Several Email Inboxes which structure?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss Tools & Software for GTD' started by clango, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. clango

    clango Registered

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    I'm in the phase I'm becoming more rigorous in the application of the GTD settings, so I realize I have a lot of e-mail inboxes.

    Do you structure each one in the same way? @Action @Waiting for as an example?

    I use Outlook for my job. Then I have three personal e-mail (two of them with google). I have as well two blogs (another two e-mails). The iPhone and iPad can see all the five e-mails. Finally at home I receive all the e-mails, without the one of the job, into Thunderbird.

    How do you manage this complexity?
     
  2. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    I don't sort my email into GTD categories at all. I regard it as purely Inbox and sometimes project support material; my lists are elsewhere. (OmniFocus for my personal stuff; I continue to thrash around changing my work system.)
     
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  3. Geeko

    Geeko GTD since 2017

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    I go some kind of a hybrid way. I use the Thunderbird tagging system for coarse tagging (just @action, @read, @answer, @waiting-for) as hints what to do with the email. The actual next actions go on my paper planner.
    The problem with Thunderbird’s tagging system is that it does not integrate with most other email systems. Since you use a lot of different email clients I would recommend to have one central system for all your lists (or two, if you want to split between personal and professional) and structure each email account for keeping the corresponding reference.

    Cheers,
    Tristan
     
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  4. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    I have a unified inbox that combines all inboxes. Saved email ends up in @archive, @reading or @shopping. Shopping and reading get pruned regularly. Email is moved from the archive folder so that one academic year of email are in folders like archive_17-18.
     
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  5. adlafcam

    adlafcam Registered

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    In Profession I work with TOBIT David. Here mainly with lists and references for the projects.
    Privately I use gmail as my main inbox. More E-mails like gmx end up there. Besides @waiting for and @action support, I also have labels for example: newsletters.
     
  6. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I currently have 15 separate e-mail accounts. I get them all into Apple Mail. I currently have several folders, 1 each for organizations that I am getting e-mail from where I am an officer for their reference e-mails, Action Support which holds all e-mails that are support for current actions, Reference which is all of my personal reference e-mail (being modified now see below) Ads and News - a folder for all the various incoming advertising and newsletters all automatically sorted by mail rules. Order Info where I store pending order e-mails and order Rcvd where completed ones are files, Software Licenses and then one to collect all the security message regarding our various web sites. I also have 1 folder that gets all messages from an e-mail list and I have a quite a few legacy folders for messages from old lists and subjects. I don't separate out Waiting for and Action Support but put them all into the same folder that I call Action Support.

    I am in the middle of changing some stuff. My e-mail system currently has hundreds of thousands of messages going back decades. I do actually refer to messages as much as 25 years old so I can't really delete them. However Apple mail is getting very bogged down by them and search is slower as a result not to mention my rather regular crashes.

    I tried both Mail Steward and the automatic Mail Archive system in DEVONThink and both have problems. Mail Steward is very hard to use for search, I never can find what I want easily in it and it's impossible to browse the database. DEVONThink's automatic mail archive cannot bring in my huge big Reference Folder so my database there is incomplete. So I gave up on both of them.

    My third attempt is a much more dauntng task but at least it is working. I spend about half an hour a day going through all the old e-mail starting at the oldest and either trashing it or manually save it into a new DEVONThink database. DT's searching is superior and much faster. The problem is that I had hoped I could delete thousands of messages and that is not the case. Once they are safely into the new DT structure I verify that I can see the text. I then delete them from my operational e-mail system. So my new curated mail archive is smaller by a tiny bit and slowly and steadily my mail mail system is being cleaned out. Once this backlog task is finished my plan is to consolidate into just a few folders that I plan to clean out either monthly, quarterly or yearly, depending on how things go. I am thinking that cleaning them out monthly will keep my main e-mail lean and I can easily search in DT. OTOH there are many order info and order rcvd e-mails that I dont't need to keep much past a year or 2 that will end up making my DT system need some ongoing maint as well. I am still undecided about how to handle the final configuration but I won't have to make that decision for quite a while. At least not until I've got all my old stuff sorted and into the new struture and database.

    I use exclusively POP mail and never leave mail on any server so I am the sole archive of my mail. Even all my gmail accounts are set to POP so gmail does not keep the mail for me for them either. I also never check e-mail except from my main computer except in a few instances when traveling. Then I will use the webmail options available to me by my mail provider. Yes, it means there is double processing when I return but I'm willing to do that. I have tried processing e-mail on my phone and tablet and it doesn't work for me at all.

    I also have a large number of rules in mail that will do a lot of sorting for me.

    I use Spam Sieve which is fairly good but I still have to at least look at all the messages that come in as spam because my subjects and contexts are often considered spam. I regularly get good messages from new and unknown correspondents (so I can't white list them in advance) that are flagged as spam but are actually real valid messages.

    By way of reference my e-mail volume is typically between 200-300 messages a day. It takes me 30-45 minutes to process each day's e-mail. My inbox is at zero several times a week. My goal is daily but sometimes I run out of processing time so just leave it until the next day. I do make sure it is at zero before my weekly review no matter how long it takes.
     
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  7. clango

    clango Registered

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    Dear all,
    At the moment I introduced for each account @Archive @Action support and @Waiting for. I’ll investigate if Thunderbird could manage only one of this folders for the account. It’d seem more convenient avoiding to move among too many folders.
     
  8. AFG

    AFG Registered

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    I haven't used Thunderbird for quite a few years.

    Q: do you know how Tbird represents its tags? ... OK, I was being lazy: a bit of googling:

    http://kb.mozillazine.org/Tags

    Thunderbird before version 2.0 used labels instead of tags. The main difference between labels and tags is that that you can assign multiple tags to a message, and users were limited to five labels due to the way they were stored.

    A X-Mozilla-Keys: header is added to the message to store any tags, if the message was downloaded from a POP account.

    Thunderbird tries to store tags on the server using IMAP keywords. If the IMAP server doesn't support that it will store lags locally in the .msf file for the folder. That means that another PC can not see the labels.

    (Q: does anyone know why Thunderbird cannot apply a header like X-Mozilla-Keys: to IMAP email? Sure, IMAP keywords may be more efficient to search. ... See below, MailTags seems to need to replac e the message in order to add a header. Sad, but not too bad.​

    MailTags is a tagging plug-in for [Apple MacOS] Mail.App that's gotten a lot of press, and supports IMAP accounts. Neither Thunderbird or MailTags support each others concept of tags due to differences in how each stores tags. Thunderbird uses IMAP flags while MailTags replaces the message with one where it added the tag using a X-Mailtags header.​

    Darn: if IMAP allowed mail headers to be added easily, then one could imagine fairly generic support supporting a multiplicity of mail headers. (I suspect that I had that years ago in gnus on emails.)
     
  9. John Ismyname

    John Ismyname Registered

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    No. That takes too much time.


    I use Outlook for my job.... at home I receive all the e-mails, without the one of the job, into Thunderbird.

    How do you manage this complexity? [/QUOTE]

    A premise of GTD is that everybody has several inboxes that all feed into one's unified GTD system. Unless you have a job where 9am to noon and 1pm to 5pm is 'company time' and everything else is your time, there is going to be 'bleed-over'.

    I use Outlook for my GTD platform. It's on a laptop so its portable. I look at all my email through a unified view. If I don't delete a piece of email, I move it as I read it to a folder called "filed". For any piece of email that I'm "going to do something with", I make a copy of it while it is open and paste it into an Outlook calendar appointment or an Outlook task. I have a separate calendars for work (actually a client) and a personal calendar. In Outlook, I can get a unfilled view of both. i create Outlook tasks in one directory on my local laptop that has personal and work tasks, which I classify by my GTD @ categories.
     

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