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Tips to Get Organised with Outlook

Sort out your stuff and be more efficient

Go through your inbox daily

You need to stay on top of your email so your inbox doesn’t overwhelm you. Try to delete what you can. Take action on things as soon as you can and file whatever’s left. Do your best to keep your email manageable.

Organise email folders for easy archiving

Make your life easier by dividing your email folders into two categories: general folders for admin and project folders.

For example, create a folder called 'My Team: General' that then contains multiple subfolders for various administrative and group issues. Then create another folder called 'My Team: Projects' that contains a subfolder for each project.

Organising your mail in this way makes it easy to archive mail related to a particular project when it’s finished. A flatter folder structure makes it easier to find project emails after you've archived them.

Know where you keep the messages that you need to act on

You can save time and can avoid oversight by choosing a system to keep track of email messages that you need to act on.

Here are some ideas:

Leave your messages in your inbox until you've acted on them. Then file them

Issues that may take some time to act on should be filed in a different area

Drag the items you need to act on to straight to your Tasks folder

Get organised with additional fields

You can be more organised by adding more fields to emails. Try using Priority, Sensitivity, Due by or Conversation. To do this:

Right click the column headings and select Field Chooser

Select the field category

Select the field you'd like to add and drag it to where you want it

Click OK

You can create your own fields:

Right click the column headings and select Field Chooser

Click New

Type the details of the new field

Click OK

Drag the new field to its position on the row of column headings

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Set a time to empty your Deleted Items and Sent Items

You may delete a lot of items but how often do you empty your deleted items? Try emptying it about once a month. You can also configure Outlook to delete emails from a folder automatically:

Right-click a folder and select Properties

Click the AutoArchive tab

Select Archive this folder using these settings, and select how often you'd like to archive

Select Permanently delete old items

Click OK

You can do the same for your Sent Items folder.

Use colours to help sort your email

You can differentiate your email messages at a glance. Use colours to help sort your email. Here's how:

Select an email from a person.

Click Organise

Select Using Colors

Select a colour and click Apply Color

What next?

We've produced a number of printed How to... guides, showing you how to do new things with Microsoft software. You can download or order them free of charge from our download centre.

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