Effortlessly Organize Your eMail

I have a lot of subscriptions (NY Times, WP, etc.), and various vendors send me flyers. All of it used to swamp my one email inbox.Even though I used MS Outlook to sorted it by setting up complicated sorting rules, each new sender required a new rule and I soon fell behind.

Then I got smart. I had a disused email account (rbshreve2@hotmail.com) and I began using that when I subscribed to anything and also whenever I ordered stuff online. It was easy to automatically route everything from that secondary mailbox to a new special folder. When bulk mail arrived at my primary correspondence box, I’d unsubscribe; or when I actually wanted it, I’d change the preferences settings on my account at the sender.

Before long just about all the bulk stuff was arriving in the Hotmail account folder where I could deal with it as my time permitted. Now I don’t have the clutter of 20 to 30 low priority subscription items amongst the important stuff; yet everything is still there when I wish to read an item. I ask my friends to use the Hotmail address when they cc me.

Many email programs have a filter that allows you to screen emails addressed to more than one recipient. Use that filter to move the mail that’s broadcast to many people to a bulk mail folder.

Oh yes, another tip, Hotmail has a filter that checks to see if the sender is in your Hotmail address book. Use that to separate the mail sent by those you know from those you don’t — the stuff from strangers is held in the spam folder.

With tricks like these you can tame the flood with ease and avoid most of the mailbox housekeeping chores.

Don’t have two email accounts? — open a free one at gmail.com or yahoo.com.