So I’ve spent the bulk of the last week fixing Outlook for people. It isn’t that Outlook has a lot of problems, but most people don’t invest the time necessary to properly maintain it.
First and foremost Outlook has a storage limit of 2 GB. With most emails being around 14 kb, it takes a long time to get to 2 gb. But, when you do, it takes a long time to fix! Instead, make it part of your daily management and you won’t have problems later.
1. Shift+Delete is your friend. Shift+Delete actually deletes the item from Outlook rather than moving it to your recycling bin. For all those spam messages, jokes, and read newsletters, this is a great way to keep your Deleted Items to a manageable level.
2. Archive projects – Filing emails in folders will keep you organized. When you conclude a project, go to File and select the Archive function. Be sure to set the name of the file to something meaningful so it is easy to find later. That is done under the “Archive file:” box at the bottom of the window.
Archiving removes the emails from your Inbox. TIP: I pull sent items related to the project into that folder first so that everything is together.
3. Empty your deleted items. When you press “delete” on a message it just moves it to the trash. The trash then takes up space until you empty it. It is important to clear the deleted items on a regular basis.
4. Go through your sent items. Sent items can really take up a lot of space with all the attachments you send, etc. Go through those items and delete what you can on a regular basis. For the rest, create a folder and archive them by date.
To access an archive file, simply go to File and select Open. From there select Outlook Data File. It will appear at the bottom of the folder list in Outlook. See September’s issue of Foundations for additional tips!
A little maintenance on a regular basis will go a long way to keeping Outlook functional. How do you keep your Outlook organized?
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