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IT Blurb #17 - Why You Should Delete Your Emails

May 28 2021

Happy Friday everyone! This week's blurb, like our last one, will be geared toward email functionality. Instead of the use of signature though, I will be talking about some of the benefits of regularly deleting and organizing emails.

Many people today (myself included) tend not to put much time into cleaning our email inboxes on a somewhat regular basis. We leave emails from years gone by that we'll never read again sitting at the bottom of a list. We like to have access to them in case we ever need them for something, but chances are nothing will ever come from saving them for so long. Now, I'm not saying to never save anything. Certain things like payment and order confirmations should be kept in case of any problems with the purchase or warranty down the road. On the other hand, keeping every single mass email received from mail lists are probably better deleted.

Here are some of the benefits to cleaning your email inbox:

  • It frees up space. Not every email host can provide an infinite amount of storage space, especially if you store large files such as photos and videos in your inbox.
  • It makes it easier to search your inbox. By getting rid of clutter emails, you'll have an easier time finding the information that you actually need.
  • Computer search time. Similar to the point above, if you have 1000 emails instead of 10000, your computer or device will require much less time to search for what you need.
  • You'll pay less for storage. Most email hosts offer anywhere from 5GB - 50GB of storage, depending on the provider. If you go over this threshold, you may need to pay more for extra storage capabilities.

Now, keep in mind that once emails are deleted, they can be extremely difficult to retrieve. Most providers have a secondary folder, such as 'Deleted Items', where your emails go before they're gone for good. Before clearing out this folder, double check that you didn't delete anything by mistake.

A good starting point would be to sort your inbox in reverse order, so that your earliest received emails appear first. Then, go through and delete anything that you no longer need. Unless the information in an email is important, I would recommend deleting anything that's more than 2 years old. From there you can go through and get rid of anything newer than 2 years that's no longer needed. Doing this once or twice a year will leave you with a much cleaner inbox.

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