I ‘pdf’ Emails and why you should, too!

by 11 Jul, 2017

I imagine many of you who are using Outlook or Gmail backup your emails regularly. Hang on, do you? Apart from backing up your whole computer, taking care of your emails should be one of most important things you do regularly.

For years I have created Outlook pst file backups and it appeared to work fine. Until the day when I asked myself, but what if I haven’t got access to Outlook or for whatever reason it won’t let me open the backup file?! Here’s another scenario – your email account gets deleted before you were able to back it up (on purpose or by accident doesn’t matter).

That really got me thinking; What is a good and rather simple way to keep my emails safe and easy to retrieve and read? That’s when a friend of mine suggested I should start to ‘pdf’ my emails in a logical way that fits my business.

After having a think about it, I decided to give a shot and haven’t looked back since. Here’s how I do it:

  • Once a week I set time aside to ‘pdf’ my emails
  • I save my emails in a logical order (for example: expenses, clients, invoices, proposals, newsletters, etc.) in the relevant folder(s)
  • The subject line is a key part – I add what I need to it (for example: date, client name, etc.)
  • Delete the emails that are not essential

I does make me think about which emails are relevant and worth keeping and which ones are either spam, junk or just need deleting.

It keeps my inbox nice and tidy and small from a size perspective and ensures all my information is kept in relevant place where it should be. No more looking for an email with a proposal that I have sent to a potential client in Outlook or Gmail. It is saved in a specific folder together with the proposal document.

To save the emails all you do is use the print function and then ‘print to pdf’. If your computer for some reason doesn’t have this option, using a service such a ‘pdf creator’ or similar is quick to download and easy to use.

There are also tools out there that automatically save emails to pdf to a specified location, such as Could HQ that synchronise your Gmail with Dropbox and save any new emails once a week.

The downside to using a service like this is EVERY email gets saved – even junk and non-relevant ones. Again, you have to weigh up the time and benefits for you and your business.

Overall though no matter if you are using Outlook or Gmail –  emails can be kept organised, saved and easy to access thanks to the ‘pdf them’ option.

How do you ensure your emails are accessible no matter what email client you are using? Have you got any tools or tips to share? Please leave a comment.