[thechat] Inbox detox

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Tue Nov 2 08:35:41 CDT 2010

Mohan Arun L noted his technique for saving information from old emails:

Hi Mohan!

First of all you have to understand my software/hardware limitations to see what I am using and how I use it:

I'm in a corporate environment using Outlook.
	- I organize all of my correspondence into project related folders.
	- I sort each folder by receipt/sent date (newest on top).
		- {So you can guess how much I hated Gmail's "conversation threading"!}
	- I move any project related *sent* email to the proper project folder so I have all correspondence in a single place.

Now Outlook has a feature that lets you 'copy' an email to a directory on your hard drive as an "*.msg" file (which includes all the attachments and stuff).  These files can be reopened by Outlook by double clicking on them at a later point in time.
	- The primary caveat here is that subject line of the email becomes the file name - so you need to make sure it isn't "too long".

Okay?  So here is how I archive things:
	* I put a sequential 'serial number' at the beginning of every email I want to save.  (Which is pretty close to all of them.)  This keeps things in chronological order when I copy then to disk to clean up Outlook.  I copy them to directories mirroring my Outlook folders.
	* Now I can archive from hard drive to CD/DVD/Tape, whatever.
		- I generally also keep a set of manually constructed 'archive index' files on hand so I can easily determine that email and other files relating to 'project A' can be found on discs 19, 20, and 37 while email and other files relating to 'project B' can be found on discs 5, 13, and 14.

There may be a better way to handle this.  This technique works for me.


(No.  I'm not using an 'open' file format.  But I'm not freelancing either.)

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