September 3, 2011

Is Your Outlook Email Overflowing?

The first steps to getting ANYTHING organized is sorting and purging. That goes for emails, too. Today’s guest blogger is Susana Fonticoba of Home and Office Computer Training. If you use Outlook, you’re in luck. Read to find out how to make your inbox go from overflowing to oh, so empty…

For some people, it is a traumatic prospect to clean out their inbox. “But, I NEED those 2,000 emails,” we’ll hear you say. Not to worry. Let’s take baby steps…

First, in Outlook, sort your emails by whether or not the message contains an attachment (Arrange By | Attachment). Now skim through the attached files and right click the file name, choose Save As, and file it in the appropriate My Documents Folder.

Once the attached files are safely stored in your documents library, check to make sure the body of the email contains no earth shattering information. No? Now delete it. Didn’t that feel good? Do it again – until you get through the all the messages that contain attached files.  

Now let’s head over to the Sent Items bucket and this time we’ll change the sort to File Size and choose ‘Smallest’ first.  Most likely, these will be comprised of such rip roaring reading material as, “ok, thanks”; or “yes, I’ll be there”; or the ever popular “that’s great!” Even the worst email hoarder has to admit those one-liners can be let loose into email heaven.

After this is done, note how many you’ve deleted by moving over to the Deleted Items folder. Jumpin jiminy! You’ve deleted 1357 emails! Are you brave enough now to empty your deleted items folder? C’mon, I have faith in you!  

You’ve done it! Time for a reward and a pat on the back. See--it wasn’t as difficult as you thought. Now, I’m sure you’re pumped to toss some more.

Sort your mail by “From” and see if you can file a bunch of emails from that one client into the folder you made for him/her.  Sort your mail by “Subject” and perhaps those 50 emails around the subject of “Christmas Party 2009” can finally be sent off into the light.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of determining that you don’t REALLY need all of those emails, a once a week cleanup will be as easy as hitting ‘Delete.’

Susana Fonticoba is the Founder and Principle of Home and Office Computer Training in Hanover, NJ. She specializes in empowering small business owners with the computer skills and confidence they need to succeed. Follow Susana on Facebook and and Twitter @njpctraining and learn more about computers, social media and technology at her blog, RightClickAdvantage.

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