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Email Inbox Management, 2011

Created by dave. Last edited by dave, 7 years and 68 days ago. Viewed 1,376 times. #1
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(10 October 2011)

Interesting results from >>an IBM study comparing the effectiveness of folder-filing email versus just sorting a big random pile of email:

  • Search-based users find what they are looking for in an average of 18 seconds; folder-based users take almost a minute; and
  • folder-based users take on average 20 minutes per day to file individual emails in the appropriate folders.
This comes back to my comments of three years ago (see Email Inbox Management): archiving is about Finding, not Keeping.

Since then my email environment has evolved a little. I have gone through Outlook 2007 and am now using Outlook 2010. I think that the built-in search still isn't as reliable at finding what I want than the LookOut! plugin was -- but the built-in search is better integrated with Outlook so there are tradeoffs.

Another minor improvement in my environment is that the laptop I use as my primary system has an SSD, which speeds up accesses by an order of magnitude and can make up for many of the problems of searching a large monolithic database.

The operational particulars have not changed much. I have had to split my inbox into three separate boxes by using rules (see about iPhone mail filtering, the specifics of which applies to my Blackberry today and possibly to my future phone (see New Phone, 2011 Edition)), but beyond that I still only have the Trash, Sent-Items, and Not-Inbox folders.

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