Fast Filing in Outlook

Outlook 2010 has an ultra-fast indexing system for filed emails. For this reason, we recommend filing all processed emails in a single folder. Any time you need to find an email, just search for it. Archive the emails in that folder periodically to keep it from getting too large.

Inbox Rules

Emails convert quickly and easily to tasks in Outlook. However, some email will slip into your Inbox with flags, categories, and priorities that can interfere with proper processing. Therefore, we need to take a minute to set three quick Inbox rules to prevent you from having to worry about some of these problems.

Inbox Rules: Clear Categories

  1. Press Ctrl+1 to switch to the Email view.
  2. Select your active Inbox.
  3. Go to Home, Rules, Manage Rules and Alerts.
  4. Look at your Email Rules to see if you already have a rule called Clear Categories on Mail. If you do, skip down to the next section. Otherwise, continue.
  5. Click New Rule at the top of the screen.
  6. Under the Start from a blank rule heading, select Check Messages when they arrive and click Next (bottom of the screen).
  7. On the next screen, check the box next to Assigned to any category.
  8. Click Next (bottom of the screen)
  9. On the next screen, check the box next to Clear message’s categories.
  10. Click Next (bottom of the screen).
  11. Click Next to skip the Exceptions screen.
  12. Name the rule Clear Categories on Mail, check the box to Run this rule now on messages already in “Inbox”, and click Finish.

Outlook will now automatically clear categories on incoming email.

Inbox Rules: Clear Low Importance

Importance on an email translates to Priority when you turn Outlook email into tasks. For you, Priority will be used to indicate when you will do a task. Other people shouldn’t decide when you do your tasks, so set a rule to clear incoming Importance on emails:

  1. Go to Tools > Rules and Alerts.
  2. Click New Rule (top of screen).
  3. From the list, choose Check messages when they arrive (second from bottom) and go to the Next screen.
  4. Check the box next to Marked as importance (near top of list).
  5. Click on the blue, underlined word, importance in the box labeled Step 2.
  6. Choose Low, click OK, and then click Next.
  7. Click Mark it as importance in the new screen.
  8. Click the underlined word, importance again, select Normal this time, and click OK.
  9. Click Next.
  10. Click Next again to skip the Exceptions screen.
  11. Name the rule Clear Low Importance and click Finish.

Inbox Rules: Clear High Importance

For the same reasons stated in Clear Low Importance, you don’t want High Importance emails. Set the following rule to clear them. It is almost the same procedure as the one above.

  1. In Rules and Alerts click New Rule.
  2. Choose Check Messages when they arrive.
  3. Check the box next to Marked as importance.
  4. Click the blue, underlined word importance in the box labeled Step 2.
  5. Choose High, click OK, and then click Next.
  6. Click Mark it as importance in the new screen.
  7. Click the underlined word, importance again, select Normal. Click OK.
  8. Click Next twice.
  9. Name the rule Clear High Importance and click Finish.

Group By Conversation

Group by Conversation

“You will buy the Office 2010 upgrade just for this feature.” – David Gewirtz, Outlook Power Magazine

Outlook 2010 has a killer feature to group incoming emails unobtrusively, by conversation. It’s a huge time saver. Enable it:

  • Press Ctrl+1 to go to the Mail window.
  • Select your active Inbox in the navbar on the left.
  • Click View at the very top to select the View ribbon bar.
  • Make sure Show as Conversations is checked.
  • Click the down arrow by Conversation Settings. Make sure Show messages from Other Folders is selected.

With this enabled, you can file old emails in any folder when waiting for a reply. When an answer arrives, the conversation history will appear with the incoming email if you want to see it. Emails with history have a small arrow to the left. To see the conversation history, click the arrow.