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Inbox is empty - sent box is more than full!

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  • Inbox is empty - sent box is more than full!

    I am so pleased that I've cleaned out my inbox and have maintained it for about a month. It is a relief!

    Now - I just realized that my sent box is filled with thousands of emails. There's a sense of security in having a copy of all the things I've said but certainly I don't need them all!

    Do you maintain your sent box with the same vigor as your inbox?


  • #2
    I archive all my Office-e-mail incoming and sent for later reference.
    It doesn't happen very often, but every now and then I need an old information.

    I keep the office-e-mail for about five years, private for 2 years.
    Loveletters I would keep longer .



    • #3
      Inbox @ Zero, Sent Mail @ Zero (ish)

      I have started processing both Inbox and Sent Mail.

      Using Outlook 2007, I had a rule set up to copy any sent mail into the inbox, so I only had to clear one folder. For some reason the rule was a little flaky, so not everything moved across, and I found myself looking in the Sent Mail anyway. So I thought - Scrap the rule and clear both folders - looking for actions, and putting any emails I want to keep in the Filed Emails folder.

      I do use the GTD add-in, but I'm in the habit of typing an email and clicking send, rather than using the 'send','send and action' etc selection box. Clicking on the normal send button is usually closely followed by "****, forgot to set an action with an email". I think this is because the add-in toolbar is a little hidden in Outlook 2007 because of the ribbon (Don't suppose anyone knows how to make it more visible?)

      I've been doing this since the weekend, but so far so good !


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bottleblue View Post
        Do you maintain your sent box with the same vigor as your inbox?
        Congratulations on keeping IN empty - that's a big accomplishment! Regarding managing sent mail, you shouldn't have to process it at all. The only exception I can think of is tracking Waiting For items. For that use a filter as suggested elsewhere.


        • #5
          If it requires no processing - do I keep them and archive them - or erase them?

          I already have done the waiting for technique described - I'm loving that.


          • #6
            As mentioned above, some sent email generates a waiting for item (delegations or requests) and gets dragged into that folder. This is the only "processing" I do with sent items and I do that as soon as the item is sent.

            The rest of it, at first glance, would appear to be irrelevant to you once sent and could be deleted. BUT, there are a few gems in there that you may need a year from now when some project blows up and people start ponting fingers and looking for a scapegoat. You will retrieve those gems to prove that you did in fact respond appropriately to the issue way back when and if the ball was dropped it was dropped downstream of your area of responsibility (CYA). Certainly the person upstream of you saved themselves by producing the email that passed the buck to you. Now you need to find the email showing that you responded appropriately. That will be in your "sent items" folder.

            For that reason, sent mail is a valuable archive to be kept for some retention period (5 years or whatever). If storage space is an issue, then archive it off of your mail server onto a hard drive or burn it to CD or whatever. Digital storage is cheap cheap cheap and takes little to no physical space. Use it to your advantage. Also, there is no point in sorting sent items into "potentially valuable" and "obviously useless." That will just consume your time. It is easier to just archive it all and let the search feature find what you need later. Plus the one thing you end up needing may have fallen into the "obviously useless" category and been deleted.

            Think of your sent mail as your most important CYA resource. In fact, it is a good habit to drop extra nuggets in there, too. When you respond to a request by phone or fax, you can send a short email confirming it, like "I faxed the information you requested, please let me know if you have any trouble receiving it." Then, if that issue eventually blows up, you have that little piece of documentation burrowed away in "sent items."


            • #7
              awesome. That's what i'm going to do - archive the whole darn thing! That will feel good and be quick - as soon as I figure out how to do it!


              • #8
                Each and everytime I've turned off automatic save of emails I've been bitten. Now everything gets saved automatically and is searchable if required. I don't filter it because the time benefit of doing so is not there. I'ts busy work with no practicable outcome.