Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Email Tip: Archive...not Delete

To the three people who follow me and my blog, I apologize that this particular blog post is a bit off my normal math and education theme. I wanted to take a brief moment to share a little email strategy that has recently saved my butt, and I’d like to share it with you all.

Here it is: When you are done reading a particular email (no matter how trivial you think it might be), use the ARCHIVE button and never, never, never use the DELETE button!
(This is what it looks like in Google Gmail.)

For many of you (as it is for me), this is old news so it surprises me when people still tell me that they delete all their old emails.

Why archive rather than delete?

When you are done with an email or not interested in it in the first place, it makes sense to delete the email to get it out of the way. But here is why you should Archive rather than delete…

Deleting the email makes it disappear forever. In reality...emails that have been “trashed” sit in the trash for about 30 days before they finally go away forever.
Archiving, however, stores the email out of your site (just like deleting), except for the MAJOR difference that you have access to the archived emails forever...not just for 30 days. Where do the archived emails go? WHO CARES! (Actually, they go into your “All Mail” folder...or you can simply say they go into the cloud...whatever.)

The point is, by archiving all your unwanted email, you have them available to you even six months down the road when that email you thought was totally insignificant suddenly becomes amazingly important.

  • Is your boss denying having received the super important email you sent last Spring? can produce it from your archives and send it again.
  • Is a parent misremembering something she claims she emailed you at the start of the school year? can pull up the email to read it again to get the facts straight.
How do you find your old archived emails?

At the top of your email inbox is a search field. Google is the KING of searches...use this search field to type in a keyword (or two or three) to find that old email! Keywords include…

  • a person’s first and/or last name
  • an email address or just part of the email address
  • a subject: baseball, or vacation, or whatever
This is a general search field, so you might get too many results. You can narrow your search results by clicking on the down arrow and using the advanced search options.

Do you want to find every email you have sent to your boss?
Enter your email address in the “From” field and your boss’s email address in the “To” field. now have a list of every email you’ve sent to your boss. Simply reverse the addresses if you want to find every email your boss has sent you! Easy.

You can use the date pull down menu to refine your search to within a certain time period…

We could go into much more detail, but this is enough to get you going. Just remember…