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).
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.