I've hardly met a person who doesn't save too many emails.
Regardless of whether your email hoarding numbers in the tens or the thousands you are still probably keeping things you should delete and forget about.
It has become easier to hoard emails over the years but as I have mentioned in previous blogs posts this usually ends up biting us on the backside.
The more emails you have the harder it is to back them up, store them logically and move them to a new computer or service when (not if) the time comes.
I was prompted to put my two pennies in by this article:
It is talking about emails stored in Gmail. But if you are using an email client (app) like Outlook or Thunderbird or Mac Mail then the need to delete ruthlessly is amplified.
Email clients/app's are terrible and fragile (in my experience). So the less you store in them the better.
The questions I often ask my clients are:
1) Have you ever looked back at any of these (thousands of) emails?
2) How far back did you actually look? 6 months, a year, 3 years?
3) Is there a legal reason for keeping all this?
4) What is it you really want to keep?
The answer usually lands way short of what is currently being saved and how to deal with them often lands outside of the emails themselves.
Of course I am not saying delete all emails...but I do know some folks who do that. They read them and delete them.
For them email is of no importance. An empty in-box is more important. I have to say, it is kind of weird to see but I am also a little jealous when I do see it.
These days most of our important communication happens through email - bank statements, insurance renewals etc. etc. It all comes via email instead of snail-mail...and that's a good thing.
So you are going to have to carefully save and backup these emails...and then seriously conside deleting all the rest.
If you are saving jokes, pictures, articles etc. you need to consider that almost anything can be retrieved through a simple Google search. If you really fancy "seeing it again" then just Google it when you need to. I can tell you that you'll probably NEVER find it among your old emails!
Here is a previous blog post that may help you with this: https://www.ihatemypc.com.au/post/how-to-backup-your-gmail-and-other-email-too-aiming-for-an-empty-in-box
There is a strategy I haven't mentioned though.
It's the "I'll keep doing what I am doing and if it all crashes I'll just start again" strategy.
That's fine if you can wrap your head around it, but it still begs the question as to why you are saving so much stuff that you are then willing to lose completely in the blink of an eye?
It all just seems such a waste of time when life is so short.
Have fun. Delete emails. Go outside :-)