I am a digital packrat, especially when it comes to email. I keep everything. I currently have saved approximately 915MB from my personal account and 113MB from my work account. The problem that arises with this many messages is organization. Historically I have been a “sorter.” I try to break out all my messages into categories based on numerous categories; sender, topic, etc. Problems arise both when sorting (which category, what if the message relates to two?) and when looking for a message later.
In the past I have looked at programs that can be used to quickly search through large amounts of email (Zoe being one). The recent announcement and subsequent brouhaha about Google’s GMail has brought the topic to my mind again. Mail.app has relatively good searching and is capable of organizing messages into threads. All good options. The idea being that you don’t try to sort your messages beforehand, you let the computer generate the desired subset on the fly.
So I have decided to conduct an experiment. On my work account, I have undone all my organization and placed all my saved mail into one big folder (aptly named Saved). This will force me to make use of the search features in Mail.app. I may also explore some other tools that will let me quickly move through the thousands of messages I have saved.
The feature I would dearly love Apple to add are “Smart Mailboxes”. Like in iTunes and iPhoto, I would like to be able to create a “folder” that has criteria associated with it. So I could, for example, have a folder that would always contains all the messages I received from my boss; the view would update live based on all the messages I had received.
And I really hope I’m not wrong. If I am, resorting all those messages will be a bitch!