Blitz! Finding your inbox unmanageable? Follow the tips in this document to take back control.

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1 Finding your inbox unmanageable? Follow the tips in this document to take back control. Turn on reading pane to speed up checking When having a clear out, the reading pane lets you check the content of an without opening it, helping you decide what you need to do with it. Click on the View tab Click on the Reading Pane icon Choose your preferred view (Bottom or Right) OR Turn on Message Preview to speed up checking Message Preview will show 1, 2 or 3 lines of the text of an within the inbox list, helping you decide what you need to do with it. Click on the View tab Click on the Message Preview icon Choose your preferred view (1,2 or 3 Lines displayed) Blitz! To run an archive manually YOU SHOULD NEVER ARCHIVE YOUR MESSAGES IF YOU ARE USING SOMEONE ELSE S COMPUTER. Click on the folder you want to clear out Click on the File tab and then on Info in the left-hand menu Click on the Cleanup Tools icon and choose Archive Choose which date to archive from using the Archive items older than box. Note that the Archive file box shows where the archive will be saved to (leave this as is) Click OK If you ve not done an archive before, you will see an archive folder appear in your folder list in the navigation pane on the left. Otherwise, archived s will have been added to the archived folders that already existed. Consider archiving your s This is useful if you want to make a fresh start but don t have the time to properly clear out your . Archiving your folders means moving all s older than a certain date a separate archive folder on the hard drive of your own computer. The archive folder and all of the s that it contains: appear in your Outlook folder list like your other inbox folders can be opened, replied to and moved like any other s are only accessible from the computer you performed the archive on (ie not via staffmail via the web or other computers you work on) As your archived folders are saved on your computer, you should create a back-up regularly. Change your auto-archive settings You will be prompted periodically to run an archive. To check your settings to give you the confidence to click YES when asked if you want to archive (or to switch this function off if prefer): Click on the File tab and click on Options in the left-hand menu Click on Advanced in the left-hand menu of the pop-up window Click on AutoArchive Settings Last updated February 2016 See for more videos and documentation Faye Brockwell

2 Tips for having a thorough clear out The techniques here can be used when spring cleaning your inbox but should be used daily or weekly to keep on top of the housework. Eliminate redundant messages All threads have content that is repeated and redundant. Usually the last in a thread contains the content of the previous s. Don t waste time checking these redundant messages. Get Outlook to delete them for you before you start your clean up: Click on the folder you want to clean up (eg Inbox) On the Home tab click on the Clean up icon Click on Clean Up Folder to delete redundant s. To sort , click on the column heading of the column you want to sort by (for example size in the example below): How to add a sort field If the sort field you want does not show: Settings control what will be deleted automatically. Eg, the default is that unread messages will not be deleted using this tool. To check and change these settings click on the File tab, choose Options, then Mail and then check the Conversation Clean up settings. Click on the View tab Click on the Add Columns icon Click on the column you want in the list on the left and then click the Add button and click OK. Sort mails to speed things up Sorting the mail within a folder makes it easier to blitz as you focus on groups of s rather than checking each one individually. For instance sort by: From useful if you know you don t need or can file away all s from a certain sender (e.g. subscriptions to newsletters). Size or Attachment To delete the biggest s. To This is useful on the Sent items folder. Sort by who you sent it to and it s highly likely that you can delete all the s to your mum at once. Select several s to delete or move a chunk in one hit Click on the first in the group Hold down the SHIFT button on your keyboard and click on the last in the group If you want to keep certain s, hold down the CTRL button on your keyboard and select those that you want to keep. All of the s in that group will be selected. Press the Delete key on your keyboard to delete them or Drag and drop them to the relevant folder for filing 2

3 Use Conversation View to check all s in a thread Conversation view groups your inbox by thread (conversation) rather than received date. This is useful as it allows you to delete/move an entire thread in one hit even those s that are saved in different folder. To turn it on: Click on the View tab Click to select Date (Conversations) Click to select Show as Conversations Conversations in the inbox can be identified by arrow next to an in the inbox. Click on the arrow to see all of the other s in the conversation. Using the reading pane you can quickly check all s in a conversation to see what you need to keep. If you don t need a conversation, to delete all of the s within it: Click on the top line of the conversation within the inbox Press the Delete key on your keyboard If you ve reached your inbox size limit Check mailbox size This help you to identify which folders are taking up the most space. Click on the File tab and then on Info in the left-hand menu Click on the Cleanup Tools icon and choose Mailbox Cleanup Click on View Mailbox Size Look out for large folders (e.g. deleted items) and target these first in your clean up. Understand where your lives If your aim is to reduce the size of your mailbox to avoid those nagging messages, it helps to understand which mail counts towards your mailbox size and where you can move s you still need to keep. Your mailbox This sits on the Exchange server (university network). Anything in these folders, including deleted and sent items does contribute to your mailbox size Archive folders and personal folders These sit on the hard drive of your computer. Anything in these folders does not contribute to your mailbox size so you can move things here to free up some space on the server and keep the messages at bay. (Note: you can only see these folders when checking on your own computer, not staffmail via the web or another PC) Functional (shared) mailboxes These sit on the Exchange server (university network). Anything in these folders do not contribute to your personal mailbox size 3

4 Empty your deleted items folder If you use the Deleted Items folder as a filing cabinet for s you might need, STOP. Think of it as your bin. How many times do you put things in the bin and then decide to take them out again? To empty the deleted items folder: Right click on the Deleted items folder and click on Empty Folder If there are things that you dare not delete, create a new folder called SIDND folder (Stuff I Dare Not Delete) and move s you re not sure about to this folder instead of deleting them. Clear the SIDND folder regularly. Set Outlook to empty the deleted items folder automatically Set Outlook to automatically empty your deleted items folder each time you close Outlook, to save you having to remember to do it: Click on the File tab and click on Options in the left-hand menu Click on Advanced in the left-hand menu of the pop-up window Click the checkbox for Empty Deleted Items folders when exiting Outlook Consider archiving Archiving mail will move the s to a location that does not contribute to your inbox size. See Consider archiving your s section. Think about attachments To make an impact on your mailbox size, target the large mails first: to do this sort on the Size or Attachment columns to show the largest s at the top. Before filing an with an attachment for reference remember: To think about whether that attachment is, or should be, available elsewhere on the internet, department docs or sharepoint. If it is, make sure the attachment is where it should be and delete it from your . Any s filed in sub-folders of your mailbox will still contribute to your mailbox size. Be brave: you can recover deleted items if needs be It is possible to recover items that you have emptied from the deleted items folder recently. You can usually recover items that you have deleted within the last 14 days, although this may change depending on how much you have deleted recently. To do this: Click on the Folder tab Click on the Recover Deleted Items icon Click to select the message to recover (hold down the CTRL button to select several messages). Click on the icon to restore these messages back to your Deleted Items folder. 4

5 Process for keeping your inbox clear Once you ve got your inbox back under control, follow this process for each you receive to keep on top of your Other people inbox day-to-day. Inbox Delete Instructions for some steps are on the following pages. What is it? Incubate SIDND Project plans YES (multi-step) Is it Actionable? NO File DELEGATE YES What s the next Action? If less than 2 minutes DO IT now Reference Keep track Waiting for DEFER IT today ASAP Set a specific date This diagram is based on one by David Allen in his book Getting Things Done- David Allen Flags for action Tasks ToDo lists Folder s Calendar 5

6 Create an folder folders are used to file s together. They can be used to file s you have read but need to keep for further reference. To create a new folder: Right-click on the higher level folder (e.g. right-click on Inbox if you are going to create a sub-folder of your inbox, or right-click on your name at the top of the folder list if you are going to create a folder at the same level as your inbox). Click on New Folder. Type a name for the new folder and click on OK. In Outlook 2013, you can control the order of the folders you no longer need to be creative to get things to appear in an alphabetically-sorted order as you did in previous versions. Simply drag your folder to the desired location in the folder list on the left. Use a quick step to easily move to sub-folders This is useful if you are repeatedly moving s to a folder that is deep within your folder structure, setting up a quick step to move s to this folder in one click will save you time. To set up the quick step: Click on the Home tab. Click on the to open the Quick Steps dialogue box. Click on New and choose Move to folder Give the Quick Step a name (this will appear on your Home tab) Click on the arrow on the Choose Folder box and locate the folder you want to move s to. Click on Finish and then click OK. Automatically delete expired s You can set an expiry date on s. This then allows you to use the auto - archive function to then automatically delete any s that have passed their expiry date. To set an expiry date on an Double-click on a message to open it Click on File and then Properties Set the Expires after date and time Click Close Close the message and save the changes To delete expired s Click on File and choose Options from the left-hand menu Click on Advanced on the left, and then click on AutoArchive Settings Click the Run AutoArchive every checkbox and set how often you want this clean up to happen Click to select the Delete expired items ( folders only) checkbox Unless you want to archive other items based on date, deselect the Archive or delete old items checkbox Click OK Now any s that have been marked with an expiry date should automatically be deleted. 6

7 Flag s for follow up Flag s for follow up if you need to complete the action today. At the end of the day, sort your by the follow up flag to check that you have done everything. Click on the follow up flag to mark an for follow up. The flag will turn red. At the end of each day, leave some time to sort your s by the flag to ensure that you have followed them all up. If you re not going to follow the up today, use a task to remind you to do it at a later date (see below). To convert an to a task: Double click to open the Click on Move If you have converted an to a task before, click on Tasks in the folder list If you ve not converted an to a task before, click on Other folder and choose your Tasks folder from the list Click OK. This will open up a new task (see below). The content of the will be in the main body of the task with a copy of the attached at the bottom. You can double-click on this attachment if you need to reply to or forward the . Convert s into tasks Tasks are used in Outlook to remind you of all the things you have to do. There a benefits to using tasks: s that you need to follow up at a later date can be cleared from your inbox, thus ensuring you don t waste time rereading the each time you check your inbox You can set a reminder on tasks which will pop up on screen when the task is due You can add more information to the task You can group several s together in a task Converting an to a task deletes the from your inbox. However, the is added to the task as an attachment, so you can still reply to/forward the original when the task is completed. When converting an to a task: Change the subject of the task to an action (e.g. read John s report and feedback) rather than leaving the original subject this will make it easier for you to get started on a task 7

8 Set a due date if necessary this will help to organise your task list Set a reminder this will trigger a pop-up message to remind you about the task You can also type more information to help you plan the task in the main body of the task, above the text If a task is private, you can click on the padlock so others cannot see the details Click on Save when you have finished creating your task. Your task list will appear in the To Do bar at the right-hand of your Outlook screen or you can click on the Tasks button at the bottom left of your Outlook screen. If you cannot see your To Do bar, click on the View tab, click on the To Do Bar icon and click on Normal. Remember to check, process and clear your task list regularly. Convert s into to calendar appointments If you use your Outlook Calendar to manage your diary you can also convert s to Calendar appointments. This can be used to block out time in your day to tackle a specific task without the need to copy and paste the details. The method is similar to converting an to a task: Double click to open the Click on Move If you have converted an to a calendar appointment, click on Calendar in the folder list If you ve not converted an to a calendar appointment before, click on Other folder and choose your Calendar folder from the list and then click OK. Set up a rule Rules are used to automatically move s that do not require action from your inbox to the relevant folder. This allows you to decide when to check certain s so that they do not distract you from your real work. Contenders for rules are: Mails sent to groups to which you belong Mails on which you are CCed Personal Setting up a rule does NOT mean that you do not have to check the in the folders. You should check the folders regularly to ensure that something that does require your action has not been moved into there by mistake. However, having the s in one folder does help to make this checking easier. To set up a rule: Find an in your mailbox that meets the criteria for the rule you want to set up. Eg To set up a rule: o to move all uni info messages to another folder, find a uni info o to flag any s from a certain sender, find an from that sender Right-click on the Click on Rules and then Create Rule Set the conditions for the rule and specify what to do if the conditions are met. Click on OK. This will open up a new calendar appointment. 8

9 Uni info rule example Click to select the Sent to checkbox to apply the rule to all s sent to uni info Click to select the Move the item to folder checkbox Click on Select Folder Choose a folder to move all uni info s to* (you will be given the opportunity to create a New folder if you do not have one already) Click OK. *Do not send uni info s straight to deleted items as central department use uni info to notify staff of things such as system downtimes. 9

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