Ban­ish email cruft

Over­come email over­load with our tips that help you get on top of it

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

Email. Where would we be with­out it? Much hap­pier if you be­lieve the nu­mer­ous sur­veys that say drown­ing in the stuff is mak­ing us mis­er­able. We’re much more pos­i­tive about the ben­e­fits of email, but we also get tons of it and still strug­gle to keep it or­gan­ised.

Leav­ing all your email in your in­box is fine up to a point, as long as your email app of choice has a pow­er­ful search fea­ture. Sadly, most don’t and so ei­ther strug­gle to find any­thing at all, or spend ages churn­ing through thou­sands of mes­sages only to turn up what looks like a com­pletely ran­dom se­lec­tion.

There’s another prob­lem with never delet­ing or ar­chiv­ing email: stor­age. Whether you keep all your email lo­cally on your Mac or en­trust it to a cloud ser­vice like iCloud or Gmail, sooner or later you’re go­ing to run out of space. If you send or re­ceive large at­tach­ments, that’ll hap­pen sooner rather than later.

There are a num­ber of dif­fer­ent tech­niques for find­ing and or­gan­is­ing mes­sages in both Mail and Gmail. The lat­ter ex­cels at search­ing through mes­sages, and so we can use its pow­er­ful search op­er­a­tors to iden­tify mes­sages we want to process. Both Mail and Gmail pro­vide tools to deal with mes­sages au­to­mat­i­cally as they are re­ceived. In Mail these are called Rules and in Gmail, fil­ters. We’ll show you how to use both to get on top of email.

Thank­fully, knock­ing your email into shape is straight­for­ward and doesn’t take long at all. Kenny Hem­phill

Both Mail and Gmail pro­vide tools to deal with mes­sages au­to­mat­i­cally when they are re­ceived

Use Smart Mail­boxes and rules to or­gan­ise mes­sages in Mail and easily get rid of any­thing you don’t need.

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