UIS Email Footprint Challenge

Information Technology Services (ITS) is challenging UIS faculty and staff to a friendly competition to see who can create the smallest email footprint by clearing out old messages. During the month of October, we are asking everyone to spend a little time deleting any unnecessary messages including those in Sent and Deleted folders.

The department that reduces its email footprint by the most will win a pizza party hosted by ITS. The two individuals that reduce their email footprint by the most will receive the first-ever Email Footprint Challenge trophies and will be invited to join the winning department for the pizza party.

We will announce the progress of the Email Footprint Challenge through Campus Announcements on Friday mornings.


Dates: October 1-31, 2013
Eligibility: UIS faculty and staff campus email accounts
Footprint: Mailbox size on campus email server
Questions: Contact RIMS


The Email Footprint Challenge can help you eliminate unnecessary messages, organize your mailbox, reduce search time, locate messages faster, and save space. And, of course, the winners get bragging rights and coveted awards for a truly skinny digital footprint!

Important Dates

Friday, September 27: Initial announcement sent to Academic Professional and Civil Service email lists
Tuesday, October 1: Kick-off announcement via Campus Announcements
Friday, October 4: First progress update via Campus Announcements
Thursday, October 31: Final progress update
Monday, November 4: Results announced and winners contacted
Friday, November 15: Pizza party (tentative)

Tips & Tricks

Whether you're looking for a long-term strategy or just hoping to get an edge in the competition, try these tried and true tips to manage an unruly Inbox. If you have any suggestions for additional tips, let us know!


  1. Be sure to regularly empty your Deleted Items folder.
  2. Use Outlook to check your folder sizes and focus on the largest ones first. Don't forget about the Sent Items folder and personal folders (PST).
  3. Sort your messages by size to find the largest ones.
  4. Remove unnecessary attachments if you can't get rid of the entire message.
  5. Request approval to dispose of any State Records.


  1. Keep your Inbox clean. Only keep messages in the Inbox that you will refer to within the next day or two. Move reference messages to a subfolder. Flag messages that require follow-up and then move them to a subfolder.
  2. Limit the number of folders. Save time organizing by grouping messages into a handful of folders based on a desired attribute - urgency, length to keep, etc - and use the Search Tools to find specific messages by keyword, sender, subject, date, etc.
  3. Create rules to move lower priority messages such as newsletters out of your Inbox for later review.


  1. Unsubscribe from unnecessary bulk email where possible. Delete messages you don't need immediately.
  2. Rather than sending an attachment, use Box to share the file.
  3. Limit the use of your work account for personal purposes.
  4. Advanced: Enable AutoArchive to set the default to permanently delete old items after 60 months. You can then customize this setting for specific folders if desired.
  5. Advanced: Clean up redundant messages.