How do you organize your email?

How do you organize your email? Are you a one email for everything or multiple address hoarder like me? Do you organize your emails into folders or do you keep everything in the inbox? Do you archive everything or delete them once you’ve taken care of them?

Right now, I’ve got a few email addresses specifically for different things:

  • One for work and official, important correspondences
  • One for personal, like talking to friends and family
  • One for Web Revival related things, talking to fellow web enthusiasts and signing up for accounts related to it
  • One for signing up for online things where I don’t want to be spammed at my other addresses, like online shopping accounts, social media, etc

I do this because my brain likes organization and being able to clearly see everything laid out in front of me at a glance, and if any one inbox gets too cluttered I get overwhelmed and want to curl up under a blanket and hide from my emails lol.

Now, when it comes to organizing each email address’s inbox, I like to use folders and labels. Kind of like the categories here in the forum. I’ll use folders like IRL folders in a filing cabinet, grouping emails together in a way that makes sense to me, and I use labels like tags or notes to describe the key topic of the email if I feel it’s necessary.

I’m curious to hear about other people’s email systems!

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Email addresses: My email provider is one that allows for creation of aliases, so I tend to use a different e-address for every account and they all get directed to the same inbox. However, I can then use email filters to sort the emails into folders based on the address they’re to (or to hide emails if one particular address is getting spammed :p )

Organization: My e-mails are sorted by mailing list and not much else, though it may be good to add additional sorting criteria :sweat_smile:
I have also separated the “forum-style” mailing lists (where I can reply to the mails) from the “news/periodical-style” mailing lists (where I can’t reply to the mails).

I also have an NNTP provider, and currently a second email provider for school, but nothing interesting is going on with those. NNTP automatically sorts by newsgroup, and school is just “everything from this e-mail provider is for school”.

Shall I share the e-mail client I use as well or would that be a new topic?

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ooh aliases, my provider (proton) also allows aliases and i used simple login to make a few aliases for some things but i forgot to use it the last couple of times i switched my account emails, that’s a good reminder for me to do so!

i haven’t put email filters to use in my current inbox yet, that also sounds really helpful! and hm i think if you wanna just mention what provider you use you could do that here, but if you want to start a more in depth chat about providers specifically, that could totally be a new topic!

On 2024-02-14T22:17-08, leviathren wrote:

i forgot to use it the last couple of times i switched my account emails, that’s a good reminder for me to do so!

I’ve made a somewhat sequential system for creating aliases, so I don’t need to put much effort into naming an alias because i made brain instructions for that. :p

i think if you wanna just mention what provider you use you could do that here, but if you want to start a more in depth chat about providers specifically, that could totally be a new topic!

I meant e-mail clients, like the program I use to access my email.

(Tangent: Say, do we have no “reply with quote” feature? I had to manually format the quotes on this here post.)

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(Oh here it is. Tangent end.)

God I want to get aliases but getting that all sorted is gonna be a bit of a timesink… it seems so convenient though. I love email. Maybe I’ll add that to my to do list… :eyes:

I have a main email, my 32-bit cafe email that’s mostly for personal web stuff, and my school email. Then there’s a handful of old addresses I use to sign up for stuff I assume will give me a lot of spam, or things I’m unsure of.

I have tags in my main email to sort out things like fanfiction updates and work emails. I always keep very up-to-date on what’s in my inbox! It’s always very clean, and I only ever keep the emails I need (tracking for packages stay in the inbox, doctors’ appointment reminders, that sort of thing).

I unsubscribe from all the mailing lists I can manage, archive the stuff that’s important, and purge everything else. As a result, my mailbox is always empty, and when I do receive something, it’s certainly important. Granted, I’m unemployed, so I’m not sure how I’d deal with distractions if I was, because I can’t stand them.

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Goodness, me tooo.

I keep emails that have to do with documentation too, just in case. And your fanfiction updates makes me want to seek out newsletters from my favorite authors and sign up!

I need automated brain instructions for myself haha

As do I; I’ve said before I think e-mail should be the default non-real-time online communication medium. It’s what most people have, and it’s not bound to a specific platform/provider (and you can see this has enabled its longevity by the fact it’s been around for 53 years so far).

I love email; it’s my preferred communication for most things that won’t fit in a simple text. I love that it’s totally interoptable and platform independent (especially if you use your own domain).

I have four emails addresses that I primarily use:

  • a personal, professional email (think — currently on gmail because I’ve had it since high school. eventually, I’d love to move this to a domain I own, but I’ve not decided if I want to change my last name if/when I get married, so I haven’t wanted to commit to anything there

  • a trash email for web registrations and some online shopping

  • my work email

  • a personal email using my domain that I want to start using like a mailbox — letter writing and connecting with folks

I recently shifted my domain email (along with the two I have for defunct podcasts) to Purelymail and I’ve been quite happy there.

Otherwise, for organization, I’m a big proponent of inbox zero; that way, my inbox is a to do list. I delete on sight when something is handled or unnecessary; if it’s something I need to look back on later, it goes in a folder. Those folders vary based on the account (my work ones are things like parent communication, assessment data, professional development — I’m a teacher).

I swear by my 3 tag system for work: Green, Yellow & Red.

Green :green_circle: = Done and archived (NEVER DELETE, especially 4 work, yo)
Yellow :yellow_circle: = Waiting for someone else to do something (my favorite)
Red :red_circle: = Dam, yo. I have to do something. :sob:

I don’t do it with my personal email(s) though. Mostly, just organize stuff into folders there. Health, Legal, Financial, etc.

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ooh i like this stoplight system :eyes: i may have to implement this!

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Aw heck, email is a huge overhaul for me lately as i’m “De-Googling” myself which is tough! I’m currently using Fastmail and iCloud. Fastmail for “real” email with my name, (health, legal, professional stuff) and various alias - I haven’t organized a system yet. iCloud for personal emails or website where I use my handle “BinaryDigit” on

I have a two-part writeup on how I do email if anyone is interested in reading - The Zen of Inbox Zero

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This was a great read, I like inbox zero best too and i like the way you delegate tasks for both your future self and for others that might be involved in a task. Also, flowcharts usually overwhelm me but your email processing flow chart was clean and super easy to follow, kudos!

I have a few emails too, for the same reason!

  • Regular email for People Things; like jobs.
  • Trash email for Regular Web; this is also what I’d give to friends.
  • Third hidden email for penpal things; this is so I feel less squicky about adding it to places like my mail page and/or instagram, if I get spammy feeling results they don’t have my real email to harass me.
  • My 32bit email; aka my smallweb one! Same thing, if someone spams it/harasses me they’re a few degrees of separation from my Real World 'sona.

I just went through and labelled a bunch of my mail in the Regular Email; I have a lot of misc info about my disabilities in there that I needed to tag for my own sanity :P I’ve also just unsubscribed from a LOT of junk, it make me feel so free! …although, it means I have brand new gripes: WHY do some companies still email me if I unsubscribe and/or report them as spam?? :(

I use gmail for my Real World stuff; purely bc it’s what my first fixed email address was and I’m allergic to change >.>;

I think I’m going to begin the email organization process myself. I have a few mailboxes for various needs. But my main one definitely needs some filters cause I’m getting a bit tired of getting hit with retail stuff while waiting for important emails. I think my main focus will be to try and separate non important emails into their own respective folders and then ensure that only important things that need a response from me land in my inbox.

*Well I archived all my current mail and got folders created. As new mail comes in I’ll start creating rules for them. It is an approach I’ve taken in the past that has worked well for getting everything organized pretty well.

I have so many individual email addresses at this point that it’s ridiculous. I have one for my personal stuff, one for my online persona, a shared one with my husband, a generic one that I had for dealing with people on Craigslist back in the day, a generic one for moving accounts that I no longer use but don’t want to commit to deleting yet to, etc. It’s overwhelming. I’ve been slowly switching from Gmail to Proton due to privacy concerns, and I currently have four new ones for that, which still feels like a lot. Since both Proton and DuckDuckGo have free email aliases, I’ve been trying to switch to using those more often. It kind of seems like that’s the best policy in the long run anyway, because you never know when any random service is going to get compromised. If all they have is an email alias that you can easily turn off, it’s never going to be much of an issue, theoretically.

I only use a few filters/labels though. I have one for stuff I’m waiting on receiving, one for important records, one specifically for an organization I volunteer for, and one for anything sent over from Gmail so that I know what still needs to have the email address switched.

Maybe I’ll try to prioritize getting everything more organized this year so that I don’t constantly feel like I’m in over my head…

I wish my e-mail was organized. :( I have way too many e-mail addresses. That wasn’t planned - it just happened!

  • 2 through my internet provider, an “official” one and an every day one
  • G-mail
  • Yahoo (but I think I’m ready to get rid of that one)
  • Proton - trying to move away from G-mail so signed up with Proton and created some aliases. Will also be switching anything associated with the internet provider e-mails to this as well.

Since I’m starting fresh with Proton I’m trying to be more organized from the start and making use of labels and archiving vs everything in an e-mail hoarder pile, which is what the G-mail account looks like.