Friday, 16 October 2009


At work we talked today about greening the email process, with some reporting that they are forced to print emails unnecessarily because they don’t have time to organize their Outlook, and consequently fill up their allotted space. Courtesy of my good friends in I.T., here are some easy steps they suggested to avoid needless printing.

Use the tools available in Outlook, starting with “off-line”.

1. Your “Deleted Items” file is taking up space. The Solution? Set up your email to empty the “Deleted Items” folder upon exiting. This way all deleted emails are permanently deleted every time you exit Outlook. Tip: The downside of this is if you use your “Deleted Items” folder as storage instead of the trash bin it’s meant to be, you may lose important emails. Just use your offline for storage instead – read on…

2. You’re so darned popular! You can’t get to the huge amount of emails you receive daily as fast as you’d like to. The Solution? Create a “rule” to move emails or a certain size, or from certain people to an off-line folder and sort your emails from there. You might title it “sort” or something like that.

3. Size matters! You don’t get many emails but somehow you still fill up your allowable space. The Solution? Consider the size of your emails, not the amount of emails in your inbox and sent folder. One decent sized attachment can take up a disproportionate amount of allowable space.

4. Empty your “sent” file! You may empty your deleted file regularly, but you still get the “mailbox over limit” message. Consider this – if you forward an email you have received with an attachment it is now taking up the same amount of space twice – in your inbox and in your sent file. Tip: try sorting your emails by size, then move / delete / deal with the largest emails first. Make a point of regularly checking your “sent” file then file offline or delete sent emails.

5. Who cares who read what? If you’re tracking read or deleted emails you’re filling up your inbox with “read” receipts or “deleted” notices. Do you really need to know that I deleted your heartwarming “fwd: This will make you cry” email two minutes after you sent it to me? Do you really want to know that I deleted it without reading it? Really?

6. You’re not using your off-line. The solution? Start using it. We’re not getting any more space on our Outlook, they’re not growing trees fast enough for the paper we’re printing, and they’ve run out of decent plot lines (if they ever had them) so there isn’t going to be another “Fast and Furious” sequel. These are painful truths. Deal with it.

"It is estimated that 97 billion e-mails whisk through cyberspace every day. And according to GreenPrint Technologies, despite 20th century predictions of a paperless office, North Americans use enough sheets every year to build a 10-foot-high wall that would stretch from New York to Tokyo and beyond..."