Using sort email options to make your Outlook more efficient

We all have that moment when we feel that our Outlook inbox is over flooded and disorganized. This directly affects our productivity.

This guide will help you to glide through the sorting process with ease and to develop a plan to make your Outlook routine most effortless.

With the aid of sorting options in Outlook under View Tab as shown below and a little bit of planning we can clear out most of the litter.

Sorting Options Window

You can also find these sorting options above your mail box as shown below:

Sorting Options

Following are the available sorting options with respective functions:

Sort Options explained

Although the above presented sorting options are self-explanatory, the key lies in effectively putting them to use. Considering the broad base of Outlook users, we propose the following strategy to have an organized mail box irrespective of your Outlook version.

Recommended procedure to manage your inbox using sort options:

Tip 1: We can start by having mails classified by date. Have all the mails grouped into folders named after the year.
Tip 2: Once you have all the mails grouped by year, create sub-folders according to your preferences or importance like Current/Old projects, Academics, Follow-up needed etc.
Tip 3: In every corresponding sub-folder created by date or preference, use the sorting options to identify spam, sales, newsletters that are no longer necessary and delete them.
Tip 4: Unsubscribe to any unnecessary senders to avoid further hardships.
Tip 5: Look-out for any Subjects or Posts associated with completed projects or deadlines that no longer concern you and delete them.
Tip 6: Group the remaining messages according to your category like academics, personal, work etc. Use sort by Attachments to further refine your mails.
Tip 7: Now that we have all our mails in current destination folder organized, repeat the same process to the remaining folders. It is quite easier to deal with your old folders as there is lesser ambiguity and disposing gets easier.
Tip 8: Regular disposal of Outlook mails reduces the Outlook data file size and prevents inaccessible data file error
Tip 9: Use auto archive option to automatically archive mails that don’t need frequent reference.
Tip 10: Having a quick detour every six months will further optimize your inbox. Make sure you turn off any kind of automatic notifications from social networks. This can increase your productivity.
Tip 11: Use appropriate plug-ins to optimize and ease your Outlook experience. Click on the following link to know more. Top 25 plugins and add-ins for Microsoft Outlook

More tools and tips to supervise your Outlook:
Make use of color categorize option to personalize your Outlook items. This helps you to easily distinguish mails,events and meetings of specific project or category using colors.

Create Outlook rules that define the destination of you mails into designated folders with out your involvement.
Auto Archive option allows you to save older Outlook mails in a separate PST file keeping your original file compact. Larger PST files tend to cause access problems and get corrupted.

As a precaution get a backup of your Outlook PST file at regular intervals.

Benefits of Outlook data backup :

  1. Accidentally deleted emails can be restored from the backup file.
  2. Move your Outlook data to newer Outlook version or different OS with ease.
  3. Keeps your Outlook data safe from any kind of virus.

Conclusion: The above discussed approach and management methods might involve effort and time but they are certainly rewarding. Outlook 2019 is expected to release in second half of 2018, watch this space to get your hands on latest updates and tips.

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