Saturday, August 25, 2012

Live and learn

Every now and then, I like to clean out my old folders on Gmail.  Yes, I know there is unlimited memory, but I am a reverse pack-rat.

So, I went in and deleted the contents of my "sent mail" file.  Little did I realize that this also deleted the copy of every email I have ever sent in all of the individual folders that I had created.  So, now hundred of things I had carefully saved for business and personal purposes are gone.  There is no way to reverse the action.

At first I was bothered, but then I realized that most of those messages actually don't matter at all.  So, a new Kubler-Ross paradigm arises:  Shock, dismay, freedom, happiness.


Joseph said...

Amazing how those four words (Shock, Dismay, Freedom, and Happiness) can explain and guide so much that happens in life.

Thanks for sharing!

Nancy Thomas said...

Ah, yes....I have done this. At first I couldn't breathe, then slowly....a cleansing breath....simplify, simplify!

AndyK said...

Google Mail does not have folders, it has tags. You have a single version of your email that can have multiple tags.

This is unlike most other mail systems.

e-Patient Dave said...

1. Love your freedom idea! Chris Christoferson: "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose."

Oddly, after a financial disaster some years ago, I had the same sensation. Losing emails is better.:)

2. Andy's right - Gmail calls 'em labels, but yeah, they're tags, and any one mail can have multiple tags.

So, in my business, I can have a single message that's tagged (labeled) as being associated with an event ("IHI Forum 2010") and another category (e.g. "Reimbursable").

So I can call up all threads related to the event, or all threads related to Reimbursable, or both.

Pretty easy to see how that kicks butt on the usual feeble "You're in one folder or another, bub."

3. btw, I'm considering (truly am) DITCHING email, IGNORING it, except for specific events. To free my mind for my work I've had to hire an admin to check my email for important things, and even that's getting out of control.

It turns out there's a #noemail movement, which is exploring (not in email!) methods for taming it or just saying screw it.