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Re: [Orgmode] automatically convert email inbox into TODO's?

From: Eric S Fraga
Subject: Re: [Orgmode] automatically convert email inbox into TODO's?
Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2011 23:47:16 +0000
User-agent: Gnus/5.110011 (No Gnus v0.11) Emacs/24.0.50 (gnu/linux)

Bill Jarrold <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi,
> Emails in ones inbox can be viewed as TODO's.

I can't help you in your question of converting emails to TODOs but I
can say that some (including myself) will argue that using emails as a
todo list is the wrong thing to do and leads to disaster (as I think you
are finding if you have 1000s of emails sitting there).

2 or so years ago, I was in the same situation.  When I hit >2000
"emails as todo items" in my inbox, I knew something was wrong.  I
switched to a 0 inbox approach with org mode.  Every email is processed
when I read it.  Most get dismissed (and I use gnus which automatically
expires my emails with an expiry period that depends on what folder the
messages are in); the ones that require action are either handled
immediately (by doing something and responding) or are converted to an
org todo item by simply highlighting the whole message ("h C-x h" in
gnus) and doing an org capture with a todo type (C-c c t).

The key, however, is to ensure you have a good automated mail splitting
approach which means you only have to read the emails you expect to read
at any particular time.  I use gnus to split my incoming mail but I used
to use procmail and then maildrop.  Mail gets sorted into a number of
folders (~6) including workplace ones, mailing lists (like this one),
hobbies, family, etc.

Anyway, I hope some of this helps.  It has helped me: my mail folders
now typically have a handful of "ticked" emails acting as todo items
(there is always the odd exception to any set of rules...) but no more.
Org is necessary for this and I couldn't have moved to this approach
without it.

: Eric S Fraga (GnuPG: 0xC89193D8FFFCF67D) in Emacs
: using Org-mode version 7.4 (release_7.4.231.ge879)

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