Spring Clean Your Mailbox

I'm not immune from Exchange server warnings that my mailbox is approaching the limit. Time to clean it out again.

This is the checklist I follow to get it done:

I realize some of these folders need an explanation, something I promise to write about soon.

With the exception of the last two items, the list is in ascending order of difficulty and descending order of payoff. That way, I can still get things down to size quickly, even if I don't make it all the way through the list.

I consider this a critical part of my personal 5S program.

On a related note, our technology team thought hard about the appropriate limit for mailbox sizes. If the limit is too low, users end up saving almost everything as a PST. This creates records management and backup issues. And IT should be solving problems, not passing them along to users.

But if the limit is too high, we end up saving too much data on the Exchange server and users feel little pressure to manage their email -- until, that is, it gets really out of hand.

And limits are relative. A heavy email user runs up against the limits sooner.

We decided on 750 MB per user, with warnings beginning at 600 MB.

I get between 100 and 300 email messages daily. I also use Tasks and Calendar extensively. I don't store any documents in my mailbox, except attachments, and I try to keep those kinds of saved messages to a minimum. Keeping my mailbox below 600 MB feels about right, and a well organized mailbox runs around 300 MB to 400 MB. Although I regularly manage my inbox, the upper limit provides some incentive to clean out less frequently used folders, such as my junk e-mail folder and rule storage folders.

It's actually helpful to have this reminder that storage isn't infinite (yet).

D. Mark Jackson

Bookmark and Share