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    I tried searching for my answer but didn't find what I was looking for, so I apologize if this has been covered.

    I'm also only half-way through the book but wanted to start getting a handle on my email between opportunities to read. And I guess this is more a matter of opinion, than hard fact (unless it's covered later in the book).

    My situation is that I have a few email addresses: a Yahoo address that I've had for 12 years and everyone knows me at, a Gmail address that was used for a specific purpose the last few years but I'm considering using more now due to my Android phone, and then a few others that aren't worth mentioning. I have work email, too, but if I receive something personal that I want to follow-up on later, I always forward it to one of the two web mail accounts.

    In regards to the Yahoo account, I also have Outlook on my home PC connected to this, which I launch every once in a while to download and archive the emails. I don't know why I thought it would be better/more secure this way but, at the time, I did. Now, however, I'm wondering if I should be leaving my emails server-side so that I can access them from anywhere (work, home, phone, etc).

    So that, if I haven't confused you, is my question. Do y'all leave your personal/web-based emails on the server and organize them accordingly there, or do you download them all to Outlook (or another centralized utility) and only work on them from home?

    Thank you for your insight

  • #2
    Web for me

    Since they give gigabytes of storage now, I just leave them there - mostly so I don't have to deal with them - it simplifies my life. And as a benefit, they are easily accessible from anywhere.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ceezer View Post
      IDo y'all leave your personal/web-based emails on the server and organize them accordingly there, or do you download them all to Outlook (or another centralized utility) and only work on them from home?
      I am very opposed to cloud based apps. I use Apple Mail and I download all mail from the server from all 12 of my separate e-mail accounts to it every 5 minutes whenever my machine is running. I find having one place to process the e-mail is critical for me and so I do it on one main computer even though I handle a bunch of separate e-mail accounts.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ceezer View Post

        So that, if I haven't confused you, is my question. Do y'all leave your personal/web-based emails on the server and organize them accordingly there, or do you download them all to Outlook (or another centralized utility) and only work on them from home?
        I have three main email accounts. They are all imap accounts so my mail is synchronized with local store on 5 different devices. Plus I have web access to all accounts and a unified Inbox. Everything that I save goes into the archive file for that year. If an email has value beyond archival, it also goes into Evernote (reference and support) and/or Omnifocus. Both programs support links to the original email that works from all 3 computers I use. Both programs have local store and cloud sync. So I have it all. But I do not keep highly confidential information in any of these.

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        • #5
          Not an answer but.....

          ... what works for you?

          The people who leave it in the cloud will give you reasons which have to do with the benefit of cloud based apps - accessable anywhere, heaps of space, no need to backup etc.

          The people who insist on local will talk about security, and argue that it turns multiple accounts into a single local account (which can be done with cloud apps but means you need to assign/create a "funnel" account which is the end target of all your mail).

          The biggest need is to minimise the collection buckets (which I am in the middle of working out). This doesnt have to mean cloud or local - it just means think about ways to make the number of buckets a smaller number where you can.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
            I am very opposed to cloud based apps.
            Whys that then?

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            • #7
              Thanks, y'all. I said I used Outlook as an archive tool, and that was my original purpose in using it, but that's not quite as true today. Two years ago I started to 'declutter' my life - donating my enormous book collection, giving away things I didn't need or use anymore, etc - and carried that over to my digital life about 6-9 months ago. Although very detailed and meticulously organized, 900+ bookmarks were a burden, especially when I could find anything I wanted with a quick search, so I eliminated all but a handful of frequently used links.

              Then I got to my email... I had to convince myself that I didn't need to keep copies of old conversations (I realized I'll never re-read them, so look forward to *new* conversations), old transactions/receipts (If the items arrived and were in good condition, what good is a tracking number?), etc. I deleted everything except for a couple dozen emails relating to some genealogy work I was doing, and a couple dozen 'reminders' I sent myself but haven't gotten around to.

              I didn't realize it until now, but the way I've approached emails since then is almost similar to the GTD method. Now when email arrives:
              - If it's something sent as a form of conversation (text, link to check out, joke, etc), then if it requires a response I'll do so immediately, and if I'm expecting a response back then I'll save their prior email as a reminder (when the 2nd comes, I delete the first if the 2nd has the original text as part of the response); if it doesn't require a response, I delete it upon reading
              - If it's a tracking number, then I save it until the item arrives. If it's a receipts of purchase, then I also usually delete these once the item arrives. That's because I'm not going to bother with trying to return/ship a low-cost item if it later defects. High-cost purchases are usually done at sites like Newegg, Amazon, etc, where I can always go into my account and reference/print purchase orders if necessary.
              - If it's a reminder from myself then I leave it in my Inbox until I get around to it (I put a description in the Subject so I can leave it marked unread and already know what it's about). If, after a week or so, I haven't gotten to it yet, then I move it to a folder to check later.

              In essence, I no longer hold on to anything if I don't need to. It's one small step I can take to help simplify this crazy life of mine!

              I'm sorry to bore you with all these details... I guess I was half-explaining my situation to you, half-thinking out-loud.

              Because I no longer accumulate emails I have no need to archive, so there's no purpose in my downloading them locally to Outlook. I didn't know if doing so would increase productivity by offering GTD-like abilities that weren't available through web mail.

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              • #8
                Where to even start

                Originally posted by bishblaize View Post
                Whys that then?
                Three main areas:

                Security - I assume that all data stored anywhere in a cloud system is or will be accessible to various entities if they choose to access it. Encryption notwithstanding there is no way to secure private data. I operate under the assumption that all data that is stored on a server somewhere can be read and accessed. Major security breaches in high profile targets have happened and that doesn't even count the minor security breaches. Having been the victim of identity theft and credit card theft I am overly concerned about the issues with access to my private data. I won't even use on-line banking because of that problem.

                Access - In a given 24 hour period there is a very high probability that I will be in a situation without access to the cloud. And there is also a chance that I will need the data at that time. Case in point, I'm out in a field with a sick sheep and need to calculate the correct dose of drug. No net access to my notes on the dosage, no phone access to a vet even if there was one who would work on a sheep. I must have my data with me or not at all. Lack of access is common in rural areas. We have Sprint phones because they have the best tower system in our hilly area. Verizon can only be received if you are over 6 ft tall and stand on top of a particular stump in the yard. ATT is ok on our mesa but not down in town less than 2 miles away. Sprint has some holes as you travel up and around the mesas too and all access dies between our town and the next town. I can walk around town (only a couple blocks wide in each direction) and depending on where I am and the trees and buildings in the way I either will or will not get access.

                Control - I cannot abide by having mission critical data in the control of another company or entity that I have little or no say over. I won't leave e-mail on a server because the longer it's in the control of systems I do not control the more at risk it is for security breaches. I don't trust the backups and assurances of systems I can't even access or manage whereas I do trust my own ability to do proper backups.

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                • #9
                  All of my accounts forward to my gmail address, and all the addresses are set up in "Send Mail As" in gmail's settings with "Reply from the same address the message was sent to" turned on.

                  Marcia

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                    Three main areas:
                    Thanks for the detailed answer. It is food for thought for all of us, and it's making me rethink leaving too much in the clouds.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Oogiem View Post
                      Three main areas:
                      All fair enough I would say. Like many things I suppose it depends on your personal situation. Living in the heart of London the idea that I wouldn't have internet access is kind of unthinkable so that isnt a concern.

                      RE security, well I guess it depends on where you put the risk. From my point of view running a small charity in a high crime area in one of the most deprived parts of South London, I have to deal with the far greater risk that our stuff might go walkabout. We have backups of course but we cant afford the multiple redundancies that, say, a large bank could do. From our point of view backing up our data online too is a no-brainer. Yes there's risk of it being abused or lost, but its greatly outweighed in a probability sense by the risk of our stuff being stolen, which sadly has happened three times in the last 10 years.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bishblaize View Post
                        the idea that I wouldn't have internet access is kind of unthinkable ..... I have to deal with the far greater risk that our stuff might go walkabout.
                        Lack of access to communications infrastructure is common over much of Western United States. We can go a hundred miles with no cell phone at all unless you have a satt. phone and the mountains and canyons make even GPS and satt. based systems give up the ghost. Plus the reliability of infrastructure in the rural west is also problematic. While our electricity is fairly good, telephone can be out for hours or days at a time, surprisingly internet is often the best way to connect but only because we personally have a tower for our ISP on our farm and only from the main house. The narrow area where phones and internet work is a thin strip along the river. Go even 5 miles up into the mountains and nothing at all will work. Our water reservoir is 10 miles away, we have to visit it regularly, the head gate is about 4 miles away and no phone coverage there either. So I am used to dealing with whatever data I might need has to be on my person because I can't count on being able to access stuff elsewhere.

                        Rural risk is rarely theft of major stuff. After all we have 4 big dogs, guns and the legal right to shoot anyone threatening us. Plus as one local joke goes, most of us have backhoes and know how to use them. All joking aside, other than the meth addicts trying to steal tools and the fairly frequent sheep and cattle rustling crime is rare in the rural areas of my state. We do have problems with theft of water, in a drought year the biggest cause of trips to the emergency room of the local hospital is shovel injuries from people fighting over water but property theft is very rare. Most folks leave houses unlocked and it's common to have people drop things off in the house for you or pick up stuff as needed.

                        The risk of someone getting your private data and managing to ruin your credit, drain your bank account and run up huge bills is high, esp. because most people don't go shopping or use their account regularly, we typically shop once a month, we can go a whole bank cycle before we notice any problems and a lot of our transactions are barter or cash. Data theft and backup issues are much bigger risks here compared to the risks in a city.

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                        • #13
                          I'm not downloading my mails in outlook. I just open it in yahoo mail or gmail. I am very confident that my mails are secure and I make sure to manage them well for security.

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                          • #14
                            I used to run Outlook at home but after moving to iPhone, I found that managing my POP3 email accounts a pain - I was always cleaning up mail that I've read on the iPhone when I got back ontot the latop.

                            I tried Windows Live Mail (aka Hotmail) but for reasons only known to Microsoft it doesn't work well with the iPhone and nor does it work well with their Outlook Connector.

                            So I dumped Outlook and moved over to GMail which can pull mail from my old POP3 accounts at the ISP and also from Windows Live Mail. I can access it anywhere (at home on the laptop, at work, etc) and GMail also works beautifully with the iPhone. So no matter where I am, I can sort out my email once without any need to clean up when I get home.

                            I love cloud-based services.

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