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Chapter 1. How Not to Drown in the Email... > Create and Use Your Own Folder Struc...

1.4. Create and Use Your Own Folder Structure

It takes approximately two hours to design and set up a meaningful folder structure for messages and to file the saved messages in the correct locations within them. Experience shows that it works best to use no more than seven main folders (in addition to Inbox, Drafts, and the other default Outlook folders). For each main folder, you can create subfolders. You should also try to keep your structure to no more then seven subfolders per level, so that you can later orientate yourself quickly and confidently.

The setup that works best for you depends on your area of work and your personal thinking style—each person’s brain is wired differently. For example, if you are managing five large projects, you may want to create one main folder per project, thus sorting your messages by topic. Some users may prefer to sort by time, with folders such as Completed, Reply by Tonight, Process This Week, Process This Month, Waiting for Reply, and Follow Up by End of Week. You can also come up with a combination. For some teams, it may even make sense to have all team members use the same folder structure. There is no fixed rule that can be applied to every situation. Do what works best for you.


  

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