Getting lots of emails every day has forced me to make an effort at keeping my inbox clean, instead of just deleting piles of emails every few months. I never used to delete emails immediately after reading them before, but now I read an email, think "Will I ever need this later?" and most of the time, the answer is no.
Will this bite me in the ass someday, when I delete something important? Maybe. But having less than 150 KB of filled storage feels really good! :)

@Mayana I started to delete mails aggressively a few months ago and I already feel better.

@kensanata That's great to hear! I'm not sure why deleting things, dooming them to oblivion, feels so enjoyable and freeing, but it definitely does.
But damn, I just noticed how redundant my OP sounds. I used the word email 4 times in 2 sentences! Oh well, too late to delete and edit now.

@Mayana haha, a long time ago I wrote a blog post about record keepers. It ends with: β€œThis only benefits your enemies, never your friends. I want to expire my toots. We can always write a blog post about the good stuff.”

@kensanata I remember that blog post! It's what inspired me to start deleting older toots as well. Thank you. :)
I keep them around for 6 months though, which might be an overly long period of time. I'll have to reconsider that.

@kensanata @Mayana I haven't deleted any non-spam/non-test emails since the late 1990s.

They're pretty much all filed automatically (leaving just spam and a few new contacts in my inbox) and when I'm done with them they're marked as read so no cognitive load. Backup .tar.gpg is just under 2GB so a large but not dominant part of my backups. Databases grow linearly, disks grow exponentially.

And, just once in a while, it can be handy to go back to an old message.

@edavies @kensanata Different strategies for different people, I suppose. Perhaps it's better that you don't share my weird fondness for numbers going down. Most people prefer them to go up anyway! :)
To be clear, I do still archive some stuff for later. And once I get a job, I'll no doubt keep work-related emails around for longer. But I've realized I only read most of the emails I get once and then ignore them, and adapted accordingly.

@edavies @Mayana I basically kept all my mails from i don’t know feels like 1996 to 2016 and then I realized I never ever looked something up – business mails, different story; private purchases, also a different story; but personal emails, love letters, the things I wrote my mother when my sister died, important stuff: I never went back. And when I sent stuff by paper there was no way to go back anyway. And so I realized that this use case simply doesn’t exist for me.

@edavies kudos for keeping those mail archives encrypted, though! πŸ˜„πŸ‘πŸ»

@kensanata I keep almost all my data encrypted. Full disk on most drives plus gpg-AES256 for those backups. That's part of the reason I'm more relaxed about keeping old stuff - won't protect against a warrant, of course, but will against laptop loss/theft.

Β· camera SD card.
Β· Raspberry Pi used for household data logging as I want it to restart unattended after a power cut or whatever.


@edavies my current laptop cam with disk encryption and my borg backup is also encrypted. All the older stuff on the Mac and it’s external hard disk with all the pictures and PDFs and videos and all of that is not encrypted, yet.

@Mayana everything goes into archive or trash for me (but Github folder is stale usually)

@charlag I only archive stuff that I know I'll still want to read a few months later (so currently, only a few conversations with my best friend). Short-term useful stuff just stays in my inbox until its usefulness runs out. But perhaps I should create a few folders and organize things some more.

@Mayana About a decade ago I stopped keeping email, except for sent messages. I figure I'm responsible for what *I've* said, so I better keep a record.

Then five years ago I realized I rarely start an email message. I just get requests and reply. So now my inbox is a #Discourse instance where I can auto-bump/delete/archive messages *at my leisure*.

It's pretty terrific. :sunglasses:

@maiki Interesting! I am quite the opposite. I delete sent messages as soon as the discussion isn't active anymore. The info in them is for other people after all, it's their job to decide to keep them. I remember what I wrote well enough. :P

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