Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cleaning Up My Email

Today, I am posting a bit late. Sorry, I was sorting out my email.

You see, I have thousands of email messages, and I have not managed them well in the last year or so. Maybe two years.

Now here is how I currently handle email – when email comes in, I read it and respond to it. If I defer response, I mark the message as unread. Therefore, all of my unread email is email I need to take some sort of action on. This is not the best way to handle email.

Personally, I believe that people who know how to manage email well do so much better in business than people who don't. I get email message from Bill Gates and others all of the time – whether it is Bill (he insists on me calling him Bill instead of Mr. Gates) wanting to give me $1,000, or gift certificates from Victoria's Secret, Old Navy, the Gap or others, cars from Honda. Basically, just managing all of the free stuff I get takes time.

Then there are the party messages. Every month, we have a party for all of those having birthday parties. Well, it takes something on the order of 60 messages to coordinate who brings the bean dip, the ice cream, the fruit salad. And then there are the messages about people's ages and so forth. Really adds to the monthly parties.

The next group of messages are self-directed spam. I get messages from several airlines, and they have these opt-out lines at the bottom of the message. The opt-out features don't work.

But seriously, managing email can be so crucial. I believe that those of us who can filter all of the stuff that comes at us, through email, through the web, through the radio and television, can win. We can outshine others.

I have deleted 250 messages this morning, and I am only about 10% through the messages. At 350, I promised myself a shot of whisky. Afterwards, I am sure the rest of the messages will just erase themselves.

11 comments:

Ian Lidster said...

If all my spam 'worked' I would be very slim, perpetually horny, but perpetually virile, would take incredible journeys on lo-cost travel deals from airlines, would be able to buy pharmaceuticals for mere pennies, a would be a multimillionaire thanks to the generosity of that princess from Nigeria. Wow, what a trip.
Good luck with the email, and enjoy your shot.
Ian

RWA said...

Yes, once you get to the shot of whiskey, things will speed up.

I basically set my e-mail to allow only known addresses to come through. Everything else goes straight to junk, and I just check the junk once in a while to make sure nothing I need is in there.

Prata said...

The better way to sort one's mail (in general) Is to set up filters for the mail as it's incoming (as RWA has noted). Filtering your mail after the fact is well...kind of self defeating? You still have to check the mail twice, which is inefficient.

Effective mail filtering should be done with a client that makes it as painless as possible to do without having to manually do it (not flippin' outlook/outlook express). Gmail has some of the best spam filtering I've seen in a web account; however, I tend to run my own mail server. I run spamassassin on that server. All of my e-mail is passed through spamassassin tagged with a [SPAM] along with the subject and then my client filters all spam marked mail to a folder called spam.

The rest of my filters are based on who they are, they get their own folder based on how often I speak to them. Unimportant or unknown things go to the inbox and imp. people get their own folder and every single message is saved.

I have well over 5k e-mails for one person alone lol. That..may actually be bad. =-/ On the upside, I suggest some better clients designed for e-mail and RSS. Thunderbird isn't bad, neither is sylpheed or if you like sylpheed-claws (now named claws-mail). There are windows ports for those apps.

Leesa said...

ian: thanks, sweetie.

rwa: actually, I get very little spam. Some filters work really well.

prata: I do have an email filter on the client side that does its job well. And I do have a few "rules" that put certain messages into folders automatically (one rule actually deletes messages from four of my "friends").

Prata said...

Ah hah. I must have had a fundamental intellectual break down of what you were saying lol. My bad.

I do suggest you get a mailer (outlook can do this but I don't recall how it's accomplished off the top of my head) that only reads in plain text and renders html sanitized for those that insist on sending you html messages.

Leesa said...

prata: I know Outlook does it - but I don't think it does it well.

mal said...

wow! Bill Gates wants to give you stuff from Vickies? I guess he isn't THAT much of a nerd...*L*

kathi said...

Lol, take a couple of shots then and get rid of the junk/trash bins too.

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Leesa said...

mal: I could tell you some stories about Bill!

kathi: actually, I have only tried whisky once. Maybe twice. It must be an acquired taste.

annonymous: hey, buddy, nice spam you have given me.

Scarlet said...

hope you got that shot of whisky ;-)

I am buried under my email too - I just keep putting it off - it's unmanageable at this point -

good for you..