View settings in Outlook

Outlook - Flag View

If you have never played with the view settings within Outlook, you’re missing out on some key features and customizable options to reviewing your email. In a conversation with a DSA colleague the other day the subject of “above the fold” and “below the fold” came up – i.e. this person tries to handle everything that comes in, but if the email ends up “below the fold” – i.e. below what’s viewable on the screen, the contents could get lost, and the email will not receive a response.

I thought I would share with you some of the ways that I handle the sorting of email. First, I use the flag feature religiously. If the email has some importance, or I am awaiting a reply after I have responded to the email, then I will flag it for follow up. I chose “one week” as my default follow up time frame, and then I set up my custom view on my inbox folder to group emails by Follow Up flag, showing all groupings as collapsed (not expanded).

Outlook - Flag View

This way, all the new emails come in underneath the “unflagged” section, allowing me to handle them as they come in. Important items, or items that I know will take more than 5 minutes to handle, are flagged and appear in the top section of my email, thus making sure that I won’t lose it “below the fold.” Once my email has been cleared, I file the emails, and then return to the flagged items for my project work.

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