• Chris Goodwill

Organising email madness with Conversation Views and Categories in Microsoft Outlook

I am organised, full stop. Or at least I try to be, one of the features in Outlook which I adopted several years ago following a recommendation from a friend at work was ‘Conversations’. I was so busy dealing with and responding to the plethora of emails (back in the days before Microsoft Teams Messaging) that I would be replying to an email, not seeing two more replies from colleagues or partners above in my inbox. By switching to conversation views, it means that you see a stack of emails in one place, with the latest at the top, very useful. Even today with more conversations in Chat on Teams, I still find that Conversation view of my Inbox makes a difference to managing and being effective in deal with emails.

To switch it on for any folder, just click ‘Show as Conversations’ on the ribbon menu in Outlook, see below.

Whilst we are at it, I also have a method for dealing with how I manage emails once they have been sent, for each email I mark it with a ‘Category’, which gives it a colour code to identify it. I set categories as topics, e.g., sales, marketing, partners etc. I also create an ‘Ongoing’ folder beneath the main inbox and any email that I have dealt with goes into this folder with the Category set. Then when I view the Ongoing folder, I can see all topics together. Anything that I need to nudge or get back to I don’t set a Category and then it stays at the top of this folder and I can cycle through the emails on a daily/weekly basis to see what needs attention again.

Hopefully useful for those still drowning in emails and if you’re unsure how to set this up still, just message me and happy to talk you through it.