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How to handle threads/conversations in Outlook

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  • How to handle threads/conversations in Outlook

    Hello,

    I understand the concept, and value, behind emptying your Inbox and using folders such as @Action and @Waiting. My problem is that I’m an avid MS Outlook 2007 user and I sort my email by “Conversation” and then by “Date”. This way the entire conversation/thread is moved to the top of my Inbox when a new response to that conversation is received.

    If I move email to @Action or @Waiting then I will end up with incomplete conversations/thread in both my Inbox and the other folders. Does anyone know a trick or piece of software that will recognize an email as part of a conversation and automatically move it to the folder where the rest of the conversation is located (i.e. @Action or @Waiting)?

    I realize I could create Outlook “rules” to do this, but then I would have to create a rule for every conversation I receive, or at least want to move and I get several hundred emails each day.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Inbox vs. Reference Folder

    This treats your inbox like a reference folder (for email threads/conversations). A reference folder for email is great to have, but it shouldn't be kept in your inbox.

    I recommend one of the following:

    Create one rule that copies every incoming email into an off-line PST on your hard drive. This is an email reference folder. Group it by conversation and sort by date recieved. This will put the most recent email/conversations at the top of the folder. I find that when I know I have a copy of every incoming (and outgoing) email in another location, I'm much lest resistant to hitting "DELETE".

    If you are using an add-in (such as the GTD add-in for outlook) when you file by project put everything in one reference folder. Then group by project and then by conversation.

    I actually do both.

    Clear Context is fairly good at recognizing and linking conversations, but iirc it forces you to use a file hierarchy which I find unnecessary and complicating.

    Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      I have Outlook 2003. I have been using the free add-in Xobni. It threads conversations and has the best search I've seen for Outlook e-mail.

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      • #4
        ClearContext

        This depends on the individual's preference.

        I have seen those that prefer a single pile as you describe that can be sorted or searched, and others that prefer a folder for each project.

        I lean toward the folder per project method and for that ClearContext is the way to go if you use Outlook.

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