GEEKNOTE: While doing a computer upgrade for one of our corporate customers, my partner Tim ran into a bit of a problem converting a Windows Live mailbox to Microsoft Outlook. The person using the old computer had something well north of 10,000 messages in her inbox. This, by itself wouldn’t be a major problem except that quite a few of those messages had attachments. To make a long story short, when we finally managed to get all of her mail into an Outlook PST file, the file was over 17gb in size!
What should have been a 30 minute to an hour project transferring data from the old machine to the new one took hours!
There are several lessons to be learned:
First, when you get junk mail, delete it. Leaving it in your inbox simply makes it harder to find the stuff you actually want.
Second, when you get something as an email attachment, save the attachment and then delete the message.
Third, make a point of going through your messages and deleting stuff you aren’t likely to need again. I move important stuff into a “save” folder and, every so often, I go through and delete stuff more than a few months old in my inbox.
The same applies to your “sent items” folder. If you haven’t had reason to look at a message for a few months, go ahead and delete it. Save it or print it if it’s something really important. Otherwise, nuke it.
One of the nice features of Outlook is the ability to archive everything older than a certain date. Once completed, the archive file can be burned to a CD / DVD and stored for safekeeping. This is important if your business requires you to be able to produce old emails on demand.
For most of us, that isn’t a consideration and we should just make a point of regularly cleaning out our email folders.
Rob Marlowe, Senior Geek.