Tag Archives: Outlook email filing

Take action on your Outlook emails at the click of a button (QuickSteps)

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

You can reclaim a lot of your time and energy wasted on emails by automating repetitive tasks. Outlook has a built-in feature called Quick-Steps that makes it easy to create your own automations.

The easiest way to show you the power of QuickSteps is with an example.

Our company owns a property that is rented out. The property is managed by another company for us. When any repairs etc need to be carried out, they get the appropriate vendors to come in and do the work. Once the work is successfully completed they send us a copy of the vendor’s invoice so that we can pay the vendor directly. These emails are usually sent to me.

When I receive these emails, and assuming that everything is OK, I do the following:

1.       Forward the email to my Accounts person and advise them to make the payment (Click Forward, type the person’s email address, type Please Pay and then click Send)

2.       File a copy of the original email in a folder inside Outlook called Properties. (This can be done by dragging and dropping or using QuickFile for Outlook.

You can use QuickSteps to reduce all of the above to the CLICK OF ONE BUTTON.

Creating the QuickStep

On the Home tab of the Ribbon, click QuickSteps-New QuickStep -Forward To

image001

Enter an appropriate name.

If I only wanted to forward the email (And not do the second filing step), I can simply enter the email address in the space provided and clicked Finish).

Click Options.

Click the Show Options hyperlink.

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Enter an email address in the To field (or click the To button and choose an email address).

Enter any text that you want to be displayed in the email that will be forwarded.

The QuickStep now contains everything needed to Forward the email. Time to add the filing component.

Click Add Action

Choose Move to Folder and select the folder you want to move the email to.

Click Save

Note on an Outlook Bug:

There is a bug in Outlook that sometimes prevents the QuickStep from being saved. Clicking Save does not give an error message but the screen does not close either. If this happens to you, the solution is to type the whole email address again (the email that was in the To field earlier).

Using the QuickStep

Using the QuickStep is easy.

Click QuickStep on the Ribbon and select the new QuickStep. Outlook will automatically carry out your programmed actions.

You can also right-click over the email in your Inbox and select QuickSteps from there.

Start automating today…

What do you do daily that you can use QuickSteps for? Let us know by leaving a comment in the blog below.

(While QuickSteps can assist with email filing as shown in the example above, if you have more than just a few folders, we recommend the QuickFile for Outlook addin.

 

 

Where are you Outlook emails (are you backing up the RIGHT files)?

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Monday, January 26th, 2015

Do you know where your emails are saved on your computer?

They may not be where you think they are. Here’s how you can find out where your emails are so that you can be sure that they are part of your backup plan.

Last week at the golf club, I spoke to a frustrated fellow golfer who had just lost all his emails…

The harddisk on his old computer had crashed… and when he used his backups top restore his data to his new computer, he was in for a shock.

His Outlook emails were not there… despite having a well-thought out and implemented plan for backing up his computer.

Because Outlook does not actually ask you to save emails in a particular location, it is easy to forget about them.

Where does Outlook save emails?

If your emails are hosted with Office 365 or MS Exchange then a copy of your current emails will be on your server. Hopefully your network administrator is backing them up.

However, if you are using a POP3 mail account (which many people still are) or if you are archiving emails outside of Exchange, you need to know where your emails are being saved.

All your emails are generally saved in one big data file (PST file… which is short for Personal Storage Table). Unfortunately Outlook does not always create this file in a folder that you would remember to backup.

Some users may also have multiple PST files with additional files for Archives etc.

To find out exactly where all your data files are in Outlook 2010/2013:

  • Click File.
  • On the Info Tab, click Account Settings and then Account Settings again.
  • Click Data Files to display a list of all your currently connected data files as shown below.

image 1

Makes sure that you are backing up all the Outlook data files shown above.

Additional Tip: If you’re not using Exchange, you may want to put your main Outlook PST files in your Documents folder. Assuming that you’re backing up your Documents folder regularly, you should be safe.

Categories : Outlook Data Backup Comments ( 1 )

Bonus Tip #2: Compact your Outlook Data for Better Performance

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

In one of our earlier tips from the 8 Simple tips for Email Management in Outlook series… I had mentioned to you that Outlook is configured (by default) to eventually corrupt itself and lose some or maybe even all your data?

Backing up your Outlook data is one way to avoid data loss but here is another way that you can ensure your data file size remains small and compact.

If you are following the email filing tips in our first report, then you are moving emails around a lot. When you move emails around, your Outlook data file (PST) ends up with a lot of empty space in it which makes the file bigger and performance slower.

To fix this…

  • Open Outlook and display mail folders.
  • Right-click over the PST file that you wish to compact

properties

  • Click Properties.
  • Click the Advanced button.
  • Click Compact Now.

This will now compact the data file and get rid of the empty spaces which is caused by moving emails.

This will result in your Outlook data file remaining small in size, faster Outlook performance and ultimately reduce the chance of losing your previous data.

I hope you find this tip useful.

Till next time… have a better Outlook.

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Related Post:

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

Free E-book Ready for Download: 8 Simple Tips for Email Management in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

As promised… I have compiled all the 8 tips we have discussed over the past several weeks into a simple downloadable and printable PDF copy.

Use these simple tips to:

  1. Ensure that your Outlook data file does not get bloated, slow-down and eventually corrupt itself and die (causing possible loss of some if not all your e-mails)
  2. Backup the correct Outlook data files in case of hardware failure
  3. Organize your emails so that your E-mail Folders matches your paper filing structure
  4. File your e-mails in a way that lets you quickly see all correspondence (incoming, out-going, to and from anyone) for a project quickly and easily in one place
  5. Get some control over your e-mails and use your Inbox like a proper In-tray holding only the items that need your attention.
  6. Easily archive e-mails for completed projects with other electronic documents (Word files, Excel files etc) for the same project.
  7. Quickly find specific e-mails for a project.

Get your own copy of this FREE e-book now!!!


Next week I will be sharing some additional bonus tips which I feel will help you manage your emails even better… so do check in again.

Till next time… have a safe and better Outlook.

Tip# 8 of 8: File (COPY) the e-mails out of your Sent Items folder

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Welcome back folks to the final tip of the 8 simple tips for email management in Outlook series.

We started of this tips series to overcome a common problem… EMAIL OVERLOAD and I had promised to provide step-by-step instructions for a VERY SIMPLE email management system that will work for any businessperson who works with clients, projects or cases. Following this tips, you should be able to:

  1. Ensure that your Outlook data file does not get bloated, slow-down and eventually corrupt itself and die (causing possible loss of some if not all your e-mails)
  2. Backup the correct Outlook data files in case of hardware failure
  3. Organize your emails so that your E-mail Folders matches your paper filing structure
  4. File your e-mails in a way that lets you quickly see all correspondence (incoming, out-going, to and from anyone) for a project quickly and easily in one place
  5. Get some control over your e-mails and use your Inbox like a proper In-tray holding only the items that need your attention.
  6. Easily archive e-mails for completed projects with other electronic documents (Word files, Excel files etc) for the same project.
  7. Quickly find specific e-mails for a project.

Last week we looked at how to keep a clean and organized Outlook Inbox so it acts like a To-do list rather than a storage space.

Today we will look at organizing your Sent emails because this emails are as important and crucial as your incoming emails.

The e-mails that you write to your clients can be crucial for
clarification and dispute resolution later.

E-mails that you send are moved from the Outbox to the Sent Items folder after they have been sent.

You must move or copy the e-mails that you want to keep for future reference from the Sent Items folder to the appropriate folders in your E-mail Filing System. Any remaining e-mails can be deleted (or left in the Sent Items folder if you want).

Our customers tell us that they prefer to have a copy of the email filed in the relevant project folder and also leave a copy in the Sent Items folder. This enables them to fill in timesheets at the end of the day, quickly answer queries about something sent in the last few days etc.

How do you copy emails instead of moving them?

  • Right-click (instead of Left-click) and then drag and drop.
  • When you drop the email (release the right mouse button) you will get presented with the option to Copy or Move. Click on Copy.

In our experience, Sent e-mails are the Number 1 reason that E-mail Filing Systems fail so… set aside some time periodically (at the end of the day or week) to move these e-mails to the correct folder

This brings us to the end of this 8 Simple Tips for Email Management in Outlook series.

I do hope that you have found this tips useful and hopefully are ruling over your emails rather than the other way around.

This tips have worked for thousands of people and there is no reason why it shouldn’t work for you so if you still haven’t gone through this step by step, here are quick links to all the post.

Tip #1 of 8: Turn Off Auto-Archiving in Outlook
You should archive e-mails as projects are completed. Don’t disorganize yourself by archiving based on dates.

Tip #2 of 8: Think carefully before using Outlook Rules
Rules can cause you to miss taking action on certain e-mails and also filing them into incorrect folders.

Tip #3 of 8: Find out where your Outlook data file is and backup regularly
How can you be sure that your Outlook data is being backed up if you don’t know where it is?

Tip #4 of 8: Split your Outlook data into more than one file
This technique will stop your e-mail file from getting bloated, slow and eventually corrupting itself and dying.

Tip #5 of 8: File your e-mails using the same folder structure as you do for your paper files
Filing e-mails into folders makes it much quicker and easier to file, find and archive e-mails later.

Tip# 6 of 8: Setup Outlook so that it is easy to drag and drop e-mails to the correct folders

Tip# 7 of 8: File things out of your Inbox as soon as you have READ the e-mail

What’s Next…

A lot of our blog readers have requested for a PDF version of the tips so that they are able to recap the tips in one place and also keep a printed copy of it on their desk as a reminder to keep following this tips to manage their emails… as it is very easy to forgot this in our busy schedules.

I have started compiling all this tips into a PDF version and will have it available for download next week on our blog.

THIS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR FREE SO DO CHECK IN TO GET YOUR OWN COPY

Tip #5 of 8: File your e-mails using the same folder structure as you do for your paper files

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Welcome back folks to yet another week of email management tips.

I had several readers emailing me and asking why the next tip was not posted and when it would be available.

First of all I would like to apologise for the delay in posting this week’s tip… I had intentionally delayed the post for several reasons:

  1. I had mentioned in my first post that I will be posting the tips in the order that I feel would give you a simple and efficient email management system. Several readers wrote back to me saying they were busy and were unable to read the old tips… so I thought to give them a bit of time to catch up.
  2. I wanted to make sure that everybody had enough time to setup the multiple Outlook Data files structure discussed last week.
  3. Lastly… I wanted to know if readers were following the post or not. Based on the number of emails I received as a result of the delay… readers are definitely interested and finding this tips useful… Thank you all for that.

So… without any further delay let’s get straight into this week’s tip.

I have seen clients with thousands of e-mails in the Inbox and Sent Items folders. I have even seen clients using their Deleted Items folder to store old e-mails.

Do you use your trash can to file your important papers? 

Many of our clients file paper copies of their e-mails because they don’t have a system for filing electronic copies. Even if you file paper copies of your e-mails, having an email filing system will make it significantly faster and easier to locate correspondence.

How should you file your e-mails?

The same way you file paper documents – create a separate folder inside Outlook for each project and then file all e-mails for the project into the folder.

If you don’t know how to create folders inside Outlook, here’s how:

  • In Outlook 2013/2013, click on the Folder tab > New Folder
    In Outlook 2007/2003, click File > New > Folder to display the Create New Folder screen.

create_folder

  • Enter a Name for your folder.
  • Select Mail & Post Items in the Folder Contains list.
  • Use the list displayed under “Select where to place the folder” to choose the folder’s location.
  • Click OK. The folder will be created as a subfolder of the location you selected in the previous step

You should use the new PST file created in the previous Tip to file your e-mails. This will ensure that the main PST file that Outlook uses stays small and fast.

We recommend the following folder structure. Create two folders in your Projects PST file called:

Active Projects
Completed Projects

(You can have other top level folders for other important areas in your life called Personal, etc)

Under the Active Projects folder create separate folders for each active project that you are working on. Whenever you receive or send an e-mail that you want to keep, move it to its appropriate project folder.

Name the folders anyway you like. The three common ways are:

  • Have a separate folder for each client
  • Have a separate folder for each project
  • Have a separate folder for each client and then have folders under it for each project for that particular client.

We use project based filing (and not client based filing at our office). However we name our folders in a way that makes it very easy to know both the project and client. Our folder naming convention is:

<Client>-<Project> 

Using the above naming convention, your folders will look something like this:

folder_structure

Note that in the list, the user is working on two projects for John Smith.

This structure works well because:

  1. When you open the Projects folder, you get to see a list of all current projects in one place.
  2. Multiple Projects for a client are shown right next to each other because of the way the folders are named.
  3. It is easy to archive old projects – When a project is completed simply drag its folder from the Active Projects folder to the Completed Projects folder. You don’t need to then find the client folder first.

Time to join the conversation – what do you think?

I hope that you find the tip today useful… try to implement this simple email filing structure and you will see how easy it becomes to file, find and archive e-mails later.

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Feel free to share your own experience and the filing system that you use to keep your inbox clean and organized with our readers.

If you have not subscribed to our blog yet, JOIN US today so we can notify you when we post the tips on our blog.

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Here are links to the earlier tips we have discussed so far in case you missed out:

Tip #1 of 8: Turn Off Auto-Archiving in Outlook
You should archive e-mails as projects are completed. Don’t disorganize yourself by archiving based on dates.

Tip #2 of 8: Think carefully before using Outlook Rules
Rules can cause you to miss taking action on certain e-mails and also filing them into incorrect folders.

Tip #3 of 8: Find out where your Outlook data file is and backup regularly
How can you be sure that your Outlook data is being backed up if you don’t know where it is?

Tip #4 of 8: Split your Outlook data into more than one file
This technique will stop your e-mail file from getting bloated, slow and eventually corrupting itself and dying.

Tip #4 of 8: Split your Outlook data into more than one file

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Thursday, June 19th, 2014

We are back this week to continue with the 8 simple tips for email management in Microsoft Outlook.

In the last tip, I showed you where the Outlook Data file is stored by default and why you should regularly back up the data file. But did you know…

Outlook is configured (by default) to eventually corrupt itself and lose
some or maybe even all your data?

Backing up your Outlook data is one way to avoid data loss but there is an even better way to avoid this disastrous incident…

Tip# 4: Split your Outlook data into more than one file
This technique will stop your e-mail file from getting bloated, slow and eventually corrupting itself and dying.

Outlook by default saves all its e-mails into one file.

Prior to Outlook 2003, there was a limitation of 2 GB to your Outlook data file. Although 2 GB seems like a lot, this space can be filled quickly particularly if you receive a lot of attachments.

Once you reach that limit, there is no real warning. Outlook just slows down, e-mails start getting lost and in some cases Outlook just stops opening altogether. Retrieving your e-mails from this corrupt PST is a nightmare.

In Outlook 2003, you have the option of using the new Unicode format of Outlook data file which can hold much more data. However if you upgraded Outlook from an earlier version then chances are that you are still using the older format with the 2 GB limitation.

Irrespective of whether you are using the new or old format data file, you should split your Outlook data into at least 2 files.

Your main PST file should not be used like a filing cabinet for old e-mails. Create a separate PST file to save e-mails that you want to keep for future reference. This leaves your main Outlook data file lean and mean so that Outlook is able to open up quickly.

To create a new Outlook data file:

For Outlook 2013/2010:

  1. Click on Home tab
  2. Select New Items > More Items > Outlook Data File…
  3. Outlook suggests a default location for the file. I recommend that you change this to a folder that you backup regularly, possible a sub-folder in your My Documents.
  4. Enter a filename and click OK to create the file.

For Outlook 2003/2007:

  1. Click File > New > Outlook Data File
  2. Outlook 2003 Only: Outlook 2003 uses two types of Outlook data files. If you will be using the data only in Outlook 2003 or later, choose MS Outlook Personal Folders File. Otherwise choose the Outlook 97-2002 option.
  3. Outlook suggests a default location for the file. I recommend that you change this to a folder that you backup regularly, possible as sub-folder in your My Documents.
  4. Enter a filename and click OK to create the file.

You can create as many Personal Folder files as you need. Most users only need to create one in addition to the one that Outlook creates by default.

PST 1: Default Folder created by Outlook
PST 2: Use to store Project, Case or Client E-mails

You will be moving e-mails from PST 1 to PST 2 as I will show you in the upcoming tips.

If you have a very high volume of e-mails (particularly with large attachments) you may want to have 2 PST files for your Project E-mails, one for Active projects and one for Completed projects.

What’s Next?

By now I’m sure you have started backing up your Outlook data file regularly and following today’s post, I would recommend that you create the multiple data files and prepare for the upcoming posts in which we start organizing our emails and filing them in an efficient way so that it is easy to find and retrieve for future use.

Till next time… have a better Outlook.

Time to join the conversation – what do you think?

I hope that you found the tips so far useful in our quest for a better email management system.

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Feel free to share your own experience and the filing system that you use to keep your inbox clean and organized with our readers.

If you have not subscribed to our blog yet, JOIN US today so we can notify you when we post the tips on our blog.

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Here are links to the earlier tips we have discussed so far in case you missed out:

Tip #1: Turn Off Auto-Archiving in Outlook
You should archive e-mails as projects are completed. Don’t disorganize yourself by archiving based on dates.

Tip 2: Think carefully before using Outlook Rules
Rules can cause you to miss taking action on certain e-mails and also filing them into incorrect folders.

Tip 3: Find out where your Outlook data file is and backup regularly
How can you be sure that your Outlook data is being backed up if you don’t know where it is?

Tip #3 of 8: Find out where your Outlook data file is and backup regularly

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Friday, June 13th, 2014

As promised, here I’m with Tip #3 which I personally feel is the most important as it deals with keeping your Outlook data safe from data loss. I don’t even want to imagine the consequences of losing all my emails, contacts, appointments etc for even a day.

Before we get into that, I hope you have had the chance to read the earlier 2 tips, if not here is the link:
Tips 1 & 2 of 8 Simple Tips for Email Management

SO…

How can you be sure that your Outlook data is being backed up if you don’t know where it is?

I am frequently surprised with the number of users who have no idea where their Outlook data is actually saved on their computers.

Unless you are part of a corporate network using MS Exchange, all your Outlook data is stored in one Personal Folders file. This file has a .pst extension and is saved somewhere on your computer. This one file contains all your Outlook folders, e-mails, contacts, tasks, calendar items, journal entries and notes inside it.

So where is this file on your computer?

The exact location depends on the version of Outlook and Windows you are using but unfortunately it is almost never saved in a place you will remember to backup.

To find out where your Outlook data is:

1. Go to your Inbox and make sure that the list of folders is displayed

2. Right-click the top-level folder and select Properties

3. Click the Advanced button. The filename will be displayed in the box labeled FileName.

You need to make sure that you regularly backup this file to a CD, DVD or external hard-disk.

Please make sure that you are backing up your outlook data regularly.

What’s Next?

Did you know that Outlook is configured (by default) to eventually corrupt itself and lose some and maybe even all your e-mails?

Scary right… but not to worry, in the next tip, I will show you a technique that will stop your e-mail file from getting bloated, slow and eventually corrupting itself and dying.

Till next time… have a better Outlook.

Time to join the conversation – what do you think?

I hope that you found the tips so far useful in our quest for a better email management system.

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Feel free to share your own experience and the filing system that you use to keep your inbox clean and organized with our readers.

If you have not subscribed to our blog yet, JOIN US today so we can notify you when we post the tips on our blog.

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QuickFile for Outlook Add-in Update (Free)

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

I know that it’s only been a few weeks since we released the new version of QuickFile but we’ve had so much great feedback from users that we felt had to be implemented and put out there for you to use right now.

This update is free for all existing registered users of version 5.

Fixes and Features in this upgrade include:

  • Show Sub folders: In previous versions of QuickFile, it was possible to see subfolders of a folder (after searching for it). We’ve put this feature back in Version 5 and done a separate blog post on how to use it.
  • Remove suggestions: Folder recommendations in QuickFile are significantly more accurate in QuickFile Version 5. However there may be cases where you want to remove a suggestion. You can do this now by right clicking over the suggestion on the QuickFile screen as shown in this blog post.
  • Significant speed improvement when moving emails: Some users found that QuickFile as a sometimes slow when moving emails. We’ve rewritten the moving code.
  • Bug Fixes: There were a number of small bugs in other screens that have been tidied up.

Click to download the updated version (or a fully functional trial version) of the QuickFile Outlook addon.

Registered Users: Download the trial version and install it on your computer. It will automatically pick up your existing registration and settings.

New to QuickFile: Click QuickFile for Outlook Version 5 for more information on the easiest way to file and find your emails in Outlook.

Showing subfolders in QuickFile Version 5

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

QuickFile makes it easy to find a folder but what do you do if you need to see its subfolders too. Previous versions of QuickFile showed you the folders in a way that let you expand folders to show its subfolders. Here’s how to view subfolders in QuickFile Version 5.

Please note that this feature is only available in QuickFile 5.0.5252. If you need to, you can download the latest version of QuickFile for Outlook from here.

Open the QuickFile screen by clicking on QuickFile or Find & Goto on the ribbon.

Blog image 2

Right click over any folder in the Best section.

Click Show Subfolders in Search Results.

The setting will be saved for you and used in all future searches. You can changes it by repeating the steps above.

Please let us know if you find this feature useful by leaving a comment below.

New to QuickFile: Click QuickFile for Outlook Version 5 for more information on the easiest way to file and find your emails in Outlook.