Now that e-mail has become an indispensable communication tool, it becomes increasingly important to manage the flood of messages.
Most e-mail programs let you create folders to file your messages.
- You can usually drag a message from the Inbox or Sent mailbox to another folder.
- Some e-mail programs automatically file a message in a folder you specify or discard it when it's received. They use certain criteria, such as who it's from or a specified word in the subject line. These criteria are called e-mail filters if they discard, or actions if they file.
- When you delete a message, it is typically moved to your Trash or Deleted Mail folder. The message still exists, however. Delete all the files from the Trash periodically to clean up your computer.
If you’re new to e-mail, it may seem easy to manage your inbox right now. But before long, unless you begin organizing your messages early, it will inevitably get out of control. If it’s already out of control, don’t worry. Getting organized isn’t as hard as you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need to file messages?
You don’t need to file messages, but it can be very helpful if you ever need to find a message later. For instance, if you are using e-mail for work, you could create folders for each project you’re working on. Then you can place every message regarding that project in there, much like you would file papers for specific projects in a filing cabinet. For personal e-mail, folders can be used to organize different newsletters you subscribe to, messages from family, or any other type of e-mails you may want to look at in the future.
How do I create new folders?
Some e-mail programs, particularly web-based e-mail clients, have a button labeled “new folder” or “new label.” Clicking that will pop up a new folder dialogue box, allowing you to name the new folder and specify where you want it placed. With other programs, right-clicking on your inbox label should give you the “New Folder” option. Once you have created the new folder, you can move it anywhere you like, just as you can move files around on your computer.
How do I create filters and actions?
These may be called Filters or Rules, depending on your e-mail client. In some cases, if you right-click on a message, you will see an option for adding a new rule. With other programs, you will need to go to the options or settings menu, and find the Filter or Rule tab. After you click the Add New Rule or Create a New Filter button, the program will guide you through a series of questions to determine which messages should be moved and where to move them.
How can I add every message from a particular person to a new folder?
The easiest way to do this is to sort your inbox by sender. Most e-mail clients will allow you to select how you want your messages arranged. In some cases, you can sort your messages by a specific category by clicking on the labels at the top of your message window. Sort your messages by “Sender” or “From.” Now every message you received from a specific e-mail address should be grouped together, so you can easily select them and drag them all to the new folder at the same time.