Section VI - Managing Your Mail (Folders)


Why Do I Need to Manage My Mail?

Managing your mail is important for several reasons. It is very easy to save mail to folders. (A folder is a container of messages, just like a physical folder is a container of papers.) This makes tracking a long message chain easier.

The second reason is that mail you receive will never go away unless you tell it to. So if you don't delete or save your messages, your mailbox will keep growing. This causes two problems. First, you may find that, after 100 or so messages, Pine gets slower. Second, unneeded messages in your mailbox can waste disk storage space.

How Do I Manage My Mail?

Pine allows you to manage your mail in two ways. First, you may save your mail into multiple folders. Folders allow you to separate your messages by subject, person, topic, or any other criterion. The management of folders is discussed below.

The second way to manage your mail is by removing old messages that are no longer needed. For the most part, such pruning requires individual initiative. In a few cases, however, Pine is able to assist by offering to delete an entire folder that it has reason to suspect is obsolete. For instance, it is possible (by means of Pine's default-fcc configuration setting) to have Pine accumulate in a folder copies of every message you send. This folder tends to grow rapidly! Moreover, a month or more later the archived messages have probably served their purpose. Therefore, after the start of a new month, if you are using a default-fcc, Pine offers first to rename your folder by appending the past month and year to its name, and then to remove the renamed folder altogether. For example, if you archive your outgoing mail in a folder called sent-mail, then if you invoke Pine on May 1, 1994 you will be asked if you want to move your sent-mail folder to sent-mail-apr-1994; if so, you will then be asked if you want to delete sent-mail-apr-1994 and any "older brethren" such as sent-mail-mar-1994. This scheme can help manage the size of your archives of outgoing mail.

Pine will offer to prune your read-message-folder (another configuration option) in the same way.

How Do I Manage My Folders?

You can create, delete, move, view, and perform other actions on your folders. This discussion will only cover viewing, switching, creating and deleting folders.

When you are in the MAIN MENU or the FOLDER INDEX screen, you can press L to view a list of your folders. The following is a FOLDER LIST screen:

FIGURE 6: The FOLDER LIST Screen

As you can see, this screen lists all of the folders that you own. Here are a few functions that you can perform at this screen:

Add (A)
This function allows you to add a new folder. You can create a folder from the FOLDER INDEX and VIEW MESSAGE screens as well. You do not need to explicitly create a folder in order to save to it: When you choose the Save option, and specify a folder name, Pine will check to see if the folder exists. If the folder does not exist, Pine will ask if you want to create a new folder with the name you gave.
Delete (D)
This function deletes a folder and all of the messages in it. Be careful when using this function. Once you delete a folder, it is gone forever. Note: You cannot delete the special folder INBOX.
Rename (R)
You can rename your folders. Note: You cannot rename the special folder INBOX.
View Folder (V)
When you select a folder with a your selection bar, the View function will move you directly into the FOLDER INDEX Screen. Note: This is the default command, so you can also press the Return key to view a folder.

There is one special folder in the list: your INBOX. This is a special folder because it represents your new mail. You are not permitted to delete or rename your INBOX.


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