Sunday, April 1, 2012

Out of Control

Out of Control.

That is the only way to describe my email inbox. Totally. Freaking. Out of control.
How does it happen?
It starts so innocently. Yes, I need to save that email to refer back to.

All right, I need to explain that my filing skills are abysmal. I file everything very nicely, neatly, and perfectly. But I seldom can find them again. When I’m filing, it makes absolutely perfect sense to file -- say a crock pot chicken recipe in the crock pot folder of the recipe folder on my hard drive. No problem. But months later I may have a vague recollection of that recipe so I start hunting. Usually under the Main Dishes folder. At some point, it may dawn on me this was for a crock pot, and then I will go look in the crock pot folder. Unfortunately it doesn’t just happen with my recipes. It happens with everything.

Since things tend to work better unfiled, I tend to leave my emails as they are and where they are. The trouble comes when I forget the email / file is there. Over the weekend, I deleted over 3,000 emails. Sounds good. I refuse to say how many more are left. As I go through them, I think I should file them, but I really want the information and I know filing is akin to sending it into a black hole.

If anyone has information or tips on how to corral all of this information I am certain I need, I would love to hear it. Separating the emails themselves into folders isn’t really the answer (yes, tried that too).

Please share and save me from drowning in electronic files.


  1. After drowning in emails (and folders made to hold them!), I use Microsoft One Note. Points of interest are harvested from the avalanche of emails and put in there. Think of it like a giant file drawer. I got mine as a student copy. I love it for organizing too. My entire 5-book magnum opus is in there including all the links I regularly used while writing it like name generators, translators, footnotes etc. I recommend it.

    1. Definitely going to look into it. I actually have it installed on my computer now -- the 2007 version. I opened it once (2003 version) and was so intimidated by the tabs I closed it. It seemed there would have to be another organizing system in it too. *taking a deep breath* Will open it and see what happens. Thanks for the tip, Rose.

  2. I love filing and organization - not at the moment - but generally. I have an e-mail folder for each book and important e-mails relating to each book. Otherwise, I probably end up deleting more than I should just to keep the e-mail list down. I used to be a legal secretary, so filing and organization are my "middle names." ;-)


    1. WAH! I can file. I just can't seem to remember HOW I filed something. Can you please send a sliver of that gene this way?


    2. Lord, I have 7975 emails left to go through and that's only on Outlook. I feel for you, Tara. I also have One Note, started using it a few years ago, but never stuck with it. I'd forget to use it. :0 I do use side folders for very important emails. Trouble is, the priority list grew. My usual tight filing system has also fallen by the wayside. Everything's kind of snowballed the last few months. All filing tips appreciated!

    3. Forgot to sign the above post, sorry!

      Tara, hope your filing system is improving. Mine also!