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In Outlook 2010: Effective Email Management, author Gini Courter demonstrates techniques to streamline the Outlook mailbox workflow. The course covers strategies for customizing views, adding filters, utilizing flags, and creating and organizing folders. The course also shows how to automate tasks as well as make effective use of QuickSteps to process email, and more.
You've already seen how you can search and filter in a view on the fly, but there is also a use for a filter that persists, a view that will last that you can switch back and forth to and from. So we need to know how to change View settings in Outlook 2010 to create filter views. If I go to the Home tab and choose one of these Filters, for example, Unread messages, this is temporary. It only appears as long as the Search tools are open. As soon as I close this search, I'm not filtering anymore.
And it's really inconvenient to have the search tab in front of you all the time. I'd like to create a view that would let me look for specific items; for example, all the e-mail from people in my company or all of the e-mail that comes from people in my workgroup, all of the e-mail that comes from a particular client's e-mail domain. And to create those kinds of filters, I actually need not to use filter e-mail here, but to go to the View tab and choose View Settings. The Advanced View Settings for any view include the columns, which we can add using the Add Columns button, then rearrange using drag and drop; grouping, which is either automatic, based on settings that I've created, or I can include grouping; sorting, which I can do by click in the column headings, and then two other items we want to pay particular attention to: Filtering and Conditional Formatting.
Even though I create a filter on the fly, that filter does not touch my view. So I'm going to click Filter and show you how to create a filter. If, for example, I wanted to filter and only show items that had OilFest or upcoming festival in the subject field, I would simply type OilFest and choose In subject field only. If, on the other hand, I was willing to look for any e-mail message that mentioned OilFest anywhere, even "how our plans coming for OilFest," or "are we having an OilFest again this year," then I could say go ahead and look in the subject field or the message body.
And finally, I can say, look in the frequently used text fields. And that includes the To, Cc, From, Subject, and Body - all of the frequently used fields, so that I could put a name in, for example, Tom, and if Tom showed up as a recipient, as someone who is copied on a message, or in the subject or had a signature in the body, I would find it. So one of the choices is to enter in some text. Another choice is to say it's from a particular person, who I'd choose from my address book or sent to a particular person, who I would also choose from my address book.
I can also say I only want messages where they're sent only to me, or they're sent to me and to others, or messages that I'm only copied on. If any of those will do, simply don't click this check box. These are the initial primary filter choices, but there are even more. I could look for only items that were unread, or items that were read. I can look for items that have or do not have attachments, and you'll notice these are the same sorts of choices that were available to us when we chose Filter off the Home tab.
I can choose items based on importance. In the Home tab I can choose, for example, High Importance, but here I could choose Low Importance. Only items which have been flagged. Only items of a particular Size. Then I have even more advanced filters. So this is where I could add a filter that said, for example, that there was a particular importance, or that it was sent in a particular timeframe. So I could say sent yesterday, or sent in the last 7 days. When you choose my advanced criteria here, after you set them, you click to add them to the list, and this means then that they're available for use as a filter.
So I have a lot of choices that I can put in place for a filter. I'm going to remove this, and I'm simply going to filter on OilFest being In the subject field, and say OK. So I'm going to apply this filter, and you'll notice that this filter returns one item: Arthur Lot's message of last week. I'm going to return to the View Settings to open the Advanced View Settings dialog box, return to the filter, and I'm going to Clear All the filters. And when I do, it clears every filter on every single tab. And say OK.
Say OK again, and you'll notice now there is no filter applied, and all my messages come back. There is another feature that I can use to help messages stand out. Filtering removes all the messages that don't meet a particular condition. In that case, the condition being that OilFest was in the subject. I could choose, instead of hiding the messages that don't meet a condition, to format the messages that do. In prior versions of Microsoft Outlook, there was actually an organize with colors feature that allowed me to easily say, messages from this person should be green, messages from this person should be blue, and so on.
In Outlook 2010, all of those organized by color features are in conditional formatting here in the Advanced View Settings dialog box, and we find by clicking in the View Settings button on the View tab. I'm going to choose Conditional Formatting, and you'll note that a lot of conditional formatting is automatically applied. For example, unread messages are bold. Headers for unread groups of messages are bold. Items that have been submitted but not sent, in other words they're hanging around in your outbox on their way, are italicized.
Expired e-mail has a line through it. E-mail you flagged, but have not yet completed. Overdue e-mail is red. And messages displayed from other folders, for example, when you have show as conversations turned on, will be italicized and gray. Now, you could add additional conditional formatting options if you wish, simply by click in the Add button. You'll need to type a name for your rule, so I'm going to simply say that this is OilFest Messages. This is the format; here's the condition.
So I'm going to set a condition, and you'll notice the same Filter dialog box opens that opened when we chose Filter here in the Advanced Formatting dialog box. I'm going to say that if the word "OilFest" appears in the subject field - there is my condition - that I want to format this. And I have a number of different choices, but using a Color is usually a good way to do it. In green and bold, here is an example, of my text. So any message that has to do with this OilFest project that Olivia is in charge of will stand out because it'll be green and bold.
Let's go ahead and say OK, and say OK again, and say OK a third time. But when I go back, I'll click, and I'll find that I have one message that has conditional formatting applied to it. Again, this is the same as organize in color was in Outlook 2007 and earlier versions. If I want to save this view again - remember that it was last saved before I'd applied this conditional formatting - then what we'll do is we'll go and we'll save the current view as a new view, actually we'll call this new view OilFest, and use it All Mail and Post Folders.
So if I want to change the settings that I have for filtering, and have them persist, or use conditional formatting as an alternative to filtering, I'll find both of those features on the View tab by clicking View Settings in Current View.
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