Jan. 25, 2002
Volume XXXV, No. 4

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Keep Outlook e-mail under control

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Personal folders, shown on the left hand side of the screen, allow Outlook users to store and organize e-mail messages.



"Your mailbox has exceeded the size limit set by your administrator."

Few messages aggravate computer users more than a notice that their e-mail programs are overweight. In many cases, it means they cannot send or receive new mail. It generally affects people who use Microsoft Outlook, which is widely used on campus. How do you avoid it?

"People think of Outlook as a single file cabinet for their mail," said Scott Mitchell, computing resources. "They really have two cabinets. The first cabinet, which contains your incoming messages, resides on the Outlook Server. The second cabinet contains your Personal Folders. It resides on your own hard drive, or departmental file server."

Mitchell said the secret is to minimize the number of messages on the Exchange Server and to save important messages to the hard drive or local file server.

"You get that annoying message because your space on the e-mail server is full," Mitchell said. "There's still plenty of space in your personal folders, so you should periodically move your important messages over there."

Mitchell suggests that users move their messages to their Personal Folders. Folders should be labeled by topic and location. Messages are moved the same way files on a computer are moved.

People who use Post Office Protocol (POP) e-mail receive e-mail differently. Messages are downloaded directly to their hard drives so mailbox size is less often an issue. Eudora, Outlook Express, and Netscape are commonly used with POP mail. Outlook also can be used for POP.

Mitchell said that e-mail messages, no matter where they are kept, should be backed up. Servers are usually backed up nightly. E-mail stored on an individual computer needs to be backed up by the individual owner.

More tips for Outlook users:

  • Deleted Items. Remember that a message doesn't vanish when you delete it. It goes to your Deleted Items folder where it still counts against your mailbox limit. To get rid of deleted messages, right-click on the Deleted Items folder and select Empty Deleted Items folder. You also can configure Outlook to empty this folder every time you shut down the program. Begin with Options on the Tools menu.
  • Sent Items. By default, Outlook keeps copies of all your sent mail in the Sent Items folder. Don't forget to clean out that folder as well.
  • Journal. The Journal folder automatically records an entry each time you open a Microsoft Office document. The size of each entry is 4 kilobytes, which is larger than most e-mail messages. Computing resources recommends disabling Journal. Select Options from the Tools menu. Then click the Journal Options button and clear all of the checked boxes on the Journal Options page.
  • Mailbox size. You can display the size of all messages and their attachments. This helps identify which ones are the largest. Any folder that you open can be modified to display many types of information, including "from," "subject" and "date." Include the "size" column in any folder you are viewing by adding it to the list of fields to be displayed. These fields can be changed for each folder. To add new fields of information, right click on the bar that lists the fields and select Customize Current View from the menu that appears. Click on "fields" and add any fields you wish. You also can view your current server cabinet size by checking the folder size properties. For PC users, right click on the folder called Outlook Today and select Properties. Then select the Folder Size button. For Macintosh users, turn the Folder Size property on by selecting File, then Folder, then Show Folder Size.
  • Attachments. Messages with attachments are likely to be taking up the most room, so look for the paper clip symbol that indicates an attachment. You can click the paper clip symbol in the column headings to sort attachment-bearing messages to the top or bottom of the window.
  • Rules Wizard. You can use the Rules Wizard under the Tools menu to automatically handle selected messages. You can select the conditions to be met and the actions to be automatically taken by Outlook through choices the wizard presents through its menus.

For more information or assistance, contact the triage desk in computing resources at ext. 7-2069.


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