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In Outlook for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Alicia Katz Pollock provides a comprehensive overview of the full-featured email, calendar, and scheduling application from Microsoft. The course covers the key fundamentals of the program, including sending and receiving email, creating and managing contacts, and scheduling tasks and appointments. It also covers Outlook 2011 organizational features such as the Media Browser, Conversation view, My Day, the Scrapbook, and more.
Outlook's newest feature quickly has become my favorite, Conversation View. This feature will group your emails by subject line so that you don't have to scroll through your Inbox to find related messages. Conversation view is part of the Arrange By organization method that we explored in the previous video, but it's such a profoundly practical tool that it deserves its own special look. Start by turning on Conversations. You can do this in many ways. By clicking on Arranged By and choosing Conversations or you can go to the Organize tab and Conversations has its own button.
You can go to the Arranged By button and choose Conversations from here and you can also go up to the View menu, choose Arranged By and select Conversations there. Now messages with the same subject line get grouped together. There's a little triangle that you can use to view all of the messages or to collapse them so that you are just looking at the summary. When the conversation is closed, this number in the oval shows you how many unread messages are in it. Down here I can see the total number. Now here's my favorite part.
The first time I discovered this I actually jumped up and down in my chair. If you click on the summary message, you can see not just the messages you've received, but all the related messages. At the top you can see the subject line, and who the most recent message was sent by, and the date of that most recent message. On the far right you can see the total number of messages and how many are unread, and when you look at the list of messages you can see the sender, even if it was yourself. In gray italics in front of the message you can see what folder it's in, Sent Items or it's in a subfolder if you've archived it.
On the right you can see the date that the message was sent. Now, there's one more way to view a conversation. When you're looking at one of the messages there is a little button up in the corner with an arrow and a speech bubble. When I click on it, it goes straight to that Conversation View. We also have some preferences we can set. Go up to the Outlook menu and select Preferences. Click on the Reading Option and in the middle of the pane we have three options for how we want our conversations to work. The first expands only one conversation at a time.
If you want to be able to expand multiples, you would turn that checkmark off. The second automatically expands the conversation when you click on the summary. And the third highlights all the messages from the same conversation. You can see here how all of these are highlighted. I, myself, leave all three on. When you're done close the Preference pane. Of all Outlooks views I find the Conversation View my most useful. By combining conversations instead of searching for individual messages and being able to include my own responses right in line, I can manage my projects effectively.
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