If you're like most people, your e-mail box
is overflowing with stuff that you don't know what to do with.
Maybe you've been e-mailed driving directions, recipes, photographs,
jokes, or business items that you know you want to keep, so
you just leave them sitting in your "In Box". I
see peoples "In Boxes" that have over 100 items
or more that they just don't want to delete for some reason
or another. This leads to having to sort through dozens or
even hundreds of messages to find exactly the one you want.
That's not so bad if you know the sender's
name, or the date it was received, or even the subject. You
do know that you can sort the messages in your In Box by with
a simple click on the small toolbar immediately above your
top message, right? Just click on the word "subject"
and all your messages are grouped alphabetically by the subject
line. The same goes for the word "from" and for
the "received" date.
Nearly every e-mail program I've seen will
allow you to create your own folders in your mail program
to help you clean out your In Box. In Outlook Express, the
current Microsoft Windows e-mail program, it's very simple.
Open Outlook express. Left Click on the left side of your
screen to highlight your "Local Folders" icon. Then
right click with your mouse and select "new folder".
A dialog box pops up, prompting you to enter the name of the
folder. Type whatever you want to call it and hit enter. That's
it! Then you can just click and drag messages from your In
Box" to the appropriate folder you've created, and access
them whenever you like.You can also right click messages,
and choose "move to folder".
If you really want to get advanced with your
organization skills, you'll see that you can actually create
sub-folders within another mail folder. To see how easy that
is, follow the instructions above to create a folder called
"relatives". Once you do that, do it again, but
in step one, left click on the "relatives" folder
instead of the "Local Folders" icon. You can then
just duplicate your effort and create sub-folders for all
of your relatives that have ever sent you e-mail. Then all
you'll have to do is just click and drag those e-mails to
the right name under the "relatives" folder, and
you'll have all of your family e-mail communications archived
for easy review.
Whatever e-mail program you are using will
have nearly the same instructions as these. In Netscape mail,
the first folder to highlight is called "Local Mail"
instead of "Local Folders". Then the process is
the same. You can even create your sub folders right from
the same dialog box that pops up to name the folder. If you're
not sure where to put the new folder, just put it as a sub
folder of "Local Mail" or "Local Folders",
then you'll always have it showing for easy "click and
dragging". Just experiment a little. You can always delete
For most people, e-mail has become a part
of every day life. It can really be a time saving increase
to your efficiency, if you learn to use it properly, but it
can also be a time sucking exercise in frustration (at least
that's what my father thinks). I hope these tips help you
to become more efficient, and enjoy your computer just a little