Use Mailbox Rules for Managing Incoming Email
Sorting email can become a burden, especially if you are constantly inundated with it. However, most email clients, such as Microsoft Outlook, allow you to establish mailbox rules that automatically route email from certain users to a specific folder within your mailbox.
It works like this; on a daily basis I receive multiple newsletters from TechRepublic. When the newsletters arrive, I have a rule in Outlook that automatically routes that message from my inbox to the TechRepublic folder. Instead of cluttering up my inbox with dozens of weekly newsletters, they are all stored within the TechRepublic folder, easy to find and ready to view at my leisure.
Searching and Sorting
Even using the above mentioned tips, the sheer volume of mail you accumulate could make it difficult to find what you're looking for when you need it. To help simplify this task, most email clients incorporate various methods for searching or sorting your inbox.
Microsoft Outlook includes an Instant Search Pane near the top of your mailbox, which lets you quickly locate any email using just a few keywords contained within the message you’re looking for. For example, say you were looking for an invoice for a DVD you purchased from Amazon. Just go to the mailbox where you store your invoices, enter the DVD’s title in the Instant Search Pane, and within a few moments your invoice should be found and displayed.
Another technique involves changing how your email is sorted. Typically most people sort their mail by date received, but by clicking on your mailbox’s "Receive" heading you can modify the view to display them in either ascending or descending order. Messages can also be sorted by username, allowing you to quickly see all of the messages being sent from a specific person. This is useful should you need to find a message from let’s say your company’s accounting department. Various other sorting parameters are also available.
In fact, in Outlook 2010 you can sort sorting messages in a Conversation format. Using this format, messages with the same subject line get grouped together, with the newest message at the top of the thread. As additional messages arrive, the entire conversation moves to the top of your inbox, keeping the entire conversation easily accessible. This links provides instructions for configuring the Conversation feature on your system. Duplicate information within the conversation can be filtered out in order to make the conversation thread easier to read by using the integrated Clean Up tool.
Ronald V. Pacchiano is a systems integrator and technology specialist with expertise in Windows server management, desktop support and network administration. He is also an accomplished technology journalist and a contributing writer for Small Business Computing.
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