I use Google’s Gmail for mailing lists I’m subscribed to, for the following reasons:
- This keeps mail from mailing lists out of my main mailbox so I’m not distracted when I’m only interested in important (urgent) mail.
- It provides a lot of space – currently 2.8 GB. I’m currently using 11% – so I don’t have to worry about deleting any mail.
- This means if I see something interesting on one of the mailing lists, I don’t have to worry about bookmarking it or finding it again – I just archive it in the confidence that I can search for it again. (Assuming I can remember that it ever existed…)
Whenever I come across a mail that doesn’t particularly interest me, I archive it straight away. However, when this mail gets replies from other list participants it comes back to my Inbox. It seemed the only way to get it to disappear permanently was to create a filter for that subject – quite a few steps and not really worth doing. It’s easier to just hit ‘y’ and archive the thread when it comes back to my Inbox.
Finally however I learned a better trick:
If you’re subscribed to a mailing list, you’ve no doubt been subjected to the ‘thread that just won’t die!’ If you’re part of a long message conversation that isn’t relevant, you can ‘mute’ the conversation to keep all future additions out of your inbox.
By using the ‘m’ shortcut key, new messages added to the conversation bypass your inbox so that the conversation stays archived. If your address appears in the to or cc field, though, the conversation will pop back into your inbox ready for your attention.
This is very handy, especially for the CLUG lists.
Unfortunately, despite my optimistic title, Gmail would only be perfect if there were no privacy concerns – however for mailing lists, which are public anyway, I am now happier!