Email Guides and Essays
by Kaitlin Duck Sherwood,

  • Top Ten Tips for Overcoming Email Overload
  • Top Three Anti-Spam Filters

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    About Overcome Email Overload with Microsoft Outlook 2000 and Outlook 2002

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  • Overcome Email Overload

    What if You Use AOL?

    AOL has very limited features for dealing with large volumes of email. However, there is some good news.

    Most of My Books' Material Doesn't Depend On Your Email Program

    Each of my books has 11 chapters, only three of which depend heavily on your email program.

    Chapters 2 and 3 cover what may be the most important part of my books: how to set up filters to automatically organize and prioritize your messages. Filters take specified actions based on conditions you set. For example, you might set up a filter that moves all messages with "Viagra" in the subject lne to a "Probable Junk" folder.

    Chapter 4, Move Around Your Messages Quickly, is highly specific to what email program you use. It might not help you much, but it's not a critical chapter. While most chapters tell you how to be more effective by doing different things, this chapter tells you how to be more efficient by doing the same things better.

    The other chapters -- on how to reduce the amount of mail you get, spend less time on responses, write better (and hence get better) messages, and improve your organization -- have only bits and pieces here and there that are specific to your email program.

    You Can Use Claris Emailer (Mac) or Netscape 6.1+

    Bad news: AOL doesn't have filters at all. Good news: you can use Claris Emailer (Mac OS only, out of print) or Netscape (version 6.1 or later) to read your AOL email, and they both do have good facilities for handling lots of email. If you are willing to use Netscape 6.1 to read your email, here's how to set it up with AOL; see also What if You Use Netscape?

    You Might Be Able to Use Eudora

    I have heard of software from eNetBot that will translate from AOL mail to regular POP3 email. (POP3 is the technical name for the email standard that essentially all programs but AOL use.) If eNetBot works as claimed, you should be able to use Eudora, Netscape, Outlook 2002, Outlook 2000, Outlook Express, or any other POP3-compliant email program.

    You're probably thinking to yourself, "Ah, I'll use Outlook Express because I have it and it's free." Uh, you can do that if you want, but it's free for a reason -- it doesn't work well for everybody. OE's filters are limited enough that the only way it can group messages is to move them into different folders. Unfortunately, many people have trouble keeping track of their "to-do" messages when they are spread across several folders.

    I highly recommend Eudora. It's got oodles and oodles of features and is really good for people who get lots of email. It has a bunch of features that you probably won't care about, but if you read my Eudora book, it will tell you about the features you need while ignoring the ones you don't need.

    Kaitlin Duck Sherwood
    Updated 5 February 2002.