Are you still suffering from the New Year itch? If your Inbox is anything like mine, I can't think of a better spot to scratch than e-mail!
Now, if you don't think you're an e-mail packrat, choose Mailbox Cleanup from the Tools menu. Then, click the View Mailbox Size button and thumb through your folders. Surprise! You've probably got more (a lot more) e-mail than you thought.
Is your itch worse? Mine sure is. Fortunately, relief is just a few clicks away.
First, use the Find option to find old items — just how old is up to you. If you haven't responded to an item in the last several months, do you really think you ever will? This feature lets you limit your search in a number of ways, so take a few minutes to look around. Then, run a search and delete your oldest items. (This feature searches the Inbox and personal folders.)
After you delete all the old messages you're willing to part with, archive old messages that you intend to hang on to for a while longer by clicking AutoArchive. This step isn't necessary, but it will improve performance if you have a lot of them.
When you're done, empty the Deleted folder. You cleaned up your Inbox, but you sent all that clutter to the Deleted folder, so it's still hanging around. Click Empty to toss it out forever. (Warning: Deleting items from the Deleted folder deletes them for good!)
I told you that you'd feel better!
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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.