Get control of your mailbox 3: Sent items

These days we get bombarded with emails. According to research, in 2010, we are each receiving an average of 74 emails per day, 61 of which are legitimate emails, and we are sending an average of 34 emails per day. That’s 756 emails per week or 39,312 per year !!

So, we need to get organised…!

This article is the third in a series of 10 articles that will give you tips for helping you keep your mailbox under control when using Microsoft Outlook 2003, 2007 or 2010.

Organising your Sent items

Many people will try to keep on top of their incoming messages: filing them, deleting them, saving and removing attachments, forwarding or replying to them, and so on. However, most people will forget to organise their Sent items. The Sent items folder keeps a record of every email that is sent (remember the average is 34 per day, that’s 12,410 emails a year just in your sent items folder).

Moving sent items to folders

Just like with your incoming emails, your sent items can be organised into folders. Each email can be dragged from the Sent items folder into the folders under your Inbox (See article “Get control of your mailbox 2: Email folders” for more information on creating and using folders).

Removing attachments

Each time you send an email with an attachment, you are duplicating the attachment on your computer. You have the original document sitting in a folder on your computer, and another copy of that document attached to your email. The size of your Sent items folder can very quickly build up from all of the attachments that you are sending. To reduce the size and increase the speed of your computer, it is recommended that you remove attachments from your Sent items.

It would depend on how many or how large the attachments are that you are sending as to how often you should clear out your attachments. It may be monthly, weekly or even daily if you are sending many large attachments.

An attachment can be removed from an email without having to delete the email itself, so you can always retain a copy of the email as a record that an attachment was sent. It is therefore good practice to write something like “Please find attached document…” in the body of your email, as your record.

To remove an attachment:

     1. Open the email
     2. Right click on the attachment
     3. Select ‘Remove’
     4. Close the email and select to save changes

Tip: Sort your Sent items by size and start with the largest emails first to save space even more quickly! Click on the heading ‘Size’ at the top of the Sent items folder to sort.

Learn more about Microsoft Outlook >>

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