleared a bunch of stuff out, or sorted it into places to look at later! It’s just a fun idea. 😉

    Oh, also I’ve moved my blog to http://mydefectivecompositions.blogspot.com and I just thought I would let you know. 🙂

  3. Hi Jess,

    I usually just delete my emails straight away if I dont want them, I am a bit of a deleter, and it has happened before that I have deleted something I wanted to look at later, but it seems to be working.
    Thanks for the tips, I will definatly use them!

    Blessings,
    Meggie

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