Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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E-mail Expiry Date

Deletes itself when it is past its prime.
  (+5, -4)
(+5, -4)
  [vote for,

Having returned to work to find 200 new messages waiting for me (not including the spam), and seeing that 1/3rd are outdated or time sensitive: they need an expiry date.

The sender puts a time stamp that causes the e-mail to delete itself from the server if not read within 'x' amount of time. For example: "Going Away Lunch for Bob Today!" is not something I need to see or know about 7 days after the event.

rbl, Mar 04 2002

Code it http://msdn.microso...endNotification.asp
Can't find a link, but its in your Outlook help somewhere. But I did find that you can script it in VBScript. That is, if you send email by coding each one with CDO rather than using a client app... [mcscotland, Mar 04 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Now in the latest version of Microsoft Office. http://www.silicon....6.html?nl=d20031021
(New version of Office and Outlook to be released 21 Oct 2003). Time for bookworm (and me) to be incredibly upset (or just use someone else's product that doesn't support this feature). [st3f, Oct 17 2004]


       Baked in Outlook. Just so long as the sender includes the expiry date.
mcscotland, Mar 04 2002

       this is brilliant if possible. MY FRIENDS answer me straight away - absentees - you know who you are! but the rest needs a - use by date - croissant rbl
po, Mar 04 2002

       Half-baked; I had and deleted this idea a while ago...Still think it's a good one, though.
StarChaser, Mar 04 2002

       ....which explains why I couldn't find it. My other option is to note all the people that send pointless e-mail 85% of the time and direct them to recycling. They may object, then I'd have to deal with them in person.
rbl, Mar 04 2002

       Baked in MS exchange, too. I just tried it. It's buried under Properties, and Send Options.
lumpy, Mar 04 2002

       It was called 'E-expiration date', I think. Rbl, I wasn't blaming you for not having found something that wasn't there...Was more agreeing that it was a good idea...
StarChaser, Mar 05 2002

       Hides might be better... Destroying information doesn't sit right with me. I like to save stuff.
cpt kangarooski, Mar 05 2002

       You could set your PC clock forwards a year and never receive another message again.
pottedstu, Mar 05 2002

       Based on my experiences with intra-office email, the most frivolous email is sent with the least attention to details such as expiry timestamps. If you are counting on the sender to set such a date on every message sent, then you will find that only the important email ever expires. It would be far simpler to set a filter at the receiving end that automatically deletes any message older than X days. Messages you wish to keep must be moved into another location. But that doesn't work well because some things are really important for a few minutes, others for a few days, and still others for a few weeks. Only a human can decide for sure when a given message loses relevance.   

       If enough people demanded it, then software developers would start making more accessible the expiration features which are already included in their software. Then they could set the default on every message to some ridiculously low value like 1 hour. Users would then be forced to change the expiration to a sane value for normal mail. Frivolous mail where the sender can't be bothered to muck with changing the expiration will get deleted after the default time.
BigBrother, Mar 05 2002

       It is the nature of most email to be sent with less care than is prehaps appropriate (the amount of times I have sent an email to a large distribution list, forgetting to turn off read receitps, I don't know). A feature like you suggest would just irritate people too much.
mcscotland, Mar 05 2002

       fishbone. I'd go for a flag that indicated expired email so that it looked different but I'm anal retentive enough to want the email whatever.
st3f, Mar 05 2002

       That's what Outlook can do - it doesn't delete the email, but it puts a line through the subject in your inbox.
mcscotland, Mar 06 2002

       Actually, Bliss, I don't even have one cat. I'm perfectly mad without them. No, my apartment is full of books (and a few magazines) and all of them have been read many, many times. Likewise, my computer is full of old files, but I often go through them every several months, because a lot of the stuff there is also worth reading.   

       No, it's my car that's full of old newspapers. But there's a good explanation: A friend of mine gives me the Times at school every day. If I finish it at school, I leave it there for someone else to enjoy. If not, I try to read it on the subway coming back, but I never bother bringing them inside. Given that I once left a bunch of cinderblocks in my trunk for four months because I didn't want to haul them inside either, it should be clear that the papers aren't there out of madness, but ordinary sloth.   

       At any rate, the reason it bothers me is because the copy of the mail you recieve may turn out to be the only copy around -- not really a problem when it comes to the newspaper. I keep emails I've sent and received back to the mid-90's. It takes up little space on the computer, and it's not as though I have anywhere else to turn should something suddenly become important. It's happened.
cpt kangarooski, Mar 07 2002

       Keep it. You never know when it is going to come in handy.
neelandan, Mar 07 2002

       Absolutely not. Include a date stamp if you must, and a way of marking/filtering obsolete messages, but I'd be incredibly upset if a server deleted my e-mail without my permission.
bookworm, Mar 07 2002

       But [rbl], if your old emails have expired, how will you remember to send Bob a note to the effect of "Dear Bob, sorry I missed your going away lunch but I hope you had a simply lovely time - we're all going to miss you so much - do keep in touch, all my love rbl. P.S. Can I please have my Auto Scrambler back which I think I left in your cubicle?". For me old emails represent the ideal excuse to avoid work for an entire day on return from an absence.
dobtabulous, Oct 21 2003


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