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Chapter 3. Managing Outlook Folders > Improving Your Outlook

Improving Your Outlook

Now that you know how to create multiple Personal Folders files, create and move folders, and move and copy messages, you can put those tasks to work for you in your everyday business.

Let's assume that you work for a city public works department, manage four individuals, and are responsible for three concurrent projects. The four individuals you manage are Sally, Robert, John, and Lisa. The three projects are Urban Flood Control, Mosquito Abatement, and Low Income Housing Renewal. You receive approximately seventy emails a day from your employees, vendors, and your direct supervisors. You schedule meetings, delegate tasks, and record journal entries to track your progress.

To better manage your individual projects, you create a new Personal Folders file with the name Projects. Under that Personal Folders file, you create three folders, one for each project.

Creating those folders helps keep you organized. When you receive a message from Sally regarding an Environmental Impact Report on the Urban Flood Control project, you move the email to the Urban Flood Control folder. When Robert proposes a meeting with a contractor bidding on the Mosquito Abatement project, you create a task using AutoCreate to pull a copy of the contractor's business license and call for references. You also move a copy of that task to the Mosquito Abatement folder so that you have a record of it in that folder.

Creating new folders and moving and copying messages provides several benefits. You keep your Inbox relatively uncluttered. Staring at an Inbox with 500 messages, even with Outlook 2003's new organizational features, can make even the smallest task overwhelming. When you need to find an email related to the Low Income Housing Renewal project, you don't need to search through multiple folders. You navigate to the Low Income Housing folder and search only that folder.

Because all these folders are in a Personal Folders file, you can put the entire file on a network share. Then, when you go on vacation in June, your temporary replacement can access your Personal Folders file and obtain any information she needs on any of the projects you've been working on. You don't have to give her access to your default message store, so she can't read sensitive communications with your supervisor or the impressive collection of jokes you've accumulated over the years.

Putting Personal Folders files and Outlook folders to work for you can save time and make sharing information without an Exchange Server much simpler.

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