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Before I hop into today's features that you MUST use, I need to first explain what Conversations are (in Outlook, not in life; I assume we are all up to speed on the back and forth that happens between people...and their pets).
Conversations in Outlook are simply email threads—the complete chain of messages from the first message through all the responses. In Outlook 2010 you can view all your messages in any folder in Conversation view (on the View tab, in the Conversations group, select Show as Conversations). It looks like this:
When you're in Conversation view, messages that share the same subject line appear together (in the order they were sent), and you can expand or collapse them.
(To get a more in-depth explanation of this, read Introduction to Conversation View.)
But the neat thing is that there are two new features that help you decide what to do with the Conversation. Junk it? Clean it up? Keep reading...
Clean Up Conversations
When a message contains all the previous messages in the Conversation, you can click Clean Up to eliminate the other redundant messages. For example, as people reply to a Conversation, the response is at the top and the previous messages in the Conversation are below. Instead of reviewing each message, keep only the most recent that includes the whole Conversation.
Rather than getting all irritated about the idiotic/unprofessional/non-work-related/useless/boring/can't-handle-it-now-or-ever conversation flying back and forth in email between you and other people, right-click the conversation and then click Ignore (or, on the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Ignore). This moves the entire conversation and any future messages pertaining to that conversation straight to your Deleted Items folder.
A word of caution: Something important from someone important may come through after you banished the conversation to the trash. I suggest that once in a while you check your Deleted Items folder for a go through...
Now go, converse, and do it neatly.
"It was impossible to get a conversation going; everybody was talking too much." — Yogi Berra
As someone who uses Outlook 2007 and arranges messages by Conversation, I'm definitely looking forward to when I upgrade to 2010 to be able to use these features.
Question: As you state, Conversation view groups messages that share the same subject line. However, sometimes the subject line is irrelevant, wrong, or the subject of conversation changes as the thread continues. Is there a way you know of to change the subject line but still keep the messages grouped together? If not, can you let the Outlook team know that this would be a welcome feature!
Gil, I agree with you with about the conversation views. I have been on Outlook 2010 for over a year now and I have noticed that if the subject changes or sometimes if it is not all the same people (people added or deleted) that sometimes it doesn't keep it in conversation view. I too would like a way to add messages into the conversation view if it could be. The Conversation view is a nice way to keep things cleaned up.
Hi Guys-- Yeah, I have to agree, too. But I don't find that the subject line DOES change very often...do you? If the subjectline is irrelevant, well, that's a different blog post for a different day but I can't think of how one would group messages together that doesn't seem to have a built-in continuity. Hmm.