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Saving e-mail.....who does it?
Old 02-20-2014, 09:18 PM   #1
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Saving e-mail.....who does it?

Seeing we have a legacy PC replacement thread going and people, including me, are discussing e-mail programs, etc., I was wondering who saves e-mails and for how long and why?

We have folks at w*rk that insist on saving every Outlook e-mail ever sent to them ( I mean many GB's worth), and guys like me that selectively save what I think I may need to refer to later on.

What do you do and why?
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:46 PM   #2
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I keep everything. But I never ran into the multi GB's, personal or work.

Particularly the personal emails form somewhat of a running diary. I can look up when we took that trip to Hawaii or whatever.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:50 PM   #3
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One of the reasons folks at work tend to have huge pst files, is they leave attachments on the e-mails. They are too lazy to do otherwise.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:18 PM   #4
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When I worked I used MS Outlook and would regularly get several hundred emails per week. I set up an index of folders and filed important emails there. I deleted all junk immediately. The folders were very helpful! Every six months or so I would go into the folders and purge everything older than six months, unless it was crucial, in which case I kept it indefinitely. Of course, before ER, I deleted everything.

At home I use gmail and my purges are less frequent. But I also get far fewer attachments. I save all receipts as PDFs.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:37 PM   #5
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I save emails until my hard drive crashes and I lose them all. then I save more until the next hard drive crashes. Obviously I don't have that many emails I need to keep, but I do anyway, because of the receipts from on-line purchases and various family emails addresses that I have to look up in the email archive now and then.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:54 PM   #6
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Like regular paper mail, some that I deem important I save, but most mail goes in the trash as junk mail. The rest get scattered in the need to read again as haven't decided if keep or not area
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:09 PM   #7
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Work email? I save all of them.

It's the only way I keep myself from getting fired. People accuse my staff of crap all the time. Then I pull out email from 5 years ago and they shut the hell up. Too bad 25% of my job is looking up old email to defend my staff.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:28 PM   #8
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Work email? I save all of them.

It's the only way I keep myself from getting fired. People accuse my staff of crap all the time. Then I pull out email from 5 years ago and they shut the hell up. Too bad 25% of my job is looking up old email to defend my staff.
work email is different. I save it all also. to save email server space, I put the email into Microsoft One Note, categorized by project.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:37 PM   #9
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Work email? I save all of them.

It's the only way I keep myself from getting fired. People accuse my staff of crap all the time. Then I pull out email from 5 years ago and they shut the hell up. Too bad 25% of my job is looking up old email to defend my staff.
I save work email, too. But for the last several years that has been a firing offense as the corporate lawyers want everything purged after six months and have enlisted the IT guys to age out the old email messages. My "stash" has been critically useful as there are key details in there not documented anywhere else. I haven't used it for defense, but have had to "just remember" details, since I am not supposed to have the now illicit email. I hope this "discovery prevention" fad will blow over soon.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:51 PM   #10
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At work I saved almost everything. At home I save almost everything. Storage is very cheap
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:53 AM   #11
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I save all my emails both at work (for legal reasons) and at home with personal mail (for fun mainly or when I need to track something).

Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post

What do you do and why?
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:53 AM   #12
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I keep lots of messages for as long as I think they will be relevant (e.g. stuff about travel until I take the trip). Beyond that I try to delete most email and always have. I keep stuff that I think I may have some remote possibility of wanting to reference in the future, e.g. recipes, links to interesting stuff.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:59 AM   #13
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When I left work the oldest email in my backup was back in the late 90s. At home I used Outlook Express for years and switched to Outlook after I retired, importing the OE archive into Outlook. It appears that the oldest email I have in the pst file at home is Dec 2000. But there are just a few really old ones left.

Much of my incoming mail gets sorted automatically into folders as it comes in from my various email accounts. So email from friends goes to "Friends" or "Susan", PenFed goes to "PenFed", toss after read and toss goes to "Deleted", etc. All unread mail from all folders except "Junk" and "Deleted" gets listed under "Unread". I read the Unreads and either leave them alone or delete them; then I scan the "Deleted" folder and read any that attract my interest (Amazon offer on pots and pans) and empty the Deleted folder.

Email for me takes just a second as a result and my email archives are orderly. The rule system in Outlook is like having a file clerk. But it does invite keeping of really old email since it is tucked in the folders. When the Inbox is always empty you don't arrive at that day where you just scan it and delete everything older than a year old. My pst file is 330Mb. I should find out what the max is. I recall having to create multiple pst files at work.

You really wanted to know all of that - didn't you?
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:24 AM   #14
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I delete emails, but never empty the trash. It has come in handy many times. I have plenty of room on my laptop and the Gmail servers, so why not use it?
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Old 02-21-2014, 07:57 AM   #15
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But for the last several years that has been a firing offense as the corporate lawyers want everything purged after six months and have enlisted the IT guys to age out the old email messages.
That sounds very strange since Sarbanes-Oxley requires email record retention. Corporate IT stores company email for legal reasons. Also a reason why one should never use company email for personal issues.

When working I saved my own copies of emails as CYA. It came in handy many times.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:17 AM   #16
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I saved most everything at work as a software developer. The only real reason I purged sometimes is because we had storage quotas. Storage got cheaper and cheaper (and smaller) but IT was slow to adjust. I had some nice indexing tools to quickly search through emails and I was the "go to" guy for looking up old email threads, decisions made, etc.

At home I'm at 6% of my 15GB quota after many years. I delete stuff I know won't be of future use, like daily deal emails from Amazon, The Clymb, etc, but not much else. Every once in awhile I fire up my email client tool and sort by size and delete some of the larger emails if I've saved the attachment or don't care about it. I haven't found a way to sort by size with the web interface. Gmail has pretty quick sorting by term so I don't mind having a lot of emails. Sometimes if I get too many hits on things I might search for often I'll delete the stuff I don't care about, just to have fewer results to look at.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:39 AM   #17
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I suspect most that have worked for large mega-corps have learned the importance to save emails, as so many other employees have selective memory of what was previously said by themselves in an email. Also, used to receive 80-100 emails a day, so selectively deleting them became too time consuming. I got pretty good at finding old email evidence when it was needed.

At home, I tend to save mostly everything except for the spam ads.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:48 AM   #18
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Work and home have different behaviors. At work, after SOX was enacted, I kept everything archived off by year. We were required by disclosure laws to keep almost everything. It took too long to sort it out and make a decision on every email, so everything it was. Company training that reinforced this behavior was required annually. This also affected paper and electronic notes. Prior to SOX, the company only wanted us to keep stuff that could possibly relate to a patent application or was involved in a pending lawsuit.

At work my wife kept everything even before SOX. In her position dealing with account reps, this was necessary for survival. Nothing is ever a sales reps fault unless you can prove it. And sales reps always want somebody fired when a mistake makes them look bad in front of a customer. At least until they are shown the mistake was their own. Then they want to bury the details of the issue and focus on working the issue for the good of the customer.

At home I delete anything older than a year unless I had marked it important. If I marked it important, I reread it to determine if it is still important and then handle it appropriately.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:58 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post

What do you do and why?
I look at this the other way - why not?

Generally, I find it too time consuming to go through and decide what to delete and what to save, so the default is to save everything.

Like some others mentioned, I do keep folders, and I have rules set up to automatically send certain things to certain folders. For example, I have one folder for all those 'hot deal' type notices from various places I buy from. Once in a while I just delete them all, as the sale has passed, or I didn't act on it anyway - no value to those, and easy to delete in one swipe.

With the rest in the Inbox, I can sort by sender and pretty quickly delete obvious 'who cares' stuff. But I avoid going one by one and reading to see if I should keep them. If in doubt, it is 'saved', though I should call that 'not deleted', as deleting takes work, saving is doing nothing. I'm lazy, doing nothing wins unless there is some hardship involved. And even a few GB is no longer a hardship with 500GB and larger backup drives.

-ERD50
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:32 AM   #20
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So much email is cya and documenting actions that it seems a company would want to save it indefinitely, not necessarily on the employee's hard drive, right? It probably will live forever somewhere else anyway?

I used to purge home email but don't really bother anymore.
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