Here are some tips I’ve found useful in managing email. Currently I have close to 50,000 items in my mailbox that I have stored for reference sakes.
I know it sounds like a lot, but over several years I find there is a lot of information I need to keep in order to refer to down the track.
So here are some tips for you to manage your email. If you have any suggestions or your own tips, please let me know and I’ll put them into the next mailout.
- Move the e-mail into a folder and get it out of your inbox.
- To avoid confusion, create descriptive titles for your folders.
- Flag messages after you read them to remind yourself of any necessary follow-ups.
- Automatically delete messages you regard as “junk mail” by using the Rules Wizard.
- Take advantage of the options that allow you to preview the first few lines of a message.
Convert messages to tasks or appointments
One powerful but largely overlooked feature in both Outlook 98 and 2000 lets you convert one type of entry, such as a message, into another type, such as a task or an appointment, simply by dragging and dropping.
If you get a message inviting you to a function, for example, drag that message onto your Calendar icon or folder. Outlook creates a new appointment with the message subject as its title and inserts the message text as a note. Just set the date and time and click Save and Close. Similarly, make a new task by dragging a message to the Task icon or folder. The feature works the other way, too. Drag an appointment, task, or note to the Inbox, and Outlook will create a new, un-addressed message with the subject and text inserted for you.
Move it, don’t lose it
To get around Inbox clutter, most of us manually drag and drop messages into various folders. But once you have a lot of those storage folders, it can be a real drag to track them down; plus, the manual method is tiresome in the extreme. As an alternative, and much more efficient, approach, use the Organize button in Outlook 98 and 2000 to move individual messages or create rules for incoming e-mail.
To move one message, click the Organize button in the upper right of your Outlook toolbar (or choose it from the Tools menu) and choose “Move selected message below to…” (You can also right-click any message in your Inbox and choose the same option.) The drop-down list shows folders that have been used recently, but if you don’t see the folder you want, simply scroll to the bottom of the list and select Other Folders.
Gotta have rules
You can also set Outlook to automatically file away certain messages as soon as they arrive. This nifty approach to message management is called a rule. Basically, you define characteristics for Outlook to look for in all incoming messages and tell the program what to do with messages that match those criteria.
Start with a message already in your Inbox. Highlight the message and click the Organize button. The pane displays drop-down menus that contain folder names, the sender’s name, and instructions for managing e-mail sent from or to that person.
Specificity is King
The From option is the most commonly used characteristic for defining a rule; it lets you filter messages based on the senders. Outlook puts in the name of the sender for you, but you may want to edit it so as not to confuse your rule. Outlook isn’t that smart; you can filter all mail from “Crazy Suzie, Sales Manager,” but if Sue changes her title to “Crazy Suzie, Sales Supremo,” your rule will fail. But if you shorten the initial rule to look for only “Crazy Suzie,” you’ll have more flexibility.
To make more complicated rules or to edit and view your existing rules, make friends with the Rules Wizard that lives in the upper-right corner of the Organize panel.
If you require more information, please click here to notify one of our team members.