Saturday, March 24, 2012

3 Useful Hotmail Organizing Tips

For some people, organizing emails can lead to a major disaster. One of the reasons why they find it hard to manage their emails is because of the high volume of email arriving to their multiple accounts on a daily basis. This leads to some emails unopened and even forgotten.

If you are currently using Hotmail and are in the same boat with the kind of email users mentioned above, then read on. Below you will find sensible tips on how to organize your Hotmail account and make your emailing life more organized and systematized.

Hotmail Categories

  • Use Categories Instead of Folders – Yes, folders are very helpful, that can’t be denied. But if you constructed a complicated list of folders that you used together with the filtering tool to route your emails to specific folders as they come in, make sure you used the filtering tool properly. Filters are rules that you can create to handle messages that comes in so you can organize them according to subject, sender or many other parameters.

Sometimes though you may not have created a “rule” for certain emails and you end up organizing them by sending them to specific folders that you created once you’ve read them and maybe replied to them. This is some kind of a micro-management of email and can be a waste of your valuable time if you do it to numerous emails everyday just because you created folders and wanted to use them. Hotmail provides a powerful email search functionality which renders the folder totally useless especially if a specific folder contains a lot of emails already which means you have to make a search within as well.

Hotmail has sensible Categories options which allow users to categorize emails accordingly without the hassle of physically moving emails from one folder to another. Built-in categories include Photos, Flagged and Shopping.

A good tip is to create one extra Category (aside from the built-in categories) called “Archive” wherein you will automatically send emails that you think you may need in the future. With Hotmail, you can just click the category column and choose the category where the email belongs. This will definitely help you categorize and organize your emails in a jiffy without building folders that may complicate your email management in the future.

  • Consolidate Email Accounts – If you are using multiple email accounts, it’s sensible to consolidate them in a single account or at least a smaller number of accounts. This can be done in two ways – on the device level or the email provider level. On the email provider level, you can either collect emails from other account to a main account or forward emails from several accounts to a main account.

To collect emails from other accounts to your Hotmail account, you can go to your Hotmail Options and click “Sending/Receiving Email from Other Accounts”. This will take you to a separate window wherein you can add email accounts to collect emails from directly to your Inbox or to a specified folder. The accounts where you will be collecting emails from should be POP-enabled first though but Hotmail can walk you through the process when you click the “Learn More” button which will take you to the Hotmail Help Centre.

To forward emails from your Hotmail account to another email accounts, you simply need to click “Email Forwarding” from your Hotmail Options page wherein you can specify email addresses to forward your emails to. If you want to forward emails from other email providers to your Hotmail account then you may have to see if other providers can give you this forwarding option.

  • Use Keyboard Shortcuts – Some people are keyboard-users while some are mouse-users. If you are the former than the latter, you may want to get yourself familiarized with the available Hotmail keyboard shortcuts to make your email organization faster. You can access the list of Hotmail keyboard shortcuts from their Help Centre here. One noteworthy shortcut that you should learn though is pressing “F” then “I” to go to the Inbox or pressing “/” to search for emails.

This is a guest post by May Avery who is a Computer Engineer. She also writes articles for PC Speed Up and teaches for a college in Hawaii.