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Simplifying E-Mail

Many folks on lists don't have time to wade thru volumes of email. That is the reason (misguided in my judgment) some go to the digest version.  With some lists having a lot of traffic this is both a blessing (great participation) and a curse (more mail to wade thru). Let me give some hints on simplifying your email to get thru it faster and easier.

This is mainly for those using MS Outlook or Outlook Express on PCs. The MAC versions probably work the same but I don't have a Mac to know. Other email programs probably have similar capabilities but if you use those you'll have to do some exploring.

Here's what I did:

* Created a folder for each list I am on. (NEW and choose FOLDER, name it for the list)

* Go to the Rules wizard and set the use the "TO and CC" to the list you want and the action is to move it to the appropriate folder. Don't forget to check "stop processing more rules" the last item on the drop down list.

* Do this for each list. You can also do it for any specific thing you want. For example I use is if the "TO" is for Drango then it goes into a Drango folder. You can set it any way you want.

* I also created two other folders; "Reply Due" and "Hold"

* To get rid of much of the spam you can filter messages based on a word in the subject line. (Also the body but that can be a bit more likely to get a good massage. You can though the same way.) I find it best to send them to the deleted folder although you may want to set up a folder to put them in. In any case you will want to do a quick scan to make sure it didn’t catch something you wanted. That is quick because most will be junk or porno. Legitimate subjects or from addresses are easy to find, read, or move to a good folder.

As the mail comes in it is rerouted to the appropriate folder. The folder list shows how many are in each folder. Mail not rerouted goes to your inbox. I even set a rule that if it doesn't have my address in the TO or CC then sent to "Other" folder. This is the last rule and sends mostly spam there as that is the most prevalent source of mail without your address.

You can also create folders and filter on all kinds of things. You can use keywords to redirect email to certain folders. If you have someone who is flaming you, then you can set a rule to automatically delete their posts insuring tranquility. There is no end to the creativity you can do. For example my storyvent.com domain is set so that "anything" at storyvent dot com comes to my main box. I tell people that they can sign my guestbook by clicking on an icon that is a link to guest at storyvent dot com When it comes in, the rule sends messages to that address to the "Guestbook" folder.

Click on a folder to see what came from that list. Click on those you want to read. Drag those you want to reply to the "Reply Due" folder. Any you want to keep drag to "Hold". Click "Reply" to reply to an individual or "Reply All" to reply to the list. When done press CTL+A to select all and delete. (Or if you don't like unread messages in your "Deleted" folder, right click, click "Mark all as read", then delete.) There is no scrolling thru the massages or typing in subject lines as is needed with the digest version. Much faster and easier!

Don't forget you can further organize the messages by clicking on the column heading you want to sort on. Clicking again reverses the order of sort.

I hope this helps. I get over a hundred messages a day and read a couple of dozen maybe. Not that the other messages are bad, they just aren't of particular interest to me although they might be right up someone else's alley. If people use the subject line well and with this system of organizing my mail it is a piece of cake to handle that amount of mail. Spending a little extra time initially to set up and learn the capabilities of your email program and really simplify life in the future. These are some very powerful tools and wizards are provided to guide you through setting them up. Once set they just work in the background. With Outlook if you are looking at the inbox while mail is arriving you can see messages pop in and then out to their appropriate folder. You can even forward them to another address if you wish. 

In Eudora, you do this by setting up Mailboxes and using Filters to do the assigning of incoming mail automatically. You use the Transfer feature to put individual messages in manually.