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dealing with inbox clutter

On Mon, 16 Feb 2004, Mike Gorse wrote:

> So it would be nice if I could make messages expire by a certain date
> and have them automatically removed from my inbox after that date has
> passed.  (I don't mean this in a digital rights management sense but
> something I could set on a message I've received.)  Do any mail clients
> have a feature that will do this?

Pine does. By default, it will offer to rotate your inbox & sent-mail
folders into timestamped archives at the start of each month.
Additionally, these archives don't need to be on the same mail server --
you can, for example, archive your ISP mailbox to a local folder, or vice

The other approach within Pine would be to go into your inbox and select
messages before a certain cutoff, and then move the flagged messages as a
group into an archive folder (or delete them, etc). To do this, hit: 

  Key:         Result:
  ----         -------

  ;            turns on selection mode
  d            choose date selection mode; default is 'since today'
  ^w           toggle date selection mode to 'sent before current date'
  16-jan-2004  enter the date you want as your cutoff
  <enter>      commits selection

(Note that I'm using the convention of "^w" to mean "control-W".) To show
the same sequence of commands as one line, sans explanation, you'd type:


Once you've got your selection, you can manipulate it as a group by
prefixing the usual Pine commands with an 'a'. So, to save all of the
messages, instead of hitting 's', you'd type 'as'. To delete them all,
you'd hit 'ad' instead of just 'd'. To bounce them all to a backup
account, hit 'ab' instead of 'b'. Et cetera.

But then, there are luddites out there that don't like to use Pine for
some reason, as wonderful as it is... :) 

The other way to do this would be, as noted in a different response, to
use either your mail client or Procmail to filter mail into different
folders, and find a way to rotate out older mail. This helps, but even
still if your BLU mailbox gets to be hundreds of mails then you're back in
the same situation you were in to begin with. 

Really, the best way to do this sort of thing is to figure out how to use
the capabilities or your mail client. That gets around distracting issues
like mail storage format, etc, and just lets you work within the tool that
you prefer. 

What mail client are you using, anyway?

Chris Devers

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