Save replies in folders other than the Sent folder to increase productivity

Finding messages in the Sent folder isn't for the meek; save replies with the messages instead. You'll never hunt for another reply.

If you asked me which Outlook setting saves me the most time, I'd say saving replies in the folder with the original message. By storing both messages and replies in the same folder, I can quickly find my responses  - it sure beats the heck outta sorting the Sent folder and crossing my fingers!

There are a few catches. First, this behavior doesn't work with the Inbox. Outlook will continue to save replies to messages in the Inbox in the Sent folder. You'll want to create a few personal folders for storing your messages. Then, create a few rules for moving messages into those folders. Most of us already do that. Second, you can't apply this to individual folders - it's an all-or-nothing feature.

Once you have personal folders, you can easily store your replies by changing a simple setting as follows:

  1. Click the File tab and select Options (under Help).
  2. Select Mail in the left pane.
  3. In the Save Messages section, check the When Replying To A Message That Is Not In the Inbox, Save The Reply In The Same Folder option.
  4. Click OK.

If you're using Outlook 2003 or 2007, do the following:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options in the E-mail section.
  3. Click Advanced E-mail options at the bottom of the Message Handling section.
  4. In the Save Messages section, check the In Folders Other Than The Inbox, Save Replies With The Original Message option.
  5. Then, click OK three times.

This behavior has been around for a long time - it's nothing new. But, every time I share it, I make someone very happy, so it's worth repeating.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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