April 09, 2008
Managing Your Email, Part One

As you know, all your most recent email resides on the Exchange server on campus rather than your local computer. This means you can have access to your email wherever you are.

However, there are three critical things to keep in mind in this context:

  1. The more email and attachments you have stored on the central server, the slower Outlook will be on your computer, especially when you're starting up or shutting down Outlook.
  2. Server storage is not infinite. Every large attachment or hundred more emails you store in your mailbox takes up space. The less space on the sever the slower it runs and the less effecitvely it can handle your email (Note: server space is not currently a problem, but it may be a problem in the future unless we all manage our email storage efficiently and effectively).
  3. Emails and attachments can be archived and saved. Just because an old email isn't on the server any longer doesn't mean you can't still access it quickly and easily.

Here are four EASY ways to more effectively manage your emails (See Four Simple Steps to Managing Your Mailbox Size for details)

  1. Check your current Mailbox size (if it's under 300M, congratulations! You're doing a pretty good job of managing your email. If it's over 300M, check out the rest of these suggestions. Really, they're EASY.)
  2. Make sure your Deleted Items are actually being deleted. Your Deleted Items folder counts against your total Mailbox size. Be sure that this folder is getting emptied. You can empty Deleted Items at any time by right-clicking on 'Deleted Items' and selecting 'Empty "Deleted Items" Folder'.
  3. Check your AutoArchive settings. In some cases, AutoArchiving has never been turned on. In other cases, it's only AutoArchiving your inbox when you also want it to AutoArchive all the folders that you're storing on the server.
  4. Set some folders to AutoArchive more frequently. For example, if you send a lot of large attachments, configure AutoArchive on your 'Sent Mail' folder to less than 6 months.

If you're reluctant to store fewer emails or attachments on the server because you think you might need them some day, consider the following:

  1. How often do you really look at any email more than 3 months old? Once a year? Once a month? Never? Remember that your old email will still be available directly through clicking on your Archive folders and through Search when you're using your main computer.
  2. Temporary increases in storage use while you're handling big projects is normal. These suggestions are to help you handle long term mailbox issues.
  3. You'll often find that half your mailbox storage is actually the result of a few very large attachments. You can identify these attachments by going to 'Search Folders' and clicking on 'Large Mail'. If you still need the email but don't need the attachment, right-click on the attachment and select 'Remove'. Or, if you need to edit or use the attachment, right-click, select 'Save As' and then, once you've saved it to your hard drive, right-click and select 'Remove'.

If you need help implementing any of these suggestions, contact the ISUE Computer Support Hotline at 515-294-1725 or via email at eithotline@iastate.edu

Posted by dcoates at April 09, 2008 11:02 AM