Email Filing

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated December 19, 2019)

2

Whether you are an executive, an executive's assistant, or simply an average Joe, email is a fact of life. With the ever-increasing amounts of email that we get each day and depend on to be able to function in our jobs, it is becoming a necessity to have some type of a filing system. Just like with any paper filing system, email filing is largely a matter of personal taste. Here are a couple of ideas that will be able to help you out with your cluttered inbox.

In the email program:

In your email program (whether it is Microsoft Outlook, or some other application) you need to start in the Archives Folders section. When you have found that section, make a specific file for the item that you are wishing to save. Label this file with the sender's name, or if you will be getting a massive amount of emails on a particular topic, label the file with that topic's name. When finished with the email, simply save it to that archive file. It is extremely easy to sort through the file and find it. You can even use the search tool to look for specific phrases and so on.

With this method, even if you have a couple of hundred different emails in each file, you will still be able to find anything you need in just a matter of moments. An example of this hierarchy, if you happened to work in a law office, may look like this (going from most broad, to specific):

  • Divorce Decrees—2012
  • James, Nathan—Divorce
  • Acme Furnace Invoices
  • Thermostat
  • James, Nathan

In "My Documents" section:

You can accomplish the same thing in the "My Documents" section of your computer that you do in your email system. All you need to really do is save the pertinent information, using main files, and then name the folders in them for easy recognition. An example of this, going from the most broad to the most specific, would look like this:

  • 2012—Invoices
  • Acme Furnace Company
  • New Thermostat

Or like this:

  • 2012 Divorce Decrees
  • James, Nathan—Circuit Court
  • Divorce Decree—Nathan v. Jones

By using these methods you will be literally using your computer and the email system as a filing cabinet, making information retrieval extremely easy. Keep in mind though, that it is easier to sort through your email by topic, so once you start, keep going until you have finished. Stopping and coming back to it later on will simply make it more difficult and confusing for you to find the information that you need later on.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

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What is 6 + 4?

2019-12-20 06:08:48

Nicholas King

I have never used the Archives in Outlook. It has always seemed mysterious to me and the concept of auto-archiving every x days seems I will be losing control of what I do. Perhaps if I had learnt about archiving properly many years ago I wouldn't need to be concerned.

Instead I set up separate .pst files under a series of headings and sub-headings and manually drag e-mails to the correct location once they are finished with. I then backup the Outlook files folder regularly. A little more work perhaps but have full control.

Using this way I can locate e-mails from many years past. Once the .pst file gets too large just (about 2GB seems the limit) make a new version of the .pst file and the old information is still available whenever you need to dig into the past.


2016-04-07 14:46:46

Annie

I wish there was a utility that would build a file that represented the "conversation" that occurs during several emails, getting rid of the duplications, putting the entries in chronological order, and making it easier to read & print. As it is, saving these emails is both wasteful due to duplications, and inefficient in terms of using the information inside them. Many emails have extra control characters at the end of every line, so re-use has to include processing these "hard-coded" end of lines.
Any ideas? Thanks.


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