Emails are great. But there are a lot of them. And if you are like me you want to save each and every email, just in case.

In MS Office I used to have a huge folder structure where I archived my emails. To get the email into the folder I would drag & drop the email inside Outlook, and every now and then I would drop the email into the wrong folder without realising my mistake. That email would never be found again.

Another problem with the folder structure is to know which folder to put it in. For example, an email from our marketing company, Angel, should it be moved to the “Angel” folder or the “Marketing” folder?

Also, my replies to those emails are stored in a different folder, the “Sent Mail” folder. This made it very difficult to know exactly what was said.

Enter Google’s Archive

Google has a great button called “Archive”. When I have finished with an email I click this magic button, and the email disappears from my Inbox, and is safely tucked away under a folder called “All Mail”.

The “Archive” button is fantastic, but the “All Mail” folder quickly grows in size, and now and then I need to find an old email to see what was said. This is where Google’s search comes into the picture.

Enter Google’s Search

Google Mail is great for searching. Whenever I need to refer to an old email I type my search terms into the search box. I always remember something from the email, e.g. who sent it, which company sent it, some words or terms used in the email, etc.

Touch wood, but so far I have quickly found any emails I have looked for.Without maintaining a humongous folder structure.

Also, Google thinks of emails in a different way. They call them conversations, and store both received and sent emails together. So, when I find the email from Angel I also find my reply on the same page. Makes it easy to know exactly where we left off our conversation.

So, if you are still stuck in Microsoft Office I really recommend that you have a look at Google Apps and move your emails over to a clever system.

By the way, I don’t get paid by Google for this, unfortunately.