REMOVING GMAIL BLOAT

Gmail’s slogan was always “don’t delete.” The idea was to archive all messages and use Gmail’s excellent search function to restore them later. With seven gigabytes of storage, who would ever run out?

We would. We’re at 70 percent of our Gmail storage capacity. That would be 100 percent if we hadn’t evolved a system for handing inbox bloat. Here are our favorite tips.

1. Click “create a filter.” Then choose the kind of message that can skip the inbox and go right into a folder, which in Gmail is called a label. Later, if you “remove label,” you can also remove all the conversations associated with that label, which is akin to emptying a folder in Microsoft Outlook. In our inboxes, all email from Mary Schmidt goes right into the Mary Schmidt folder. When we no longer needs those messages, we can delete them in one fell swoop by choosing “remove label.”

2. Do a search on words like “Plaxo” or “Amazon” that are likely to contain notifications you no longer need to save. Then delete all.

3. Do a search by date and delete all messages from three years ago.

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