03 June 2010

Tricks for Entourage on the Mac

I just learned one of these tricks from a colleague, and circulated the other two to my coworkers in return, and it occurred to me that I might have readers who might find these tricks useful as well. So if you're doing email in Entourage, read on ...

Grouping conversations

If you don’t like the way Entourage’s default “Arrange By: Conversation” sorts messages within a conversation from oldest to newest instead of newest to oldest, you can create your own custom sort.

  1. From the menu: View > Arrange By > Edit Custom Arrangements... > New
  2. Do the following settings:

    Custom arrangement name: Conversation (Newest to Oldest)

    Group items by: Conversation

    Sort groups by: Received | Newest on top

    Sort items within groups by: Conversation Index | Newest on top

    Default display for groups: Expanded

Instead of deleting

Since Entourage’s Trash buffer doesn’t work the right way, I simulate the correct behavior by dragging unwanted emails into a folder named ZZZ. I periodically purge ZZZ, but always leave the last few days’ worth of emails in place. I also do an actual delete of emails I’m sure about not needing again, but having some recoverability in ZZZ means that I’m much more willing to z-delete items of only transient interest.

Managing my work queue

I fell off the wagon with my personal email, but I maintain Inbox Zero with my work email. Every message I receive I file into a folder as soon as I’ve read it. If I need to keep an email “on my desk” (usually because it’s something I need to do), before I file it into its topical folder (Design, Reference, Administridia, et cetera) I click the red flag. When I want to survey what I need to do, first I purge my Inbox of anything new, then I look in my saved search for flagged items. Then when I’ve dealt with the flagged item, I click the red flag again; it disappears from my saved search, but is still retained in the topical folder.

Here’s how to create the saved search:

  1. Go into the menu bar: File > New > Saved Search
  2. At the top of the workspace, click on All Messages
  3. Leave “Match if all criteria are met” dropdown in place
  4. Click “Item contains” dropdown to switch to “To Do Flag” then switch the secondary dropdown to “Not Completed”
  5. Click [Save] in the upper right of the workspace
  6. Name it “Flagged”
  7. (If you don’t have the favorites folder bar shown below the icon toolbar at the top) Go into the menu bar: View > Show Favorites Bar
  8. (If you don’t have the folder list shown on the left) Go into the men bar: View > Show Folder List
  9. In the folder list, find Mail Views at the bottom. You should see your Flagged search listed among the default views
  10. Drag the Flagged search you created into the favorites folder bar below the icon toolbar, so you can find it again

No comments: