29 May 2008

Delete, delete, de-lete

Good luck movin' up, 'cause I'm movin' out!
~Billy Joel, Movin Out, The Stranger

My G-Mail account had 596 contacts. 'Had' is the operative word there, but still. Do I even know 596 people? Sweet Goddess, how did that happen?

G-Mail has a bunch of features that are amazing; it was the first searchable e-mail, it stores e-mail as 'conversations' so that when you exchange 33 e-mails with your boss, there are not 33 new e-mails in your in-box, and it saves every single e-mail address you ever enter, every e-mail address that is on a distribution list when you receive a mass e-mail from one of your friends.

That last one is something I love to hate, because that, my friends, is how I ended up with 596 contacts.

Looking at that contacts list gave me a headache, because except for the folks that I imported originally from Hotmail when I switched, the names weren't entered properly, some e-mail addresses didn't have names attached to them at all, it wasn't in alphabetical order. (Gasp!)

It needed cleaned up, but I really didn't want to spend precious online time doing that. But I couldn't stand looking at it.

I use Evites for event invitations when and where I can, and I was cleaning up my e-vite address book after doing an import contacts, and that's when I noticed that the contacts list was so out of control that something needed done about it.

Who were these people? I didn't even recognize a handful of names. For a while at the non-profit job, HQ sent out mass e-mails to every director of a chapter in the United States. Oy. The directors loved it so much that they often had 3-5 e-mail exchanges going on, asking each other how to handle issues from unruly board members to PITA staff. While it made for fascinating reading most of the time, it got out of control, and eventually it calmed down as the novelty wore off, and as HQ set up a blog/message board where these conversations could take place.

That was the first batch of people that had to go. Except for the ones in this region, those whom I still exchange the occasional e-mail, delete, delete, delete. You, you, you, and you, gone! I selected about 80 addresses right off the bat but when I hit delete, G-Mail says, "Sorry. We can only delete 20 contacts at a time. Please select fewer contacts and try again." Grrrr! That's annoying.

Little by little, though, I got it cleaned up. After the initial mass deletions, there were 175 people left. Still, I'm not sure I know and more importantly, like 175 people. Cleaning up the list means it has to be done right and proper, names entered as lastname, firstname and if that person has multiple e-mail addresses, they need stored under ONE contact listing.

Which, of course, took hours to fix.

Hours as in it was ONE AM when I shut off the computer and went to bed.

When I went to bed, though, I had the list down to 139.

Perfect for a clean slate, a new start.


Well, I start a new job on Monday. Movin' up indeed.


Dawna said...

Woohoo! New job goodness!!

Lucy Arin said...

Yep, I am so thrilled. Can't write about it, but it is back into the non-profit world, at least.

I can't sit still I'm so excited. When I hung up the phone after the official job offer, I squee-d like a teenager for a while before I started doing all the stuff that needs done, like resigning from my current job, sending out mass e-mails, calling my DH, parents, sibs....