You can use your favorite social network to register or link an existing account:
Or use your email address to register without a social network:
Sign in with these social networks:
Or enter your username and password
Forgot your password?
Yes, please link my existing account with for quick, secure access.
No, I would like to create a new account with my profile information.
This post is provided by Roby Kurian.
Hi, I'm Roby Kurian, Product Manager for Outlook. I hope you enjoyed the holidays. Now that the holidays are over and the New Year is here, have you made your New Year's resolutions? I make New Year's resolutions almost every year. I have four resolutions for 2011 and one of those is to be better organized. I feel good about that particular resolution because I already have a good start. I managed all the unread emails in one of my largest folders. Let me explain my approach.
Within Microsoft there are many Contact Groups for people with similar interests. One of my interests is photography and I am a member of Microsoft Photography Club's Contact Group that has 2,403 members. It is a very active group with dozens of messages every day. For the last few months I couldn't keep up with the volume of messages resulting in about 3,200 unread emails in my Photography folder. I didn't want to carry all those messages into 2011. This is how I approached the challenge.
I already had a rule to move all the messages sent to the Microsoft Photography Club to a dedicated folder so that those messages didn't interfere with my work. It's easy to create email rules and folders in Outlook 2010. Creating a rule takes only three clicks. Even if you're using an earlier version of Outlook, you'll find similar rules functionality.
For more about creating rules see our previous Outlook blog post. If you're a master of creating rules, leave a comment and let us know how many rules you have and any best tips.
When I started, I had about 3,200 unread emails in my Photography folder. The Clean Up command helped me reduce the count by 35% in four seconds.
The Clean Up command evaluates the contents of each message in a Conversation. If a message is completely contained within one of the replies, the previous message is deleted. After running Clean Up, I had about 2,100 unread messages. For more about Clean Up and other new features see our previous Outlook blog post.
Next, I used Instant Search in Outlook 2010 to do custom searches. A lot of conversations in the photography club are people buying and selling items. Most of these messages have subject lines that begin with "FS" (for sale) or "WTB" (want to buy). Since I am not interested in buying or selling anything, I searched for messages with FS or WTB in the subject line and deleted those messages. There are also many conversations specific to photography equipment. Since I use a camera from one brand, the conversations specific to other brands are not relevant to me. So I searched for emails with subject lines containing other brand names and deleted those messages too. These searches quickly reduced my unread messages by another 800 messages to 1,300. To learn more about Instant Search, see my previous blog post.
The previous steps took me only a few minutes. Whenever I have to go through a large volume of messages, I use Conversations view. Conversations view displays all messages within a conversation together as group.
Conversations view helped me quickly look at a topic and decide if I should review those messages. If I were to look at those messages individually, it would require me to read a lot of redundant messages. Usually, the latest message in a conversation contains the previous messages and replies. For example, the conversation below about studio lighting had seven unread messages. Since I was not interested in that topic, I could delete the whole conversation without reviewing those seven messages sent at different times.
There were some topics I was not interested in, and knew that if there were any additional messages sent on that topic, I didn’t want to read them. So instead of simply deleting the conversation, I used the Ignore command. All of the existing messages, as well as any future messages in the conversation are automatically moved to the Deleted Items folder.
By ignoring conversations I’m not interested in, I’m helping to reduce unwanted messages that I’ll have to manage in 2011.
Of those 3,200 messages, I ended up keeping only 82. I hope some of the ways I’ve managed to catch up on my messages have given you inspiration and ideas on how to better manage your pile of unread messages.
Now that I’m caught up, here are some ways I plan to help reduce the time managing messages in the New Year.
How do you keep your Inbox organized? Do you have a favorite method not mentioned here? Let us know how you manage a busy Inbox by leaving a comment below. I wish you a great 2011!
-- Roby Kurian, Senior Product Manager, Microsoft Outlook
More info on Outlook conditional formatting and rules:
Conditional Formatting: Highlight your most important mailsDear Crabby: Creative OutlookingGetting too many email messages? Outlook can helpAutomatically change incoming message colors and fonts based on sender, subject, or recipients What happened to the Organize feature? Best practices for Outlook 2010
Quick Rule Creation in Outlook 2010Outlook Best Practices: RulesOutlook 2010 can save your hide: Creating custom rules (Crabby's Daily Tip)Import or export a set of rules
Great post! These are really helpful tips and I personally absolutely love the "clean up" feature in 2010. I appreciate the way you used real-world examples too.
Why do they call it Home and Business if Microsoft has taken out the most business like tool in the software - the contacts manager. Now I have to buy a minimum of 5 licenses from a local software company in order to use the business contact part of Outlook. Criminal and stupid. So much for the home office.
@Josh. Thank you.
@Confused and angry. Microsoft made BCM for Outlook 2010 available free to users who have previous BCM versions and Outlook 2010. For details please visit blogs.msdn.com/.../outlook-2010-with-business-contact-manager-you-spoke-we-listened.aspx.
I would like to see an "Move to conversation folder" (archive? folderize?) button on Inbox view, which moves the item(s) to _same folder_ where old items of same conversion have been moved. If this were tied to a shortcut key, cleaning Inbox of conversation followups would be a breeze!
Alternatively the context menu could just have "Move to <same folder>" in addition to "Move", or offer the "<same folder>" as first folder on "Move" (where <same folder> is automagically detected from current conversation).
In the same direction of improving productivity in Outlook I've noticed the priorityinboxforoutlook.com Outlook add-in which has a similar behavior with Google's priority inbox. Worth looking at, especially because it is free.
Hey, Roby, I don't understand something about Outlook rules. What does the "and on this computer only" checkbox next to a rule mean? Outlook adds this automatically whenever you create a rule. But there's NOTHING about this in the Outlook 2010 documentation. I Binged "and on this computer only" on the Microsoft Office subsite on Microsoft.com and found nothing--or rather, I got so many irrelevant hits that my search was worthless. So I also Binged "and on this computer only" on www.Microsoft.com got only nine hits--and none of them explained it.
I've been using Microsoft Office products for 25 years, and this is the most poorly documented option I've ever seen on a major Office product. It's ridiculous!
@markhof98110 "This computer only" It refers to having the rule only run on the client side, not server. So for instance if you wanted the rule to run on your laptop but not your main PC at the office, use that option.
I'd like to see someone write a post about how the little markers to the left of the messages in the Inbox work in "View as Coversations." I love "View as Conversations," but, can't figure out the pattern / meaning of the dots.
try something, go to your outlook, delete a spam, and look in the deleted items, you`ll be able to see pictures, links, press them, and if there is any active stuff there, you`re eated alive
Why such a big problem about security is overlooked ?
i can`t see pictures in inbox unless i click a clear "show pictures from" , ... but in deleted items i can see all the stupid things without being asked
please create a block to this files as there is a VERY VERY VERY BIG RISK