Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Arranging mail by date or sender, part of Outlook 2007: Effective Email Management.
The first time you open Microsoft Outlook, which may have been a long time ago, there's a default view showing in the Information viewer for the Inbox. It's the view that you see in front of you right now. And in this view, what we have is we have messages that are sorted by date. Now in Outlook 2007, there is a new feature that's called Smart Grouping. So instead of being grouped by individual days of the week, all of the messages from today would say Today, yesterday as Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, Two Weeks Ago.
If we proceed, we'll see Three Weeks Ago and then Last Month, which was altogether a different month, and even older than last month. So this is called Smart Grouping, and it's based on whatever the sort order is that you are using at the time. So when we're arranged by date, the Smart Grouping will be around date. If we were to use size to see how larger our files were, we'd find that the Smart Grouping is around file size, Very Large, Large, Medium, and so on.
So we don't actually choose the kind of Smart Grouping that's put into place by Microsoft Outlook; we simply choose the category that we want to sort by. The typical sorts that you'll use are the default for when a message was actually sent or received, and then From, which allows you to see who your messages are from. Notice again that we have all of our messages grouped by who they are from, and that if the group name is bolded, there are messages that have not been read in that group.
Now, there's a lot to scan here to take a look and see what messages have actually been received, so in any grouping, you might want to be able to quickly go to View > Expand/Collapse and say collapse all the groups. It I've chosen who the message was from, I now actually have a list of senders who have messages in my Inbox. Very easy to see, and I can quickly say I was expecting some e-mail from Kyle, let me go look at that, and find it very quickly.
If, on the other hand, I've sorted my Inbox by the date on which the mail was received, and I expand/collapse my groups, then what I'll have is mail that I received last week while I was gone, mail that I received two weeks ago while I was gone, and then mostly mail that I received prior to that time, and the mail that I haven't cleaned out of my Inbox yet, but which is older mail. By clicking the buttons at the top, the column headings in the Information viewer, I can quickly change from the seeing who my messages are from to seeing when they were received.
And in either view, I can then expand all my groups in order to see all of my mail again. So if I need to find a message from a particular person and my mail is sorted by date, it's usually much quicker to simply click on From, go find that person and find that e-mail than it is to use Search or to use any find utility in order to locate it, as long as that e-mail is still in my Inbox. Being able to move quickly between views by clicking sort columns in the Information viewer is a basic and incredibly useful skill in Microsoft Outlook 2007.
- Viewing messages by conversation
- Flagging messages
- Understanding flags and the To Do list
- Sorting and filtering email
- Creating a search folder
- Creating email rules
- Using the Out of Office Assistant