Failing Email: Rethinking

My email management system is a failure.

I have a lot of email addresses. I even have a text file that shows how all these address' are routed so that I don't end up forwarding messages from one address to itself after passing it through three steps, which I have done before.

The hub of my email email system relies on a gmail account that I never really use, that keeps most of the archive under control, and has an arcane set of labels and filters. This isn't an address I really use. All of the important email addresses (the @tealart.com and @tychoish.com ones; are forwarded into another gmail account, that's really just a pipe, but it's also the google account that I use the most, and my primary jabber account.)

Operationally, most of my day to day email, goes through my RealFirstName@tealart.com account, and I do almost all of this in Mail.app, apple's email client, and I don't really ever use web-mail, because I have this amazingly craptastic system of filters and rules that need to be revised, and I don't have a web-mail account that I can comfortably live in, although, a few months ago, I might have said that this was because I always had my laptop with me, and liked the comfort of offline apps, now I feel like having a bit of extra flexibility would be a good thing.

This is a pretty big project that would require me to do a number of things to straighten things out:

  • Deal with archiving my email. ie. taking existing emails and exporting these emails into a plain text format that I can grep through when I need to. Store these text files externally.
  • Reorganize system to rely more on search and less on a complex and deranged file system, more or less modled on gmail's "Stared," "Inbox," and "Archived" Model, using smart folders to take care of day to day operation in Mail.app.
  • Create a revised system of filters, that can sort my mail effectively with only a few simple filters. Implement these filters in both Mail.app in the new gmail account.

Sigh

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