by Christopher Tippins, “The Software Synergy Group”, Miami, Florida
I run across many people who seem to have a problem getting and staying organized in Microsoft Outlook. They never move email from their Inbox and have sometimes thousand of messages that live there. This, of course, makes it difficult to find anything especially when one works on multiple projects with various clients or customers. It also makes it difficult to follow message threads, especially if someone in the recipient list changes the subject title.
Additionally, as time marches on, we all meet new people, make new contacts and sometimes lose touch with old ones. That makes it a good idea to prune your contacts list. I’ll cover that as well so you keep current contacts current but also maintain an old contact list in case you need to find someone you haven’t been in touch with for some time.
To these ends (and a few others), I’m going to offer some reasonably simple tips and tricks to help keep Outlook working for you and not the other way around.
Some caveats before we being:
1. This article assumes you’re running Outlook 2007 or higher.
2. The tips, tricks, etc. I put forth here are for standalone versions of Outlook but I’ll note exceptions for obvious differences that may be applicable if you’re running off an Exchange server, lest you incur the wrath of your server admins. J
3. Some of what I put forth here runs counter to other “Best Practices” articles I’ve read, and that’s fine - I’ll stand by my recommendations and note why I do when I get to particular tips.
4. Implementation of some of these tips may carry the risk of data loss, so it should go without saying but I’ll say it anyway – make a backup before you move, delete, rearrange or otherwise make significant changes to your Outlook data. This should be your standard operating procedure anytime you make significant changes to the way you store or work with data. And by a backup I mean backing up your entire .pst file, not by copying data within it. If you need help with this, talk to your system integrator first.
Let’s get started: