Whether you work from home or work a 9 to 5 outside of the home, you may use your computer inbox to archive some of your messages. If you do use your inbox to archive, keep your eye on how much available storage you have left.
Email with large attachments can use up a lot of space. Although many email accounts available are increasing storage capacity for users, it is a good idea to keep a handle on what you’re saving. Sometimes an “urgent or cute” forward is saved because you plan to send it to a friend or read it when you have time. Months later, you find it and realize that it is not very cute, nor was is urgent. If you do not enjoy forwarded messages, ask your friends not to send them or simply delete them.
Rather than leaving a message in your inbox, you may want to make a folder instead. Consider creating online archive file folders for important email.
When clearing out personal email, ask yourself when's the last time I needed or used this? If you feel that it is important, but have not used in 6 months, archive it. All or most email systems have the capacity to store large files. If the email is from your boss, make a folder with her name and store the item there. If it is a general note confirming a meeting, and the meeting has taken place, the note may no longer be needed, since you will have the meeting subject, date, time and attendee names on your calendar. Many companies have rules and regulations as to how long documents should be saved. The same rules may apply to email. So read the rules and regulations before you hit the delete button.
Some people like to save everything and others just do not want to deal with throwing out what they do not want. Eventually both practices can cause the same problems that being a packrat in the brick and mortar world causes--space and clutter issues. If you find that you cannot remember why you are saving an item, it may not be important. Make a miscellaneous archive file for items like this, be careful that you do not toss any and everything in this catchall dark hole.
An easy way to categorize emails for archiving is by using the search function to pull up lists of e-mail by subject or proper name. If Anthony Parks sent an email concerning the Hamilton project, do a search for Anthony Parks or Hamilton project. Once you have the emails, make a folder under the project name or the individual’s name.
Do you save certain incoming letters or forms because you like the format or the flow of the language in the document? It is a good idea to prepare the draft as soon as you can and place it in your “Drafts” folder right away.
A little email housekeeping can keep your e-mail files orderly and clutter-free.