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Managing Mailing Lists

You should save the initial configuration email for each mailing list in a mailbox named after the list, and filter the actual list email into another mailbox.

When you join an Internet mailing list you should first create a mailbox to store the introductory configuration messages you receive with information about how to use the list, how to unsubscribe from the list, how to contact the list owner, and other important information. This data is often quite useful later, so you should have it conveniently filed away where you can easily access it, as described below:

  • Folder. Create an email folder called Mailing Lists, or something similar.
  • Mailbox. Create a mailbox in that folder named after each mailing list you join; for example, the folder for the list gardening@twenty.net could be Gardening.
  • Email. Store the introductory and other configuration emails from each mailing list in its corresponding folder, where it is out-of-the-way but quickly accessible when you need them.

For the same reasons, you should create a web browser bookmark folder called Mailing Lists with subsidiary folders named after each mailing list you join to store important web addresses related to your mailing lists for later easy reference.

Once you have set up email and browser folders a couple of times you will be able to do it easily and quickly. This small investment of time will often save you many minutes later when you need to access the information to unsubscribe or for related reasons, and provides the kind of convenience that enables you to manage several mailing lists at once.

Don't worry about using up your storage by creating multiple mailboxes and bookmark folders as you join new mailing lists over time. Mailboxes, email, and bookmarks don't take up much space compared to the size of modern computer hard drives, so the storage of this sort of useful information is exactly what disk drives are made for.

The next section describes the second essential technique to effortless management of mailing lists, filtering the list email into its own mailbox so it doesn't clutter up your inbox.
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