I have been thinking about ways to manage my email in a more efficient way. It seems that there are as many ways to do this as there are email users out there. First things first though – I am using Mozilla Thunderbird and not Gmail or any other online client.
I am currently using the standard lots-and-lots-of-folders-in-a-hierarchy which I guess most people use. It sort of works, but it does take some time to always make sure that the inbox has been emptied of all emails that are done. Even though I have this hierarchy of folders, it doesn’t necessarily make it easier to find an old message I am looking for. Why you might say? The default search in Thunderbird lacks some very handy features, like the very handy Gmail style syntax.
There is an extension called GMailUI which enables the use of these search expressions, but it only works in the currently open folder.
You might see where I’m going with this
How about not using folders at all, except for one inbox and an archive? It will be similar to the way Gmail does it, and it seems to be working very well for them. The messages could be grouped by day to make it somewhat easier to navigate through this (probably) huge folder. It could look something like this.
Having mailing lists separated from the main archive is probably a good thing though, since they are most likely logically separated from work email.
The biggest hurdle is to actually make the switch and try it out. It will probably feel like chaos is coming, but it will hopefully be a pleasant experience in the end. Thunderbird does support tags, so tagging different projects might be a good idea to keep at least some order to the archive.
If I can overcome the above mentioned hurdle and actually give this a shot, I will of course mention what the results were.