Throughout my career, I've encountered quite a few users who were email hoarders...
I'm managing a 100-user environment where users previously had 100mb quotas and a basic Cyrus IMAP/Postfix solution. That led to lots of locally-stored mail and the related problems with data-retention and lost mail following PC failures.
I promptly moved towards Exchange 2010 with MailArchiva (for discovery/archiving) and have been humming along for nearly a year in this setup. Everything inbound and out is archived and retained for compliance purposes. I initially set 3GB mailbox limits per user. A handful of users needed extra space for their working sets of email and were able to justify it, so I've made some exceptions. However, I have one particularly-bad (but important) user whose Inbox is presently 22,000 items, of which 14,000 are unread. It's probably not the number of messages, but the nature of the email; lots of reports, statements and large PDF attachments. This is also a Blackberry user, so I suspect that they read mail selectively, based on subject. The user has hit the 3GB limit for the first time and is unwilling to prune the mailbox. I took care of their 3,000 deleted items to keep mail flowing, but am at a loss on how to educate users on how to organize their email. I can institute stringent policies and be a hardass, or I could sit with the user and help sort and purge mail. Either way, it doesn't address the real issue of how to help with education.
Does anyone here have any tips on how to deal with this type of situation? I'd like some example guidelines. If you're using policies in your firm, what types of policies help keep people under control?
I find that people use mail differently, but it's a challenge to force them into a particular way of organization. I may not even be the best example, but I also know what to keep and what to delete.
Update - The first battle is over, in that I've been able to keep the user under the Exchange mailbox limit by some reasonable pruning. However, I went to rebuild the user's computer and discovered a 17GB local PST file with just over 6,500 subfolders! The user had been copying (not moving) messages into an array of subfolders; sometimes with single messages being copied/filed into multiple folders. Underscores (_) and prefixes (a-z) were used to control the display order of the folders within the file! The user had also been CC'ing themselves on outbound email so as to have an Inbox record of messages to later be filed into one of the local PST's subfolders. This is an absolute misuse of the technology and is a scary way to organize company data. I am handing it over to the owners to address the situation, as it's now a company liability.