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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.
Outlook 2010 comes with three specialized folders that allow you to find items, no matter which Inbox folder they are located in. They are called Search Folders, and what a Search Folder does is it creates an index for the items you want to look for. So when I open a Search Folder, I see items not just from Inbox, but from Sent Items, from my Outbox, from my Drafts folder, and from any folders that I have created within the Inbox. To look at your Search Folders, you can simply choose Mail and then at the bottom of the list, under your Mailbox, you'll see Search Folders.
There are default search folders for Follow Up for Large Mail and for Unread Mail. When you first open the Search Folder, you'll find that they are sitting there inactive, and italicized, and grayed out. But if I wanted, for example, to see all of the unread mail, no matter what folder it was in, I can click on the Unread Mail search folder, and it will now turn on and go search and find all the unread mail and return a view in the Information viewer that shows me unread mail by folder. So, for example, I have unread mail in my Inbox, I have unread mail in a folder for my RSS feeds, I have unread mail in my OilFest Admin folder, and there are some Sync Issues that are in another folder that's hidden.
So I can see all of my Unread Mail, look at it and work with it as I go along. Now as with the other Unread Mail folder, if I read some mail, it can't disappear out of this view. This view is not a dynamic view in that way. I can refresh it by hitting F5, and it will hide anything that I have read since I have been here. Another search folder is called Large Mail, and what the Large Mail folder does is it finds all the messages that are more than 100 kilobytes, and then because it's based on size, the smart grouping here is large, very large. There is larger categories for huge and enormous, and this is view that's very easily used if I want to be able to clean out my Inbox.
For example, if my IT department sends me one of those automatic messages that says, your Inbox is too big, you need to get rid of some things, the easiest way for me to figure out what I need to get rid of is not to search folder by folder on my own and sort them by size, but simply to go to the Large Mail search folder and say, show me the biggest mail in my mailbox. That way I can decide, what of this mail that I need to keep. Finally, there is a search folder that's set up for follow up; in other words for items in your Inbox, or your other mailbox folders, that you flagged.
So when I click For Follow Up, I will see that I have some flagged items in various places; in my Inbox, in my Accounting folder and in my OilFest folder. So I can take a look and say, oh! There is all of my work together in one place. Now note you could have a similar view in your Tasks list, expect your Task list would also include items that you flagged that were contacts, as well as tasks that you created in your Tasks folder. Here, what I am seeing is only e-mail that I flagged, not other types of items that were flagged somewhere else.
The power of Search Folders is that they cross all of the folders in your mailbox, so they pull together items from your Sent Items, to your Inbox, to each of the folders that you've created underneath your Inbox, all in one location. These are the three built-in search folders. In the next video, we will see how you can create your own search folders to look across all of your Inbox folders for items that you want to address in Outlook.
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