Software

Two favorite keyboard shortcuts for keeping email organized

Here are two Microsoft Outlook keyboard shortcuts you can use to keep your email organized and under control.

Outlook's email window has the potential to terrorize you if it gets out of control. For moving around in this window, I rely on two keyboard shortcuts. There are other ways to complete these tasks - there's usually more than one way to do everything in Office - but these two shortcuts keep me moving in Outlook's email window.

[Ctrl]+[Shift]+v: This shortcut opens the Move Item dialog so you can move the selected message to another folder. Use your arrow keys or type letters to move through the folder hierarchy. Once you select the appropriate folder, press [Enter] to move the selected message to the selected folder in the Move Item dialog box.  For example, below, I'm moving a message from the Inbox to the Newsletters folder. (You can also drag a drop a message into a folder.)

[Ctrl]+y: Use this shortcut to open another folder. When you press this combo, Outlook displays the Go To Folder dialog. Use your arrow keys or enter letters to move through the list of folders. To expand a folder to see its subfolders, use the right arrow key. Press [Enter] to move to the selected folder.

For a comprehensive list of Outlook keyboard shortcuts, read Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook.

What are your favorite keyboard shortcuts for organizing email?

About

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.

9 comments
Marshwiggle
Marshwiggle

Normally I'm big on keyboard shortcuts; but in the case of these two examples it seems a whole lot easier to just add the Folder List to your Outlook View, and then click to open a folder, and drag and drop to move an item from one folder to another.

320vu50
320vu50

In Outlook 2010 this method is a mouse click away. In the top Ribbon there is a section called Quick Steps that does just that. You set up (instructions areno brainers) what folder where you want to that click to take the message. Then when you get one you click and it goes there.

lee.fontaine
lee.fontaine

My favorite Outlook shortcut, and the shortcut I believe is THE most valuable shortcut for keeping things under control, is Shift-Delete. UMail doesn't pass Go, doesn't collect $200. It's just gone!

jody.burton
jody.burton

...that my most used shortcuts in Outlook are Ctrl-A (select all) and Ctrl-Q (mark read), often triggered sequentially and followed with Delete? I use folders and rules to sort out some of the chaff from the important stuff, then review it before subjecting whole folders to the above routine. If I were more confident that nothing relevent to my duties was being sent to the chaff folder, I would set the rule to just automatically delete the unimportant messages.

AndreaN140
AndreaN140

I rely on rules to a great extent to keep my emails organised. I always have a copy of every email my manager sends me and have had many an opportunity to go back to previous years folders to refer to something there. Lots more rules too - including 'Permanently Delete' anything with particular words that have managed to get through the barriers - I'll let you use your imagination for those! Important tip - don't forget to backup your rules every now and then. Saves the pain of having to go through and reinvent them if anything goes wrong.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I once had a potential client's response land in my spam filter. After several days of waiting, it hit me while hiking in the woods -- WHAM! Client was annoyed at my seemingly lack of interest. :( That's only happened to me once, but once was enough.