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Blog: Technology As An Organizing Tool
Organize Your Email Part 3

Over the last couple of weeks I've posted a number of tips to help you eliminate clutter from your Inbox. The Inbox gets a lot of attention, because it's generally what you see first when you access your email, and of course that's where all the messages are that you still need to read or act on (unless you have already implemented my suggestions). But the Sent folder is often overlooked, because the only time you see it is when you need to refer to one of the messages you've sent.

Because nearly all email platforms allow you to search a folder, some people would say that to organize your sent messages would be a total waste of time. However, depending on your system, you may run into space and/or performance issues if the number of messages is too high. In addition, if you like to keep all related messages in folders, as discussed in Part 1 of this series, you will probably find it more convenient to include sent messages in those folders as well.

Microsoft Outlook has a feature that you rarely hear about, but which can save you the trouble of going through your Sent folder and moving messages to appropriate folders. Before sending a message, simply click on "Options" and you'll see that one of those options is to select which folder the message should be saved to. It may take an extra second now, but can save quite a bit of time later on. If you develop the habit of doing this, you'll be able to delete the items in your Sent folder periodically without fear of losing important information.

Outlook also allows you to set up Rules to automatically move messages sent to a specific person or with specific words in the subject line to a specified folder.

If you don't use Outlook, see if your email platform has similar options. If not, and you want to organize your sent messages, you'll probably have to move them manually to the appropriate folders, either immediately after sending, at the end of each day, or at whatever interval works best for you.

As with any form of organizing, the main thing is to develop a system that allows you to work smarter, not harder. If it takes you more time to review and file than it would take you to search for information when you need it, that's clearly not productive.

posted on: 4/3/2008 8:30:00 AM by Janet Barclay
category: Business

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Technology As An Organizing Tool

by Janet Barclay

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Janet Barclay is a Master Virtual Assistant and the founder of Organized Assistant. Specializing in supporting entrepreneurs in the Organizing and Career Services industries, Organized Assistant provides top-notch Internet marketing services to business owners of all shapes and sizes.

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