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Dealing With Prolific Emailers

Submitted by on May 26, 2015 – 2:39 pm

So you come back from vacation, open Outlook and see thousands of unread emails. Who sends all this stuff? There’s an easy way to identify the sources of this background noise. In Outlook’s inbox, select all the emails (CTRL-A), click File –> Save As and save all that mess to a file called “emails.txt”. Copy the file to your Linux box and run the following command to spot the top twenty offenders:

dos2unix < emails.txt | grep -a "^From: " | awk -F: '{print $2}' | sed 's/^[ \t]*//;s/[ \t]*$//' | egrep -v "<|>|\[" | sort | uniq | while read line; do c=$(grep -acE "^From:.*${line}" emails.txt); echo -e "$${c}\t${line}"; done | sort -k1 -rn | head -20

As a rule of thumb, the more emails a co-worker sends, the less reason there is for you to read them. So create a filter to put emails from these people into the “VIP” folder that you never open. Exercise caution not to put your boss on that list.

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