9 Simple Ways to Organize Your Email in Outlook 2010

It is important to organize your email in Outlook 2010 so that you can have a clutter free Inbox and work more efficiently. Most of us who use an email client would have found ourselves in one or more of the situations mentioned below. The end result is a cluttered Inbox. Certainly not a good way to start your work day! Performing the tasks detailed in this post will help you sort and organize your email more effectively and save valuable time. Read on to organize your email in Outlook 2010 in 9 ways.

  • Read an email message but retained it in the Inbox to take action at a later time.
  • Read an email message and retained it in the Inbox for future reference later on.
  • Selected random messages in the Inbox to read and left the remaining messages unread.
  • Maintained all previous mail conversations in the Inbox, although they were no longer relevant.

9 Simple Ways to Organize Your Email in Outlook 2010

1. Identify and Eliminate Redundant Conversations

The Conversation view In Outlook 2010 displays messages with the same subject under one single conversation. When you receive an email message that has the same conversation title, the entire conversation moves to the top of the Inbox and the latest message is displayed at the top of the conversation list.

Identify Conversations:

Click the Arrange By bar at the top of the Inbox and select Conversations. The messages are displayed in the Conversation view and help you to quickly review and decide on how to deal with the messages in the conversation.

Eliminate Redundant Conversations:

You can do this by:

Ignoring the conversation: This moves the conversation to the Deleted Items folder.

Cleaning up the conversation: This command retains only the most recent message that holds the entire conversation and deletes redundant messages.

2. Mark as Unread

If you want to revisit a message at a later point of time, change the status of a message from read to unread.

You can do this by:

Selecting the message(s), and on the Home tab, in the Tags group, clicking the Unread/Read button.

OR

Right-clicking a message (s) and choosing Mark as Unread.

3. Flag Messages

Click the flag icon to the right of a message to mark it as an item that needs to be followed up. Alternately you can move the message to the Task list or drag it to the calendar to convert it to a meeting request. This will allow you to track and prioritize your tasks more effectively.

4. Categorize Messages Using Color-Codes

To locate Outlook items associated with a specific subject, you can create a color category specific to that subject and assign the category to any related messages. Color-coding messages will enable you to do the following.

  • Quickly view related messages.
  • Quickly search and find messages belonging to a category.
  • Sort and filter messages by category.
  • Arrange flagged messages and tasks by category on the To-Do Bar.

5. Group Related Messages

You can group messages by topic, subject, or by using a term that suits your related messages, in one specific folder in your Inbox.

On the Folder tab, in the New group, click New Folder. Name the folder and move related messages to that folder.

6. Create Quick Steps

If you want to perform multiple tasks on messages in just one click, Quick Steps is the way to go.

7. Create Rules

You can create rules to let Outlook move, copy, delete, forward, redirect, or perform other operations on messages based on the rules you specify. For example, you can instruct Outlook to automatically assign a category to an incoming message that meets specific criteria. Once you establish a rule, Outlook automatically performs routine tasks for you, saving valuable time.

8. Get Rid of Unwanted Messages

Set the Junk Filter options to specify the domains or email addresses from where you receive messages, to be treated as junk messages. This will save time in processing unwanted messages. However, you may have to, from time to time, check for legitimate messages in your Junk E-mail folder, but this shouldn’t take up too much time.

9. Quickly Search Messages

You can organize your search more effectively by creating a search folder. A Search folder displays all the messages in the Inbox that match certain criteria. Irrespective of where the messages are stored, they are displayed in the Search folder based on the criteria specified. For example you can create search criteria for all messages that are color-coded, flagged or those that have attachments. Simply click New Search Folder on the Folder tab, in the New group and in the New Search Folder dialog box, specify the search options or select from the existing options. Outlook automatically updates the contents of the Search folder.

Note: The Search folder does not display multiple copies of the original message. So deleting a message in a Search folder deletes the message in the original folder in which it is stored.

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