The Benefits to Having an “I Just Kicked Butt” Folder In Your Email

Business Communication classes at NC State (and frankly, at almost any university) have a bad reputation. I don’t get it. Why is a class that teaches you how to draft an email and a memo so useless?

I’m 100% sure that it’s not the fact that these courses cover material that’s been covered in English classes since the 6th grade. I refuse to accept it.

Still, my professor recently said what has got to be the greatest idea in online motivation.

Say what?

Yes. A good job folder. Technically, it’s easy: make a folder in your email called: “I Just Kicked Some Serious Butt” , or something empowering like that–I won’t judge. Then, whenever you get an email that compliments you or your work in any way, move the email to that folder.


There are three reasons for doing this:

  1. Self Empowerment
  2. References for Resumes and Job Applications
  3. [Auto]biographical Uses

1) Self-Empowerment

Jobs can be soul-sucking monsters from time to time. As can life and any activities associated with living. Spare yourself from feeling unappreciated by keeping this folder. The beauty of this is that this consists of others’ words about you, your work and your impact. It has nothing to do with you begging or asking others for their kind words. They just came. Keep in mind that while these emails may not come quickly, as long as you do a good job they will come.

2) References for Resumes and Job Applications

Now that you have a job, keeping those emails serves to remind you what projects you worked on made an impact on your company or workplace and can serve as a stepping stone to turn those into ideas that can be further developed. Let’s say you worked on a project to reduce costs, and you manage to get it done and then some. Then your boss sends you a congratulatory email for the work–ranting and raving at your skills and at the immense savings you passed onto the company. Here’s the thing, this was a side project that ended up having more impact than your main project, which took up 75% of your time, due to one thing or another.

Without the email folder, when updating a resume, odds are high that you would have forgotten that side project in the ebb and flow of assignments that American workers get on a daily basis. With it? With it–the email is still there, just waiting to be bragged about.

And if the job hunt isn’t going well, see point number 1.

3) [Auto]biographical Uses

C’mon. Eventually you’re going to be famous. Saving those emails can serve as a way for your biographer to know what you did well. Hint hint.

So what does this all mean? It means that we have in our ability to make a positive change for ourselves with just a couple of clicks: especially if you use Gmail. And why wouldn’t you not use Gmail? Hey, what have you to lose?

That’s what I thought.


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