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Old 8th November 2006   #1
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Local folders and inbox in Thunderbird


I keep reading about how important it is to keep the contents of one's Inbox to a minimum, but before I start preaching to the friends I've converted to TB, I want to make sure that what I'm telling them is correct. The whole 'Local Folders' bit always confuses me - suffice it to say that for my purposes (and my friends') we're only talking about a single email account per computer.
Under "Folders", on the left side of my main TB screen, it says:
Local Folders - under that, are the following folders:
Inbox
Unsent
Drafts
Sent
Trash
keeper mail
registrations
to act on

The last 3 folders are obviously ones created by me - they're where I move stuff from my inbox when I want to keep certain emails. My rationale is that since these 3 folders aren't part of my Inbox, it's 'safe' to let stuff accumulate there. My Inbox typically contains <20 emails, but my "keeper mail" has close to 300 (some of them date back to 2001 - I don't look at them often, but I do want to keep them); the other two contain less than 50 between the two of them. Is this okay?
One of my friends has it set up so that her "keeper" folders show up as a subset of her Inbox - is that okay too, or is that the same as just filling up her inbox? Should I suggest that she relocate her folders so that they're not tied in with her Inbox at all - in other words, set it up the way I have on my own computer - or am I totally out to lunch on the subject?
I back up my TB profile regularly, but would I be better off archiving my older "keeper mail"?
Thanks!

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Old 8th November 2006   #2
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Rebecca,

It's fine to clear your Inbox to Local Folders. The primary use for Local Folders is for Newsgroup posts. However, using the folders for archiving is just fine. See this KB article for more detail: http://kb.mozillazine.org/Local_Fold..._Local_Folders

What I do is create an Archive subfolder under my Mail Account, and move messages to the Archive folder, and its subfolders as the Inbox becomes large. Then I burn the Mail Account which contains the Archive folder to CD, in such a way that I can access the messages on CD from within the TB Mail & Newsgroups. It's also possible to send Mail from the CD: Archive/Access Mail on CD

It's also not a problem for your friend to create subfolders of the Inbox, but I've always felt better creating the subfolders under the Mail Account.

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Old 8th November 2006   #3
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From that first link of yours, Ramona:
"If you use Thunderbird's Global Inbox for your POP3 e-mail accounts, your mail for those accounts will be downloaded into Local Folders."
Whenever I've installed TB, I've always accepted all the basic defaults. We all have POP3 email accounts (through our ISP, Bell Sympatico), so I'm guessing Global Inbox is the default? Neither I nor any of the folks whose computers I help out on knows the first thing about newsgroups, so we're not likely to run into conflicts between newsgroup email and personal email.
Just for the sake of enlightenment, for the next time I set someone up with TB, at what point during installation would I do something differently such that "Local Folders" wouldn't be the default location for POP3 email accounts?
Thanks!

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Old 8th November 2006   #4
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Hi Rebecca,

The information you're looking for is found on the third page (Server Information) of the Account Wizard, which opens shortly after you run TB for the first time after installing it.

That's where you enter the names of your POP and SMTP servers, but be sure to Uncheck "Use Global Inbox (store mail in Local Folders)", which is checked by default.

If you've entered all the other required information correctly, you'll have a named account folder with an inbox, as well as the Local account. You can create as many subfolders in the Inbox and Sent folders as you like.

For an existing TB installation, even if you've used the default setting and left "Use Global Inbox (store mail in Local Folders)" checked, you've still established a named account, even though it isn't displayed when using the Global (Local Folder) Inbox.

It's easy to switch to that named account in the Advanced Account Settings window, accessed with the "Advanced" button at Tools > Account Settings... > Server Settings. Then, after closing and reopening TB, any mail in the Local Folders can be moved to the named account simply by highlighting the messages, right-clicking on them, selecting "Move To", and choosing the desired folder.

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Old 9th November 2006   #5
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Rebecca,

I have been using Thunderbird for a single e-mail account for some time and I like it very much. I have created three subfolders to my Inbox. I set up filters so that incoming e-mail that meets certain criteria - sender, subject, etc - goes directly into the specific Inbox subfolder. That way I can quickly look at new e-mail that goes directly into the subfolders. From there, I move any e-mail I want to save to archive folders that I have created under Local Folders - similar to the last three you use. Don't know if this will help you any but it is one way to keep the Inbox a little less cluttered and to quickly find new e-mail for certain topics.

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Old 9th November 2006   #6
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Thank you Jim and Virginia!
Looks like I have some experimenting to do whenever I have a big enough chunk of time next. I'll be sure to post back if I have further questions or difficulties.

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Old 9th November 2006   #7
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Rebecca,

Here is a good place to start, if you're interested in filtering messages. It is definitely a terrific TB option: Filters (Thunderbird). There are Tutorials included...

Organizing and Finding Messages (Thunderbird)

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