Ways to Organize Mail in Outlook

by Charmayne Smith

Microsoft Outlook is an email client that provides a vast array of options for organizing and storing emails. Outlook allows you to receive and send emails, view and update your calendar, store contact information, take notes, schedule tasks and save journals of system activities.

Organizing Your Email

Microsoft Outlook provides options for general and detailed email organization. It provides options to create inbox subcategories, called folders, which are organized alphabetically. Emails can be moved manually to each folder by dragging the email to the desired location, or by using the "Move to Folder" option in the "Edit" toolbar. Outlook also provides the option to automatically move and process emails using the "Rules and Alerts" option. This option allows you to target emails by group, email address, name or other ways, and move them to specified folder. This option also allows you to mark email for importance, follow up, categorize, set reminders, and provide automated responses and forwarding. You can swiftly organize your email using Outlook's color messaging options. This option allows you to filter through your inbox using the recipient's information and apply a color onto the message. Once completed, the email's inbox font is changed to the selected color. This option also allows for automatic formatting for all unready messages, unread group headers, emails that are submitted but not sent, and expired/overdue emails. Automatic formatting for this option also allows you to change the font character and size of the emails and set applicable conditions. Microsoft Outlook offers a Message Timeline which, when selected, organizes your emails by time. With this option, emails can be customized by field and group, and can be customized using the automatic formatting options. All inbox messages, including those in sub folders can be categorized by color. When this option is used, the selected messages will show their category color in a colored box next to the email's subject title. The actual message will show the category color in a bar under the email's subject line. Outlook also allows you to flag emails for follow up based on your selections. You can choose to plan a general follow up on an email or you can schedule a deadline for the follow up. These follow up alerts also allow you to set a reminder which can include a date, time and sound alert. Business Contact Manager is an Outlook option that is often sold separately in some Microsoft packages. Business Contact Manager allows you to link selected emails to business contacts and listed accounts for easy access and reference. The emails can be viewed under the account's history. The emails are automatically organized by account and in order of creation and due date.

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2004, Charmayne Smith focuses on corporate materials such as training manuals, business plans, grant applications and technical manuals. Smith's articles have appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and on various websites, drawing on her extensive experience in corporate management and property/casualty insurance.