November 15, 2005

Organising your inbox

Organise your inbox so that you can find emails quickly

Most of us can’t survive without e-mail today, but very few of us are good at keeping our inbox organised. The advantage of having a well-organised inbox is that you can quickly and easily find e-mails when you need them. Follow the simple tips below to keep your inbox neat and tidy and make your life easier.


In the same way that you save word, excel and powerpoint document in folders, it is useful to save e-mails into folders.

Folders can be according to subject, such as ‘business’, ‘personal’, ‘subscriptions,’ or into people, such as ‘John’, ‘Mary’, and ‘Jane’.

Creating folders for e-mails is easy. Select File, New, Folder. Then select the type of folder you want, in this case ‘Mail Items.’ Next choose the location of the Folder, which will be Inbox for mail. Then name the folder. Repeat this step until you have created all the folders you need.

Once this is done, you can move all the mail from your inbox into the folders. This is done by clicking on the item you want to move and dragging it into the folder you want to store it in.

You can do the same in your sent items.

Once this is done, it is easy to find e-mails by selecting the folder you have stored the e-mail in. Rather than needing to search through your entire inbox, you only need to search each folder.

In each folder you can search for an e-mail by selecting Find.

You can also create folder for your contacts. Follow the same steps as you did to create mail folders, only this time select ‘Contacts’ for type of folder and file the folder in a different location under Contacts.

This makes it easy to group contacts into business and personal, which is very helpful when you need to search for a contact.

Mail rules

Now that you have set up your folders, you can use ‘mail rules’ to automatically file e-mails.

Using mail rules is useful as your e-mails get automatically filed.

For example, you can set a mail rules to automatically move an emails you’re your boss into your ‘business’ folder set up previously.

To make a new mail rule, select ‘Rules’ from the tools menu.

Use the wizard in this dialogue to specify the following: When to apply the rule (ie. When the email is received or even after the email is sent), To whom the rule applies (ie. Anybody with ‘’ in their email address), and what to do if the rule is satisfied (ie. Move it to a specified folder). You can also specify any exceptions to the rule in the last part of the wizard. Lastly, give the rule a name, like ‘Bosses Rule’ and close the Rules dialogue. From now, this new rule will apply depending on the criteria you have set.

If you follow these simple steps you’ll have systems in place that will allow you to using your e-mail more effectively. The best part is that you’ll save yourself lots of time because it will be mush easier to find e-mails.