by Paul Lowans
Here is another installment of the new monthly newsletter article called Techie Tips & Tricks. The theme is interesting tips and tricks surrounding technology, any technology whether it is computers; cell phones; travel or widgets (i.e. anything). I don’t want this to be MY article, so I expect everyone to contribute. Maybe you had a good answer to a question at the Technology Forum this month; write it up and send it in before the 15th of the month.
Many of us use Outlook for our email and more. I thought I would discuss some of the features, specifically to do with email. For the purpose of this article, I will provide information on getting to the commands for Outlook 2007 but include in parenthesis the same for Outlook 2010. For Outlook 2007 I will list /View/Navigation Pane/Normal, which means to select the View pulldown menu, then the Navigation Pane and finally the Normal command. For 2010 I will list it as /View/Layout/Navigation Pane which means start with the View tab, the Layout ribbon and the Navigation Pane on the Layout ribbon.
Under Outlook 2003, you could have multiple POP3 email addresses all feeding into one Inbox. This is because you Outlook 2003’s information was contained in one Outlook.pst file. With Outlook 2007 and 2010, each email account has its own pst file to manage each email account. If I had two accounts, one called email@example.com, and another firstname.lastname@example.org then I would have two corresponding pst files called email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Separating your email accounts into individual Inboxes (pst files) accomplishes two things. First, it separates your email by account and second, it helps to keep down massive amounts of email in your Inbox. Remember, the more emails you store in your Inbox the larger it is and as you amass more and more email, Outlook begins to have problems. I’ve had clients with thousands of emails in the Inbox even if they are in spread subfolders, as long as they are under the Inbox part in the tree, they are included as part of the Inbox. As I have pointed out in previous Techie Tips & Tricks and also at Technology Forums you need to move you email out of the Inbox into folders at the same tree level as the Inbox. That way you still have access to the emails but they are not considered part of the Inbox.
Having multiple Inboxes and individual folders for storing email can make your Outlook tree difficult to work with. Microsoft made it easier as part of the Navigation Pane. The Navigation Pane is on the left side of the Outlook window. It is made up of three parts. Starting at the bottom, you have the buttons for the different features of Outlook,such as Mail, Calendar and Contacts. Next, above the buttons you see a hieratical tree of folders for each feature. Some of the folders include the Inbox, Deleted Items and Sent Items. Also listed here are the Inboxes for each email account. Emails listed on the right can be dragged and dropped to folders in the tree on the left. The top portion of the Navigation Pane is the Favorite Folders (Favorites). By default it contains the default Inbox, Sent Items and Deleted Items.
If your Navigation Pane is not visible you can turn it on by selecting /View/Navigation Pane/Normal (/View/Layout/Navigation Pane). If the Favorites Folder is not visible in your Navigation Pane, select /View/Navigation Pane/Favorite Folder (/View/Layout/Navigation Pane/Favorites). To increase your main viewing area of the window, you can minimize the Navigation Pane by selecting the double arrow to the right of Mail (single arrow to the right of Favorites). This collapses the Navigation Pane to the left, increasing the main viewing area of emails. To maximize the Navigation Pane, select the right arrow at the top of the column.
You can list any folder in the tree as a Favorite. To do this right-click on the folder and select Add to Favorite Folders (Show in Favorites). If you list each email account Inbox in the Favorite area, navigating to each inbox is easy. To remove any folder from the Favorite Folders (Favorites), just right-click on the folder and select Remove from Favorite Folders (Remove from Favorites).