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Reading and responding to email can be a full-time job. In Outlook 2010: Real-World Projects, Gini Courter explores the new features in Microsoft's popular email and calendaring program that make the job faster and easier to manage. With Conversation View, Gini shows how to catch up on unread email strings without rereading duplicate information. Performing multiple tasks, like replying to and moving a message at the same time, is a snap with Quick Steps, which Gini reviews in detail. She also highlights the revised Contacts tabs and new Calendar features, groups, and tools.
Let me show you how Kim can use the new Conversation views in Outlook 2010 to quickly tame her wild Inbox. The new default view Date (Conversations) allows Kim to view her messages as related conversations or threads, rather than simply by date alone. In the Conversation views, each conversation is shown only once, on the most recent day the related message was sent. Kim won't have to search through various days for those related messages, they are all right here in one place.
This view is also compact and fast. While there are 34 unread messages, they're only 16 conversations. So it's easy for Kim, with the Conversation views, to see what happened while she was gone from the office. Kim begins by returning to a conversation she started before she left, a question about sample designs for the new website that she needed to have reviewed. When she opens the sample designs conversation, it notes that the latest messages are shown here. There were 9 messages, 7 of them are collapsed here.
If Kim clicks again, she will be able to see all of the messages. Some of the messages though are marked as messages where something actually important was said or there was a change in the way that the messages went along. So what Kim can do is she can choose to clean up this conversation. She could look at all messages if she wished but she can simply say Clean Up his Conversation, and the extra messages, those marked as less critical to the conversation have just been moved to the Deleted Items folder. The latest message has the design that Kim has been waiting for, so she will be able to forward this later.
There are some other conversations Kim can clean up as well. There is a Bonsai design course. While she's been gone, there's been a conversation between Hiro Ishimoto and Raul Diaz. In the latest message, Raul says, "I won't be going to this course." If Raul is not attending, Kim doesn't have to keep track of it. So she can ignore this entire conversation. When she ignores the conversation, all of these messages will be moved to the Deleted Items folder. If future messages come that are part of this chain because Raul continues to copy her, she won't see those messages either.
However, if she changes her mind, if at some point she wants to reengage with this conversation, she can simply go to the Deleted Items folder, choose any message, note that it's being ignored, Ignore it again, and say I want to Stop Ignoring this Conversation. And at that point, the messages will be returned back to her Inbox. When you've been out of the office for a few days or a few weeks, the Conversation views provide the help you need to quickly regain control of your Inbox, and you don't need to leave the office to find this new default view relentlessly useful.
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