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Thoughts about e-mail - in 2020

Posted by: Ferenc Veres on January 3, 2020 02:38:18 PM +00:00(2416 Reads)

I've been reading Pine manual when found some interesting recommendations. So much interesting at time of writing, 1998 as of today in 2020 . Especially in today's world of privacy (or lack of thereof).

I'll quote a few things from Pine (Alpine) manual. My point is that people keep mails forever and I don't want my mails to stay in your mailbox forever. There is a period after they are not relevant. And that's very short for most of my e-mails. Your e-mails too. Consider deleting them and clearing Trash (referred as expunge in the article below).

Pine mail program:

Screenshot of console based Pine mail software main menu

Keeping Folders Clean

Messages - whether they are in your INBOX or your other Pine folders - occupy storage space, and your storage space is limited.

  • Check your email frequently to see if you have new messages. Do not keep too many messages in your INBOX folder. A large INBOX reduces performance: it takes longer to display large lists of messages when you start Pine, and it requires more time to move between messages. Delete your incoming messages right away if you do not want them, or save them to other folders if you do. See "Saving a Message".
  • Routinely delete obsolete messages from all of your Pine folders.
  • You will get a message via Pine at the end of each month asking you about your sent-mail folders. First it asks you if you want to rename (and thus save) your current sent-mail folder. Then it asks if you want to delete any sent-mail folders (and all the messages they contain) from previous months and the current month. To conserve space, it is a good idea to delete any sent-mail folders you do not want.

Saving a Message

When you save a message to another folder, you are given a choice: you can store it in the saved-messages folder, or you can specify another folder. Once you save a message, the copy in your INBOX folder automatically is marked for deletion so that you only will have one copy. When you quit Pine, you are asked to confirm whether or not you want to expunge the copy from the INBOX folder. To conserve space, it is a good idea to do this.


Deleting a Message

You keep your Pine folders clean by routinely deleting messages you do not want.


Guidelines for Using Email

Electronic mail is a unique medium of communication. Messages can be replied to or forwarded with speed and ease, and email has the potential to reach a wide audience. These features can also be misused. There are a few basic guidelines for the responsible use of email that can help you avoid common mistakes while you enjoy the full benefits of this technology.

The privacy of an email message cannot be guaranteed. An email message may be forwarded, printed, or permanently stored by any recipient. Email can be misdirected, even when you are careful. Do not put something in an email message that you would not want read by everybody. And if you receive a message intended for someone else, let the sender know.

Email does not show the subtleties of voice or body language. Avoid attempts at irony or sarcasm. The most effective email is short, clear, and relevant. If you receive a message that makes you upset, do not respond immediately, and in any case, avoid "flaming," that is, sending an angry or rude message.

Email Tips

As you use email, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Email is easily forwarded to someone else. Although this is convenient, it is not always appropriate. If you are unsure, ask the sender before you forward a message.
  • Email replies may go to more people than you realize. When replying to a message be sure to look at the list of recipients, especially addresses of mailing lists, which may redistribute your message to dozens or hundreds of individuals.
  • Email can be junk mail, so avoid unnecessary proliferation of messages.
  • Email takes up computer space, so delete messages you no longer need.
  • The integrity of an email message cannot be guaranteed. If a received message seems out of character for the sender, double-check before taking it seriously.
  • Email is meant for informal correspondence as well as scholarly and scientific communications. You should not use email for official record purposes where a memo would be required (e.g., personnel actions, organization changes, contracts, and policy statements).
  • Email should not be considered private. Confidential information should not be sent by email.


Getting Started With Email Using Pine

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