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- This Week's Free Computer Tip -

125 - Saving Important Emails So They Can Be Found Again

This tip is especially for users of Outlook, but other readers will find some ideas here too.

The Problem -
From time to time, all of us receive emails containing information we would like to save. We remember to save the email alright, but if much time goes by, we are likely to forget which email contained the information we're looking for. Subject lines are typically no help as they tend to be generic, such as: "Hi. It's me again." or, "Thought I'd drop you a line". A lot of times, the subject bears no relationship to the content because the sender forwarded an old message to you, rather than looking up your address. No matter the reason, it's hard to tell what's in an email by reading its subject and it's a real pain to search through lots of emails, searching for what you're looking for. So . . .

If you use Outlook, here's the tip -
Just to be clear, this works only in Outlook, and not in Outlook Express. Sorry. There are a number of reasons to use Outlook, rather than Outlook Express, and this is one more.

In most email programs, they prefer that you not be able to modify the original email content. That's understandable. The tip is that Outlook makes one very useful exception to that policy. It allows you change and save the subject line.

Open the email, highlight the text of the subject line and either delete, modify, or replace the original text. When you close the email, Windows will ask if you want to save the changes you've made. Answer "Yes" and your email is saved with a new subject of your choosing. Instead of "Hi. It's Me Again', the subject line would indicate just why I saved it, such as: "Billy's new mailing address".

I actually do this quite often myself. To make it even easier to find later on, it's my personal practice to begin any subject that I've altered with three asterisks. The preceding example would then be saved as: "***Billy's New Mailing Address". Doing this makes it stand out even more when I'm searching for it.

And one more tidbit while we're at it. You do know that you can re-sort the items in an email folder by clicking on one of the headers? How that works with this example is this. Let's say I'm searching a large folder containing all my emails from a friend. Some have had their subject lines changed and I don't want to look through any of the others. I first find one example of one I've changed. With that one selected (meaning it's highlighted), I click on the header called "Subject". Now, all emails with subjects beginning with "***" are sorted together, for easy visual scanning. If you've never tried doing this, take a moment to try it. It's a useful tool.

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