Organize your inbox in Outlook for Windows

Organizing your inbox is paramount to keep you productive. Making the switch from Gmail to Outlook, here are a few differences in terminology and functionality between the two apps:

  • Outlook uses Folders, while Gmail uses labels, to organize messages.

  • Outlook uses Rules to sort your emails into folders and categories as they are delivered. Gmail uses filters. Outlook also has Filters, but in Outlook it is a way to sort the inbox or a folder.

  • Flagging an email in Outlook is a lot like starring an email in Gmail.

Use Folders to organize your email

  1. Select a message.

  2. Select Move.

  3. Choose a folder.

    Or, drag and drop an email into a folder.

Moving a message to a folder in Outlook

Create Rules to sort your email automatically

You can make your Rules as complicated or as simple as you want. Here's how you quickly send all messages from a single sender to a specific folder:

  1. Right-click a message.

  2. Select Rules.

  3. Choose Always move messages from [name of sender].

  4. Choose a folder or select New to create a new one.

  5. Select OK.

    Note: To make your rule more complicated, right-click a message and select Rules > Create Rule. Read Manage email messages by using rules to learn more.

Creating a rule in Outlook

Flag email for follow up

  1. Select an email.

  2. Select Follow up.

  3. Choose an option.

    Or, hover over the message and select the flag.

To see all of your flagged messages:

  • Select Filter Email > Flagged.

Flagging a message for follow-up in Outlook

Archive email

Use Archive when you want to keep a clean inbox, but don't want to delete certain emails. Unlike deleted messages, archived messages can be searched.

  1. Select one or more messages.

  2. Select Archive.

Archiving an email

Note: Features and information in this guide apply to Outlook Mail as available through Office 365.

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