Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Arranging Your Messages
proverbial needle in the haystack that you needed a week from last Tuesday.
Fortunately, Outlook offers you a whole bunch of different ways to arrange
that mess of messages so that you have a fighting chance of figuring out
what’s important, what can wait, and what can be ignored.
When Outlook is set up to display the Reading pane on the right side of the
screen, you’ll see four labels at the top of the list of messages. The two
leftmost labels are called All and Unread. All means what it says — clicking it
displays all of your messages. If you click Unread, you only see the
messages you haven’t viewed yet — once you read a message it disappears
from this view, although you can see it again if you click All. The labels on the
right describe the system Outlook is using to organize how your messages
are displayed. If the By Date label is showing, your messages are displayed
in the order in which you received them. That’s how you want to view your
messages almost all the time. To the right of that label sits another label that
offers some detail about the arrangement Outlook is currently using. (For
example, if your messages are currently arranged by date, the button on the
right will say either Newest or Oldest.)
To change the way Outlook arranges your messages, simply click the By Date
label to reveal a shortcut menu of all the arrangements you can use. These are
the arrangements Outlook offers (see Figure 6-11):
✓ Date (Conversations): When you first set up Outlook, this is how your
Inbox is arranged. This arrangement groups messages of the same
subject together. If you’ve been exchanging a series of messages with
others about a specific project or idea, this arrangement makes it much
easier to follow the entire thread of the conversation — and it also
cleans up a lot of the clutter in your Inbox, making it much easier to find
what you are really looking for.
This is different from previous versions of Outlook — or even most
other e-mail programs, for that matter — which usually sort e-mail just
by date. After you get used to this arrangement, you’ll wonder how you
ever got along without it. I explain the Conversations arrangement in
more detail in the next section of this chapter.
✓ From: As you might guess, this arrangement organizes your message
collection according to the person from whom the message was sent.
Choosing the From arrangement is a little bit faster than setting up a
search folder, but sometimes a search folder is still the best way to track
messages from specific important people.
✓ To: Most messages you receive are addressed to you, but not always.
Sometimes you receive messages addressed to a list of people, so your
name doesn’t appear in the To field of the message. This arrangement
separates your messages according to whether your name is in the To
field of each message.