June 15, 2015
You may know that I highly recommend using Outlook Categories instead of using multiple Outlook folders when filing mail. Categories take a little time to learn at first, but after that they are very easy to use. Best of all, they save a huge amount of time when compared to using topic-named folders.
Why Categories Save Tons of Time Compared to Topic-Named Folders
Here are the reasons why filing with Outlook Categories is so much faster than using multiple topic-named folders:
- You can apply more than one category to an e-mail, so you don’t waste time trying to decide which folder to put it in. The e-mail shows up in each category group without taking additional space.
- Categories can be grouped in your single-folder filing system, which makes visual searching easy (more on that below).
- Outlook rules for auto-filing incoming mail work much better when filing to categories than when filing to folders because they leave the e-mail in the Inbox where you can still read it. Then just drag all mail you are done with to the single folder.
Can Group by Category in a Single Folder
As I just mentioned above, once you apply categories to e-mail, you can file them in a single folder (I call it the Processed Mail folder). Then, when you need to search for them you can group them by category as shown in the image above—it’s similar to having a set of folders all in one folder. You have all the advantages of a single folder, and all the advantages of a multi-folder system.