We all know that email is one of the biggest time-sucks out there. One of the main challenges is what to do with an email once it's been actioned. Should you keep it? If so, where should you file it so that you can find it again? What about emails that don't fit nicely into one category? How many levels of sub-folders should you have? And so on.
It doesn't take long until you've got a list of folders as long as your arm, duplicate emails in multiple folders, and still you can't find that one email you need to refer to.
The answer is, of course, to do away with all these folders so that you don't have to waste time making these (time consuming) filing decisions. However, if you're going to trash your filing system you'd better make sure you have a darned good alternate way of finding those old emails.
Fortunately, help is at hand in the form of Lookout - a plug-in for Outlook that replaces the crummy built-in search with one of Google-like power.
Here's how to use it to take back control of your e-mail archives:
Optional but recommended: learn how to use Lookout's advanced search capabilities. Nine times out of ten, the basic search will return the email you're looking for. Sometimes, however, this returns too many results and so you'll need to search on more than one criteria, and here's where the advanced search options will save you scrolling through too many results.
On an ongoing basis, say, every couple of months, delete all your sent mail so that it is moved into your Deleted folder. Sort your emails as described above, and then move the lot into your Archive folder and re-index. How's that for easy email management?
Posted on: September 29, 2005 | No comments
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