What to do with your "sent" email folder?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by GTD123BRO, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. GTD123BRO

    GTD123BRO Registered

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    I know GTD talks about getting your email inbox to zero and getting it all organized.

    Just wondering, should I be doing anything with the emails in my sent folder or just leaving them there?
     
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  2. Mike Simms

    Mike Simms Registered

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    Hi: I 'archive' both sent and incoming into the same folder, so that in the future I can search by subject or date or person and see the conversation more easily. One folder per year.
     
  3. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    I use an email client that uses a threaded view by default, so all the email in a chain is gathered together from wherever it is. So sent mail is just handled. And there’s always search. If there is a waiting for associated with an email I am sending, I will usually forward it to my list tool inbox when I send it. I am completely comfortable with my email setup. If you have a feeling that perhaps things could be better on the email front, you should ask yourself what you would like to be true and see if you can get there.
     
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  4. Quicksilver10

    Quicksilver10 Simon PN

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    Good question! I used to have tons of emails in my sent folder. Now I file those I need to keep alongside those from my inbox. They all go into my digital general reference filling system, filed in the relevant topic folder. Where the most recent email in a thread contains the whole conversation, I just keep that one.
     
  5. sholden

    sholden Registered

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    I just leave them there. Part of Reference. I do use my Sent Items at work to drive collecting my past week's Weekly Activity Report (WAR) which helps me build my input into my Semi and Annual Review with my supervisor.
     
  6. Geeko

    Geeko GTD since 2017

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    In Thunderbird I also leave them there. If I have to track something as waiting for, I use labels and if I need a special email, I use threaded view.

    Cheers,
    Tristan
     
  7. Aliki_K

    Aliki_K Registered

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    It depends on the sent item. There are sent items that are part of a still ongoing "project", I am putting a reminder on these, a date I feel they have to have a response and when this date comes I am doing the necessary follow up. There are fewer that are archived in topic folders as part of a topic for instance "Discussions with legal dept". And there are any other sent that remain because it might be useful to keep or good to be able to resent until it becomes meaningless to keep. I archive fewer sent than inbox items because of the files attached, in the sent items I am in control of the files attached while in the inbox I am the receiver.
    (I use Ms Office Outlook).
     
  8. bcmyers2112

    bcmyers2112 Registered

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    I don't do anything with items in my "Sent" email folder because I don't have a need. If I send an email with a request to someone that I need to track it goes in my Waiting For list. I've rarely had a need to dredge up sent emails, and when I have I've been able to use a combination of my email client's search and sorting functionality to find what I need relatively quickly (at work I've always used Outlook).

    But... that's me. Maybe your situation is different.

    Why are you concerned about emails in your "sent" folder? It sounds like it's just a vague fear that you ought to be doing something with them; if I'm right, my suggestion is to leave them alone and not create unnecessary work for yourself.

    On the other hand, you may have a specific need that wasn't clear from your original post. If that's the case, it would be helpful if you could further explain the challenges you're experiencing (such as why you need to look up sent emails, what email client you're using, and why you're not able to find them efficiently now).
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
  9. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    I move mine to my big-archive-for-the-year so they don't get aged out and deleted. They're there for the one out of a hundred or out of a thousand that I might actually need to refer to. But that reference is so rare that there's really no value in my doing any more than making sure they don't get unintentionally deleted.
     
  10. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    I just leave them but I'm considering going back through and seeing if I can delete any and move the rest to my big Reference folder so things are more easily sorted by date. Reason is I've got something over 60K messages in my mail system and that gets cumbersome to search. Since I frequently have to refer back to e-mails I've sent or received even decades later I need to keep an archive but the effort to sort into folders has never paid off. If I can delete some of the simple trash the searching would go faster.
     
  11. SherriLB

    SherriLB Registered

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    It is overwhelming to look at my sent folder and to see 15,762 emails just hanging out. With that said, when I need a "sent" email I am able to find it quickly, and so far, the auto-delete after a bazillion days hasn't hurt me.
     
  12. Gardener

    Gardener Registered

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    Irritatingly, our auto-delete is just sixty days. So moving my sent mail elsewhere is a regular monthly task for me. (I do periodically also delete stuff, but sixty days is just too tight.)

    But I still don't file.
     
  13. Jodie E. Francis

    Jodie E. Francis GTD Novice

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    I keep my 'sent' at zero, using the email as the reminder in a WF email folder when it is something I'm 'waiting for'. Once received, I file my 'sent' message with the rest of my project-related emails, in (big) buckets by application/client for easier searching. I often have to refer back to them, sometimes years later. After hitting an Outlook .pst file size limit years ago, I create a new email archive for each fiscal year.
     
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