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BlueWolf's Howl

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July 15, 2004

Organizing Email

Well...I created the powerpoint slide (mentioned in yesterday's post) and sent it off. I sent it in an email full of bowing and scraping... I know how busy you are. Here's some help. I don't mean to be presumptuous, but I'm just trying to help.

Basically: Here's how you can get this done without actually doing it yourself.

The outline is in the extended entry. I hope this helps as many people as possible. I really do hate to see users lose mail...even if it is th^H^H^H^H


Situation :

PST Files too large
Larger than Microsoft will support
Potential for corruption of file (unable to open personal folders)
Could lose some email when file crashes
Not enough time to file or shuffle messages
Everyone is busy. People who receive the most mail are usually
the ones with the least amount of time to file it.
Only you know your personal filing system (subfolder system)
Hard to locate old messages – must search through several subfolders
and some messages address several topics
Must maintain security
Cannot just give your password to a “helper”
Improper file/folder sharing could lead to everyone reading your email

Proposed Solution :

Designate a trusted subordinate to assist
Someone you personally trust
(they can read all your personal mail)
Does not require an “expert”
(the work is tedious, not technical)
Put files in a shared area
Folder permissions allow access only to you
and the trusted subordinate
Both parties should have legitimate and
easy access to the folder
Subordinate organizes the data
Performed during your “off duty” hours
(no interruption of your email activities)
Files can be archived and then kept on your local hard drive
Retrieve the organized files and use
Gives you a solid foundation to work from
Maintenance is simple
(cutover when current pst reaches ~500 MB)
Find feature makes retrieval much easier

[Flowchart of original pst files copied to the shared folder and being moved to the local hard drive of the subordinate.]

Subordinate's Workstation:

1. Move files from the shared folder to
a “Working Folder” on your C Drive
2. Create an empty *.pst file
(must use a unique name – different from original file name)
3. Open the owner’s *.pst file (only one at a time; they’re large)
4. Move messages (from original pst files) out of subfolders
and into Inbox (of original pst files)
5. Sort by date received
6. Drag and drop messages into empty *.pst
until the file size reaches ~500 MB
(You can check this by viewing the file listing of the working folder)
7. Create as many new pst files as needed to move all messages
into the new files
(Don’t forget to move the Sent Items into a separate pst file)
8. Burn each pst file to CD for backup
9. Cut and paste the finished files to the shared folder

[Flowchart of organized pst files moved to the shared folder and being returned to the user.]

New and Improved Mail Profile/Process

*Profile consists of Exchange Mailbox and current personal folder
--Quicker response from the software with only the working files open
--All previous mail is immediately accessible (Former pst files on hard drive)
-- File | Open | *.pst file and browse to any pst archive -->Open
*Mail never needs to be sorted
--Click on the header of any field to sort by that field –
so you can easily find all mail from Sender X by using
the sort feature instead of filing it in a “Sender X” folder
--Use the FIND feature (and advanced options) to automate
the search of text and headers of all your mail in the Inbox
for key words, names or topics. (Much easier than manually
looking through several subfolders)
*When the current pst file grows large, you can start a new one
--You will never have to move messages again
--Create a new pst, move your contacts, repoint your “Deliver to” setting
and you’re moving right along with your next PST file


#Do not try to add more messages to the pst files on your hard drive – there are no backups of individual workstations. Should the file become corrupt, there is no way to restore it (other than the information on the burned CD, all else would be lost)
#Keep all Contacts in the current PST file (the one your messages are delivered to) If you try to mail a contact from a pst file that is not the “main” pst, you will get an error.
#The subordinate assisting you will be able to read every message in those pst files. They will not be able to send mail as you, but can read any message in the files. Please choose someone you personally trust.
#If you split your psts into several smaller files and then keep all the files open in your Outlook client, you may not see any performance gain.
#If you move messages out of a pst and continue to use that pst, you will need to compress the file to recover the space freed by moving the messages.
(Right click the folder in Outlook
Properties | Advanced --> Compact Now )
This process sometimes takes a long time to complete (especially when large amounts of mail have been deleted/moved.)
#You have to completely close Outlook (and not just close the pst) to burn a pst to disk. If you just close the file and not the Outlook client, the operating system (and burning software) thinks the file is still in use and won’t be able to access it.

Posted by BlueWolf on July 15, 2004 11:05 PM