Productivity with Outlook’s Favourite Folders List

By: standss , Dec 13th, 2010

Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 have a handy Favorite Folders list that can be a major productivity booster when used properly. It can even be used as a project management tool to remind you of what YOU WANT to work on.

When should you use Favorite Folders and how?

I haven’t really used Favorite Folders until recently. I use QuickFile 4Outlook to manage my emails. Dragging and dropping can be a nuisance when you have many nested folders and QuickFile lets me file both incoming and outgoing emails (Send&File in one step) at the click of a button. It also has a “Find&Goto Folders” button that lets me open any Outlook folder simply by typing a few characters from the name of the folder.

So there was little use for Favorite Folders … or so I thought. I recently updated my productivity tool set to include it. Here’s why …

What is the Favorite Folders List?

Favourites Folder list Picture

Favorite Folders provide users with quick access to mail folders that are used often. They are located at the top of the Navigation Pane on the left side of the Outlook window.

You can add any email folders that you want to this list. The folders physically still stay wherever they were but the Favorite Folders list puts them one click away, and not buried at the end of the folder list.

What Should You Use it For?

Any folders that you use often … but this is what I use it for …

I add my CURRENT PROJECT folders to the Favourite Folders list. This serves two purposes:

  1. It provides me with quick access to a folder when I need it.
  2. Looking at the list reminds me of what MY current projects are. This way I don’t get as distracted working on other people’s priorities because they are making the most noise (via email).

In order to keep the list effective, I maintain it by adding new folders when I start new projects and removing folders once projects are completed.

How to Add Folders to the List?

To add a folder to the Favorite Folders:

If you are using Outlook 2003/2007, right-click over the folder and click Add to Favorite Folders. You can also drag folders from the Folder list to the Favorite Folders list.

If you are using Outlook 2010, right-click over the folder and click Show in Favorites

How to Remove Folders to the List?

To remove folders from the Favorite Folders list, right-click the folder and click Remove from Favorite Folders.

Should you use Favorite Folders?

Definitely YES if you have many folders to organize your email.

For me, Favorite Folders is NOT a replacement for a tool such as QuickFile. You wouldn’t want to add too many folders to the Favorite Folders list and it isn’t going to Send&File for you.

However it is a handy (free) tool which is built right into Outlook that can greatly boost your productivity.

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