I’ve been using the new outlook.com email since it came out several months ago. Since it was a brand new mail domain, I decided to snag a cool email address for my husband and I was pretty happy with the name I got, but he didn’t seem as excited as I. He’s been using a cox email address for 12 years and has accumulated over 20,000 emails in this account. It locks up on him from time to time and he has problems sending mail and regularly has to shut the mail down and sometimes even reboot the machine. I’ve told him that Outlook has its limits and one of these days his account may become irreparably corrupted.
My husband is one of those who resists change, but since I’m always upgrading to the latest OS and Microsoft office, he’s had to put up with these computer software changes. It was tough for him to go from Office 2003 to 2007 and then when Outlook got the ribbon in 2010, it was yet another change he had to endure. He mainly uses Outlook and not so much Word or Excel.
I had read about all the great categorization, clean-up, and ability to direct a specific sender’s email to a folder, the trash, a category or make it disappear when the next one came in. This was exactly the service Doug needed to get his email under control. He has so many newsletters with various subject matters coming in that they overwhelm and the result is a monstrous inbox full of unread email. Over time, he’d made folders by subject or sender and for awhile had dutifully moved emails into them. As I was going through his inbox, I took a look inside the folders and saw the latest email added to any folder was over 2 years, so he evidently quit using folders for storage or sorting.
I decided to experiment with organizing his mail. Here’s how I did it:
- I put a forwarding command on his Cox account and had all his emails forwarded to his new outlook account while still leaving a copy in his old account. So yes, there were 2 of each email.
- Now, since there were 2 copies, I was free to start working on the web outlook.com and start making some folders and categorizing emails. Doug could keep using Microsoft Outlook to process mail as usual.
- Using easy-to-follow instructions from the outlook.com website, I easily made categories, arranged automatic cleanup of newsletters,ste had certain mail automatically moved to folders I created and performed cleanup on his mailbox so the mail from real people, family (yes, they are real too), work and friends were in the inbox and they wouldn’t get pushed down when all the junky-type mail came in.
- Every day for about a week, I spent 10-15” going through his latest email and continuing the sort/categorize process. Each morning I’d check mail and folders to see if mail had filtered in the correct folders. Sometimes I did some tweaking to make things better.
Look at his Inbox
Here’s the result – I made 6 new folders and have items moved directly into them so his inbox stays cleaner. Then for some newsletters/senders, I right-clicked on one item and then a pop-up appeared where I could choose to ‘sweep’, or keep from 1 or more of those newsletters as they came in. I love this feature because it saves time deleted those old newsletters and emails he didn’t have time to read and never will.
Notice I have categories set up for many senders. I especially tried to find and categorize emails from ‘real people’ and leave them in his inbox. Some I have set to ‘move’ to a certain folder when they come in. You can read about how to set these features here.
What Did He Think about Outlook.com
After using the new setup for 6 days, we sat down and discussed how it was going. Turns out the only big objection he has to the setup is having folders. He doesn’t like having to check the folders to find ALL his mail. He doesn’t like the extra clicking and the possibility of missing something important. So I discussed moving the mail back into the inbox from the folders, deleting the folders and setting the sweep feature on many of these senders to cut down on the accumulation. He’s thinking that over .
The last hurdle will be getting him to start using his new email. He really likes his old/current email name. I’ve suggested he use the outlook address for real people, but he hasn’t agreed to that yet. So, I’ll give it a rest and then work on him later on.
Getting to work the the new outlook.com has been interesting to me. It really is very cool and modern and I think a lot of people are adopting it. What’s been your experience with outlook.com? Leave a comment!
Below is a short video that goes through the outlook.com features and benefits.
Updated as of 5-29-2013 – I’m an Outlook.com Insider, ask me about Outlook.com or click to learn more about the Outlook.com Insiders program.