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I Went Back Through My Old Emails. It Was Glorious (nytimes.com)
25 points by danso 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

I wanted to clear my Gmail inbox but there's too much history, specifically conversations with my late father. I still tear up seeing old messages. I often wish I had voicemail and SMS stored like with email.

I'd definitely pay for something like that.

I'm sorry to hear that so many of you are agonizing about this, but it is totally unnecessary!

Storage space is so cheap and free now. And none of you have more emails than could fit on a $4 jumpdrive.

You can even just go to Google Takeout[1], and have it export all of your emails to your associated Google Drive account. You can store up to 15G. You don't even have to worry about finding a place to store it. Takes only a few minutes. And no time limit to download the archive from your Google Drive.

Why is this painful for any of you?? You can easily make a backup, AND also declutter your account.

I almost feel like some people are so committed to minimalism that they are forcing themselves to needlessly purge precious memories just to prove a point about how hardcore they are about throwing things out. So I feel bad bursting their bubble that this sacrifice is pointless.

[1]: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/3024190?hl=en

Like that famous dropbox post, people would rather pay for something.


I thought we would have automated voicemail transcription to email by now. At least let the audio of voicemail go to my Gmail inbox.

There is a great SMS backup+ app that Is open source on GitHub. But Google seem to keep blocking access. When it works it puts SMS archives into a Gmail folder.

Can recommend SMS backup+ as well. Reminded me that I should donate to it, since it's free and I've used it for years now.

In the 1990s when email was text, I kept all of my mail -- it was only a few megabytes per year. To this day I have a record of what I was doing from 1992 to 2000. It's really amazingly nostalgic to go through it, and sometimes sad as when reading e-mails from mentors who have since died.

I'm hitting that 97% point in my Gmail and starting to figure out how to clear out the crap that's accumulated since I got my address in early 2004. I want to just delete massive amounts based on filters, but I don't want to accidentally erase receipts or actual messages. Not sure what to do that isn't a massive time suck, nor do I want to pay Google.

Definitely pulled out some old memories when I go back that far into University days. It's hard going through 16 years thinking I never need to delete anything in case I want to look it up one day, but now I have to actually delete junk as it comes in.

Export via POP to make a permanent local archive, then delete en masse? Bonus: less for hackers if/when they breach your account.

Why don't you just spin up a local IMAP server and backup all your old Gmail onto it ? No need to loose history.

I found an instruction on how to use filters in order to make this less painful [0] which was helpful, to me at least (yeah, never bothered to investigate filters before ...).

The filters uses the gmail "query language" [1].

[0] https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/automatically-delete-old-...

[1] https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7190?hl=en

Sort by size and delete the big stuff you don't need to keep first. Deleting small emails in a sea of 15 GB won't help.

How do you sort by size in gmail?

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