Managing Your Mailbox
  • Managing Your Mailbox

    Most companies and organizations have a set limit on how much space you are allotted for email. Combine that with many people wanting to save every email they ever send or receive (you never know when you’re going to need to dig it back up) and the stacks of email that a person usually gets in the average business day and mailboxes can fill up very quickly. This article is going to focus on checking your inbox size, archiving and sorting your email in Outlook and Entourage. If you’re looking to clear out your gmail inbox, here are two great articles, one from lifehacker and one fromweb worker daily, on giving your gmail a fresh start.

    Outlook

    Outlook allows you to archive and sort emails by using personal folders, which are also known as archive folders and PSTs. The terms personal folders, archive folders and PSTs are terms that can be used interchangeably, so for simplicity we will refer to them as personal folders.

     

    To create a set of personal folders in Outlook, go to the File menu, select New, and click Outlook Data File. You will be given a choice between two types of files. Chose Office Outlook Personal Folders File (.pst). Click OK. You are then given an option of where you would like your personal folders to live. If you have space on a server, it’s a good idea to put your personal folders file there. Click on My Computer to see a list of drives available. When you’ve chosen, click OK.

    Next you will be asked to name your personal folders. You can pick any name for them you’d like and you can always change the name later. Here you can add a password if you’d like, but it’s not recommended. If you lose your personal folder’s password it is difficult to recover. When you’re finished click OK.

    Your personal folders will appear on the left of Outlook under your mailbox folders with the name you chose. Click the + sign to expand the folders. Here you can add more folders to organize your email. Right click and select New Folder.

    Name your folder. Under “select where to put this folder” you can choose which folder you’d like to contain your new folder. The folder you right clicked to create a new folder will be the default.

    Now you can archive your emails. There are two ways to do this. One option is to manually chose what emails you want to archive. In this method you drag and drop your emails directly into your personal folders. Doing one email at a time would take forever, but you can select multiple emails at once with the control (ctrl) and shift keys.

    The ctrl key lets you select emails individually. Just hold down the ctrl key and select emails, then drag them into your personal folders.

    The shift key selects a set of emails in a row. Select the first email you want to move, then hold down the shift key and select the last email. All the emails in-between will be selected and you can move them into your personal folders.

    Your second option is AutoArchiving. To setup your AutoArchive settings, to go the tools menu, click options, and click the other tab. Click AutoArchive.

    Here you can edit the auto archive settings. Choose how often you want the auto-archive to run. We recommend checking the box next to Prompt Before AutoArchive Runs so that you will know when AutoArchive is running and you can cancel it before it begins. Make sure the following boxes are checked: Archive or Delete Old Items, Show Archive Folder in Folder List, and Move Old Items to. Click the Browse button to navigate to the personal folders file you created earlier. Note that when you AutoArchive items it will create folders in your personal folders that are identical to the folders you are archiving from. So if you just have an Inbox and a Sent Items folder it will create a folder called Inbox and a folder called Sent Items in your personal folders. You can click the Run AutoArchive Now button to auto archive your files immediately.

    You can also use rules to automatically archive emails when they come into your inbox. This is helpful if you belong to a mailing list or subscribe to a newsletter. See our blog entry on Outlook rules for more information.

    Entourage

    Archiving emails in Entourage is incredibly simple. First, expand the section under your inbox called On My Computer by clicking the triangle next to it. You can drag emails into the inbox or sent items folders here, or you can create your own folders. Create your own folders by right clicking or holding down the control key and clicking On My Computer and selecting New Subfolder.

     

    You can create as many subfolders within subfolders as you would like.

    There is no AutoArchive option for Entourage but you can move emails over manually. The command and shift keys help you select multiple emails at once:

    The command key lets you select emails individually. Just hold down the command key and select emails, then drag them into your personal folders.

    The shift key selects a set of emails in a row. Select the first email you want to move, then hold down the shift key and select the last email. All the emails in-between will be selected and you can move them into your personal folders.

    There are many different methods for organizing your email once your folders are created. You can choose to have a different personal folder for each year, or you can have different folders for projects you are working on. Another option is the trusted trio method from LifeHacker. How you sort your email is up to you.