Spring Cleaning: Saving Every Email Isn’t Organized, It’s Hoarding

HoardersFor years, I was always the person in the office who was constantly getting emails from the IT department about space and memory limits. Honestly, they must have despised me a little. I didn’t delete anything. I sorted every email into a folder depending on the product, customer or department it was associated with. I probably had over 30 email folders.

I didn’t even clean things out at the end of the year. What if I wanted to know how many of a certain promotional product we had ordered for the past couple years. I kept notes on these things. In 2009, we ordered 800 and ran short. In 2010 we ordered 1000 and had left-overs. It was all information and as a data analyst, I was just positive that there would be a use for it later. So I saved it. All of it.

Everyday came a new “System Maintenance” reminder telling me to clean things out. Everyday I deleted them. They were probably one of the few things I actually deleted.

Finally, one understanding and informative member of the IT department made me see the light. He actually sat me down to talk about what type of information I should hold on to, and what type of information I can let go of. Not just in my email, but in the labyrinth of files and folders that were clogging up my space and making it difficult to get the information I needed quickly.

So in honor of spring and it’s reputation of renewal, I decided to pass along his awesome tips to those of you who can’t help but horde email correspondence. If you have more than a dozen levels of subfolders for each category of your documents, now is the time to tackle the problem and get organized. Here’s how.

(Photo: Around The Networks)

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