Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Sort By Sender

Carmelita Scott took pity on me after reading on the blog about my efforts to dig out of my e-mail last Saturday. I came into work, opened my inbox and had 4,335 messages.
First I set up files and folders, then I tried to whittle it down. After a whole day, I got rid of just 100 e-mails. She sent me a sympathetic e-mail thanking me for my efforts in writing about this issue and also encouraging me.

Here's what Carmelita wrote:
"Without going into graphic detail I will say that my own situation with piles of stuff in my office and an overflowing inbox is similar to yours.

As for email, the one-at-a-time approach is great for keeping on top of email. However, when you are dealing with a large backlog such as yours (or mine) I've found another approach helpful to quickly trim the volume down to a more manageable number.

Group your inbox by Sender and go through it that way as a first pass. I found that I could delete large blocks of things that way - for example deleting all 38 items from a newsletter I didn't have time to read.

When I've gone through this process myself I found that it really helped me psychologically to have the success of a large number of messages gone early on. That kept me from feeling quite so overwhelmed at the sheer volume of it all."

Carmelita also recommended that I read this posting on line: Getting Your Inbox to Empty: Dealing with the first email purge" at http://snipurl.com/nhvh. Thank you, Carmelita, for your advice. I'll definitely try it, maybe even later today, if I get a chance.


Anonymous MEM said...

Another approach to e-mail clean-up is sorting by Subject line. This groups "threads" so that you can keep ONLY the most-recent message, that contains the whole thread. The earlier messages are contained in the later one, so only one needs to be retained as the archival copy.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Ellen Faye www.straighten-up.com said...

Great ideas. Like so many organizing ideas, the simple ones are the best. Sometimes you just need other people to help you come up with those simple solutions. I'm sure this will help many of you.

7:17 PM  

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