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Creating Shortcuts Instead Of Copying Messages In Outlook

Posted on 2004-10-21
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Last Modified: 2010-04-08
Hi,

I am assuming that when I copy an email message (with attachments) in Outlook (2000 SP-3) that is in one folder to another, a physical copy is creeted which takes up lots of space.

I'm looking for facility (in the form of a shortcut, pointer or similar) which allows me to create a reference in one folder to another single instance of the original email message and attachments which is found in another folder without actually duplicating the message.

In summary I want to file my messages into appropriate project  folders, but I also want folders for each of my contacts containing shortcuts/links  that point to the project folders rather than have two copies of the same mail filed under 'project' and 'contact'.

Can this be done or is this pushing the envelope or have I just designed the next version of Outlook?

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Question by:adlikon
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9 Comments
 
LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:cscorbet
ID: 12368279
Hi, I’m quite sure that this cannot be done, but if you tell us why you want this done then maybe we can find an alternate solution to your problem.
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Author Comment

by:adlikon
ID: 12369429

Hello there,

I get dozens of emails from dozens of individual contacts regarding dozens of different issues (this can be projects, related issues, unrelated issues, other stuff etc). These mails contain information and obviously some have attachments, I need to matrix this information because I can't remember who sends me what or regarding  a particular project which individuals I have been in contact with. I started by first organising all the mails into project folders, great except I can't easily see what 1 individual contact has sent me, I have to go in and out of different project folders. So then I created folders for each of my contacts and copied the mails also into there - great, each project folder shows me all releveant mails for that project sent to and from dozens of different people and each individual contacts folder shows me all communication I have had with that person regarding all projects, personal communication etc etc, this is the desired result - BUT as I explained I have had to copy the mail twice which takes up a lot of space (especially if they have large attachments such as graphic files) and its inefficient. If I could set up shortcuts/links from the individual contact folders that point to the relevent project folders I would only have one copy of the mail and this is what I am trying to do.

I use Outlook as an information repository and project managment tool as most of my daily information flows though it. I am sure I could probably get SQLServer and build database views or  use Access in a similar way but before I start going that route I wanted to know If Outlook had this capability. I realise I am probably pushing Outlook too much and treating it as a database which it isn't, its just that when I move a mail to a folder if I could flag it in some way with receiptent ID or a code and then set up points or links to this I would have what I need.

Hope this is clearer.
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Expert Comment

by:cscorbet
ID: 12369892
Outlook 2003 has much better email organisation than outlook 2000 that maybe an option, your other option is to create more subfolders and organise emails by week number and who sent the email - or create your own 3rd party tool.
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Expert Comment

by:meintsi
ID: 12372533
Be very careful about using shortcuts within Outlook.
I always used to use shortcuts within Outlook .vs creating copies. But when we just recently upgraded to Exchange 2003, we noticed that that actual file size of a journal entry with a shortcut to an email was 3 to 4 times larger than an entry with a copy of the email embedded within it.

It doesn't make any sense but I recently went through a bunch of shortcuts and replaced then with copies of the original and decreased a particular folder size from approx 360000K to 281435K. <----fact !!!

Also, if you need to find all emails sent from a particular person, why not use the advanced Find function???
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Author Comment

by:adlikon
ID: 12378692
Hi,

Thanks for your inputs. Unfortunately I can not upgrade to 2003 because this is corporate infrastructure, maybe we will upgrade but I don't know when.

I am very interested about the short cuts being bigger then the mails themselves, sounds really stupid - typical of developers at Microsoft not checking this.

I would like to try the shortcuts approach anyway but have no idea how to set them up, it was not obvious to me in outlook help because there was too much info. can you please tell me the step by step approach to set up a shortcut for a mail i have placed in a particular folder?  - thanks
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:meintsi
ID: 12380461
I think there is a better method to get what you want.........

First you will need to set up a contact for everyone you receive email from. ( or at least from everyone you want to be able to sort for.)

Second....right-click the contact folder where these contacts are stored, select "properties", and then the "Activities" tab.  Choose "New" and title the "New folder group" the name of the project (for lack of a better description"  or simply call the "new folder" "ALL MAIL".  Now place a check by the folders where you want the sorted mail to come from; either the specific project or by all of you mail folders.

Now when you bring out the contact and go to the "activities" tab, all email defined by your search will appear.  If you create several folders above in step two, the "Show:" drop-down box willallow you to choose between both folders.
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LVL 18

Accepted Solution

by:
meintsi earned 900 total points
ID: 12380492
btw.... I know that the shortcut size issue is true for Outlook 2000 because that is what I am currently using at work.  This issue has possibly been addressed in newer versions.
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Author Comment

by:adlikon
ID: 12408626
Hi,

Ok thanks for the suggestion, i will try this out with the contacts and get back

cheers
0
 

Author Comment

by:adlikon
ID: 12480837
Thanks for you input. This sollution is an option although its not quite what I was looking for, however it would appear that Outlook just can't really do what I want.
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