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6. Web Basics: Getting Organized

Feeling overwhelmed?  Does your email have 2,000 items in the inbox?  Do you have dozens of web pages bookmarked?  It might be time to get organized! Here are a few things to consider:


Both email and web browsers allow you to create folders for storing items.

In email, you may want to create folders of various types, such as those based on:

  • Source of email (people, businesses, listservs)
  • Topic of email
  • Age of email


For web browsers, you may want to bookmark (or add to favorites) items which you believe you want to visit again.  You can create folders and add bookmarks for web pages to specific folders.  Most people do these based on topic.

Social Bookmarking

Instead of saving items just for yourself, how about sharing them with others?  A number of social bookmarking sites exist allowing you to share sites you find interesting.  Popular social bookmarking sites include Delicious and CiteULike (designed for scholarly materials).  Do this to save URLs for sites you wish to revisit or wish to recommend to others.

See Wikipedia’s List of social bookmarking sites for more.


Spring Cleaning

Just like your home, email and bookmarks can become cluttered, with unneeded items taking up space.  This is especially the case in email, where you may have a storage limit.  Ask yourself the following questions:

Email messages:

Items you may want to save

Items you may want to delete

  • Important work/school communications
  • Financial emails (banks, credit cards, taxes, etc.)
  • Anything else you think you may want to revisit



Hint: Save these items in a folder, don’t leave them in your inbox.

  • Outdated information
  • Advertisements
  • Online purchase confirmations if also available at store’s site
  • Casual email exchanges (jokes, lunch plans, links to cat pictures)


Hint: Delete items you immediately know you don’t want to keep as soon as you read them.



Warning: Deleting an email will delete any attachments, unless saved somewhere else.

Note: Sometimes deleting only sends items to a trash folder.  You may need to take another step to fully delete items.


Here are some tips for keeping your bookmarks less cluttered:

  • Don’t bookmark sites for which you have memorized a URL (news sites, email, online stores, etc.) – you’ll likely just type these in (and many browsers will remember you visited them).
  • Delete bookmarks for anything that no longer exists.
  • Delete bookmarks for items you no longer need (sites for an old assignment, items you were once considering purchasing, etc.) – you may want to create folders for short-term needs and delete the entire folder when done.
  • Delete items for which your interest has ended (you’re sick of captioned puppy pictures).



Junk email, often called spam, is email sent to many people and is often something you don’t need.  These items can sometimes be scams or security problems. Consider deleting these as soon as you get them.

Some email programs include features (often called filters) to add items automatically to a junk folder.  These filters will often allow you to identify emails as junk, which will help future emails go to the junk folder, or to identify senders or domains you never want to go to the junk mail.

Your email program will have information on its filters or junk mail in its help area.



In the browser you are using, create a folder labeled Tutorials for the bookmarks/favorites.  Bookmark this, or any other tutorials in net.TUTOR that interest you, into that folder.


Pop Quiz


See Spring Cleaning to see how good you are at clearing up your email.


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