Would you like Microsoft Outlook to automatically file emails you send into your chosen folders?
Our reputational and commercial risk is recorded more in our ‘sent’ emails than in our received mails. Many people have elaborate Outlook folder structures to file received emails, yet they pile their sent mails in their ‘Sent’ folder. The following automatic filing approach works well if you want to live with a Zero Inbox.

It does not matter whether you are an email ‘Piler’ or ‘Filer’, the principle is that – unless you are relying 100% on search technology to access relevant emails and see them in their correct context – you need to see your ‘Sent’ mails along with received mails.

Creating separate Outlook Rules to divert specific sent mails into specific folders is just too impractical. We therefore need a general rule and a simple process-step to achieve our desired result of seeing ALL emails on a specific subject area together.   

First, create the appropriate Outlook rule:

  1. Click on Tools in the top toolbar and select ‘Options’
  2. In the ‘Preferences’ tab click ‘Email Options’ and then click ‘Advanced Email options’
  3. In this pop-up, click the middle option in the ‘Save messages’ area ‘In folders other than inbox save replies with original message’
  4. Click OK 3 times to exit.


Now, make a simple email management process change:

Simply file the email BEFORE you action your Do, Date or Delegate decision – then go to the mail in your selected folder and reply or forward from there. Your sent mail will now be filed in that folder. You can then action any other control processes on those mails without moving away from the folder. If you were going to file the received email anyway, there is zero additional overhead in adopting this process.

What do you think? I’m curious to know. By the way, my thanks goes to Jon Scragg at EMC for raising this during one of our recent training programmes.

Of course, you can always contact us directly to tailor a support programme to your needs.