Many lawyers have one email folder or label for each case or client, and sort every email into the appropriate folder. Others print out every email and file it. Both are unnecessary and, collectively, a colossal waste of time.
Every major operating system today has built-in indexed search. This means your computer crawls the data on your drive so that it can deliver search results nearly instantly, much as Google does for the internet.
As a result, on the few occasions you need to find an email, you can get it in mere seconds—or roughly the time it takes you to file each one of those emails by hand. The up-to-date versions of every major email software have indexed search built in, including Outlook, Thunderbird, Gmail, Hotmail, and others. (If you use practice management software, you may be outta luck; but don’t worry, they’ll catch up next decade.)
The only time I do sort my emails is when I close a file. I like to have The File nice and tidy in one folder for archiving, so I search for the relevant names and email addresses to get all the emails for the file. Then I save them to The File for archiving.
Search, don’t sort.