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I've always kept my personal email, both sent and received. I look on what I said and what other people said as worth preserving. But I've become aware that some people don't. My sister, for example, purges a lot of hers.

I realize that it depends on the content of the exchange -- "Are you the person I lent 'The Vegetarian Feast' to?" "No, sorry!" -- as to whether it's worth preserving, and perhaps I am more in the habit of firing off random thoughts at work during the day than some other people are. (I do spend nearly all my daylight hours in front of a computer, during the week: now that I think about it, my principle correspondent is also a knowledge worker.) But I value my exchanges with my various correspondents, and like to keep them.

What about you? Do you keep your personal email, or regularly purge it?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 17th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
I still have Outlook PSTs dating back to whenever I started using Outlook Express. I can get to any of it in short order, although I've been using Gmail for years. I adore Gmail. I just archive away, and search if I need it, and I don't feel any pressure to delete or purge anything.
Jul. 21st, 2009 11:36 pm (UTC)
I sometimes futz with moving mail back and forth between archive folders, but really there's no point. I have disk space enough for all my personal mail.

I've made the move completely to Gmail, even though I'm still managing it from client programs. I finally turned off my ISP accounts yesterday.
Jul. 18th, 2009 12:16 am (UTC)
I have every e-mail I've ever received (spam excepted)--both at home and at work. But sent mail...I'm not nearly so vigilant about keeping it. Oddly, I tend not to go back and re-read them, but I find comfort in knowing they're there.
Jul. 21st, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
I enjoy going back and reading old mail -- there are jokes I forgot about, good lines from various people, and it serves as sort of a barometer for how things were at that time. (I read my collection of S.'s mail from right after his grandmother died, when he was up north trying to dispose of her things -- very very grim.)
Jul. 18th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
I keep everything. Every. Single. Thing. (Except for personal e-mails sent from and received at my work address. Those get purged regularly.)
Jul. 21st, 2009 11:38 pm (UTC)
I keep almost everything, except sometimes little exchanges of the type I quoted, that ask and answer an unimportant question. But I keep everything else.
Jul. 18th, 2009 09:40 am (UTC)
Wow, what a lot of sentimental people! But then you must send and receive more eloquent emails than I do. ;) I have copy pasted a few IM's though. My friends and family are more about the mail forwards and quick memo-style notes than anything else. You should see my greeting card box though. Scary.
Jul. 21st, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
Ah, you see, I only use IM at work. Nobody I know uses it! Or if they do, they've never suggested it.

I think my friends and I tend to send each other blog post-style emails, giving the view from their desks as of that moment and things that have happened recently. Those are fun to re-read.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )