A year or two ago our computer man found out that we hoarded emails. He was shocked and told us that no wonder our computer was so slow – Mum’s Outlook was working overtime!
Even though he didn’t look at how many emails I had, I had over a thousand and thought that counted as a lot of emails!! I decided to go email culling. It was hard at first. I had kept everything: every blog update email, every comment notification, every conversation with friends! I took it one thing at a time, slowly deciding what I could do without.
I reasoned with myself that with internet these days, it would be just as fast to go online and find the comment or blog update as it would be to find it on my outlook. Swallowing, cringing, squinting, I selected a group of emails and… BAM they were in the deleted folder!
And honestly, you don’t need every email in a conversation if the last email has the rest of the conversation below it. That automatically disqualified three to eight emails from each conversation!
A friend of ours saves her emails to the hard drive and then deletes them from her inbox, so I gave it a shot. It’s fantastic! I saved lots of things – newsletters, email conversations, receipts. It bulks up your hard drive a bit – but it’s bigger than your inbox anyway and should handle it – and it empties your inbox, and literally only takes a minute to save it to a folder.
In one day I deleted about 700 emails! It took a long time, and I still had three-four hundred emails to go, but it was a really good start. A few months later I went back and narrowed down my emails again.
Over the last few months I’ve actually shrunk the amount to one two emails sitting in my inbox. And on Friday, I had no emails! It feels great, knowing there are no little jobs lurking in the dark corners of my inbox. Everything is either dealt with and deleted, or saved to our hard drive. If there is a long-term project I can find it on my hard drive and copy and paste it back onto a new email.
I guess for me I went on this whole deleting email rampage because it was my organising personality coming through – I just like everything in order and sorted and done! But I’m trying not to get obsessed with having no emails in my inbox – if there is something that needs to stay there, then that’s going to be OK! If Mum has emailed me a job to do, then I’d rather keep it there until I’ve done it than save it, delete it and forget about it! I like having little to no emails because I don’t have little jobs nagging me and because all my emails worth keeping are with all my other documents and accessible outside of my outlook. I think my outlook works faster now too.
But I think the best way for me to sum it up is in one word:
*written in November 2011
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