Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Making Calendar Requests More Visible in your inboxes

I personally like to keep no more than 30 messages in my inbox, it's somewhat of a todo list for me. However, I know this is only one school of thought.

Some folks like to keep tons of messages in their inbox, or perhaps they get so much mail, they can't possibly keep up with everything that comes into their inbox.

So, a lot of folks around here are using Outlook Search Folders to make sure they don't miss meetings with their overly busy inboxes. So, we're creating search folders to keep those calendar requests visible!

Here's how

  1. In Outlook, right click on Search Folders and choose New Search Folder

  2. Scroll to the bottom and choose Create a Custom Search Folder and choose Choose to define the custom criteria

  3. Give the search folder a friendly name, like Calendar Requests.

  4. Choose the Criteria by selecting Criteria

    • Select the Advanced tab.

    • Drop the Field dialog down, mouse over Mail Fields, and select Message Class.

    • Change Condition to is (exactly).

    • For Value type in IPM.Schedule.Meeting.Request

    • Choose OK, and OK again to add it to the list of criteria

  5. Click OK until you're back in Outlook

Great, so now you have a Search Folder, next you'll want to drag it into your Favorite Folders so you can see it easily.

Finally, your goal should be to keep this folder empty (aka, you have no outstanding meeting requests in your inbox, and they are all on your calendar). Thus you need to right click on the Calendar Requests folder and choose Properties. On the General tab make sure you select the Show total number of items, to make sure you always know if there is a calendar request, read or not.

Great! that's all there is to it, now you'll always appear on top of meetings and be the first to reply.