Mail Filtering

This will make no practical difference to any of you, but I’m posting it partly so I’ve got a record of what I’ve set up and partly because the odds are, I’ve forgotten something obvious, and I’m hoping that one of you will say something like “Alasdair, you idiot, if you keep doing it that way, it’s going to fuck up like this….”. (And partly because I’m feeling a little impressed with my own cleverness right now, which is usually a bad sign.)

OK, so up until today, my email was managed like this:

I had an inbox folder that contained about 250 messages. Anything over that 250 threshold that was also over a month old got moved into an “old messages” folder. That was basically it. I used to have a few rules for thing like LJ comment notifications, and some mailinglists, that shunted those into their own folders, but I found that that meant they rarely got read.

Instead, I had an inbox and a massive and unwieldy “old messages” folder that was half-clogged with unread messages and undeleted spam, that was taking an increasingly ludicrous amount of time to search when I want to refer back to something. This was not, by anyone’s definition a winning organisational strategy. So here are my new rules.

I have compiled a database of every email address I have replied to in the last three and a half years. (New addresses that I reply to will automatically get added to this database.)

Emails from these addresses that are over a week old get sorted into folders by year and month. As do emails with any of the following keywords in the subject : “order” “payment” “receipt” and “confirm”.

Anything else at all gets deleted after a week, unless I have flagged it, in which case, it will remain in my inbox until I un-flag it, at which time it will get deleted. (Unread messages will also remain until I have read them.)

That’s it.

So my question is this: can anyone see any sort of email that might get deleted, when it probably shouldn’t (assume that I will, at some point, forget to flag something important)? Should I add some other keywords to my auto-archive filter? Is there any reason why seven days is too short a time? What have I not thought of, when designing these rules?