manage many mailing lists from across the Internet easily when they are
filtered into their own mailboxes.
The email filters section provides
information about using filters to perform automatic actions on incoming email.
One of the available actions is the ability to automatically move new email
into specified mailboxes, which is exactly
what is needed to manage multiple mailing lists so that they don't overwhelm
your Inbox. To set this up, carry out the following steps:
First create an email folder called "Mailing list traffic" or something
Mailbox. Create a mailbox in the folder created above for each mailing
list you join, and name it after the list. For example, the mailbox for the
could be named "Gardening" for easy identification.
Set a filter in your email application to automatically transfer the incoming
email from each list into its own mailbox. For example, if the email
Gardening list always has a "From" field
of "firstname.lastname@example.org", then you can create a filter like the following:
IF "From:" contains
THEN transfer to mailbox "Mailing Lists / Gardening".
Some mailing lists set the
"From:" field to the original sender of each email, not the mailing
it varies and can't be used for a filter trigger. In that case, usually
field is set to the mailing list name and can be used for the filter trigger
can set the filter to trigger if "any header" contains the mailing
list name. However, make sure that whatever you choose for the filter trigger
is completely unique to that list, so you won't filter non-list email
by mistake, which is why setting the trigger to the full email
address of the mailing list is usually the safest criteria.
If you join several mailing
lists, you can set up more than one kind of filter:
- Basic filters. Foundation filters
as described above to provide basic management of most of your lists.
- Current lists. For a few low volume and/or high interest lists -- such as a humor list that comes each morning, or a business letter that comes three times a week -- you might choose not to filter and let them continue
to arrive in your Inbox for immediate reading.
- Fine grain. Occasionally
for important matters you might set up a fine-grained filter to copy messages
with high-profile keywords into a separate mailbox for consolidated reading.
For example, if you are breeding championship
roses, then you might create a filter that copies any email from the gardening
list that contains the word "rose" anywhere in the message into
a top-level mailbox named "Roses". Or if you're writing a paper
on Mark Twain, you might filter any email containing the word "Twain" from
several literature mailing lists into a top level folder named "Twain".
These sophisticated filters might require use of boolean
logic to combine two or more conditions with the AND operator, and
often need to be moved to the beginning of the filter list so they get first
crack at all incoming email. An example of the rose filter is shown below:
IF "From:" contains "email@example.com"
AND anywhere contains "rose"
THEN transfer to mailbox "Roses".
These filtering techniques enable you to conveniently join many mailing lists,
even a dozen or more, since their messages no longer clutter up your Inbox.
you scan the messages in a mailing list mailbox and read the ones that look
interesting, you can select all the messages and then set their status to "read" with
one command with a menu item or right-click option with most email applications.
This usually turns the mailbox highlight off until new email arrives, which
helps you see at a glance which lists have new mail and which ones don't.
Because this technique is so convenient, you might build up hundreds
of unread messages in your filter mailboxes over time, so should periodically
review and delete old
messages that you no longer need. Most mailing lists maintain
archives that you can use to retrieve old messages
later if you really need to.