Please can you help with some suggestions. I have lots of folders in my email as I am involved in a few voluntary groups. Each DS has a folder and I have one for the latest home project, eBay, normal shopping. However I have got behind with filing and now have 1000+ emails in my in box. Do you just delete anything for 2012 and before? Is there anyway I can store it on my PC? Should I create date folder or the name of the sender? What works best for you and enables you to easily access that all important email that the Chair sent you 6 month ago. Many thanks.
Are these folders on Hotmail (Windows Live), GMail or some other ?
In the past I've suggested clients keep e-mail on a quarterly basis within their (Win PC based) mail software (typically Outlook or Outlook Express) simply because searching several years' of mail takes more time and many projects can be pinned down to one or two quarters.
If you are using GMail then you could use the 'filter' facility to automatically sift incoming messages from the 'inbox' and add a suitable label to 'file them away' for you. (The way GMail works all messages are in the 'all mail' folder apart from spam and the things you have binned, so calling them 'folders' is a bit foreign to me... as it works with 'labels' for everything.)
You should be able to copy them onto a home PC, or using IMAP which is very common these days, they can be left on the server and your home computer just shows the subject text, date + time and to/from information. When you click on the message it retrieves it from the server to display for you. That's a sensible way to operate if viewing incoming mail from home PC, office PC and on a laptop/mobile PC.
Instead of the 'mail on the server, view from anywhere' you could move everything to a home computer (but you'd lose the mail if your hard drive crashes, and recovery can be dificult). That's how older mail services workd, with POP mail (Post Office Protocol, where you'd check 'any mail for me' and if so, pull it from the 'post office' and save on your PC).
You can do a combination of keeping it all online (for flexibility of access and in case a PC hard disk dies) as well as copying it to your PC, for easy searching even if your internet connection fails.
Overall, I'd suggest downloading Thunderbird (free, from the Firefox browser stable) and you'd then be able to copy mail from whichever service you are using into local folders within Thunderbird. File messages by year, if the volume is not too high, and split off those for each DS into their own folders.
If using GMail, do remember you can 'Archive' messages (this removes the 'Inbox' label so they are not shown among the latest messages, but can still be seen by choosing to view 'All' mail).
PS FWIW, I don't copy mail to my PCs (6+ GMail accounts, 200,000 messages over 5++ years, some 200+ mail addresses that get sent mail, and a dozen or more PCs here, so I view things online and search within GMail).