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add custom date field to Outlook email

I am trying to tidy up my Outlook 2007 email processing as I currently have about 15000 emails in my deleted folder. What I would like to do is add a Date field to the list of emails in my inbox and have the ability to add my own date. That would enable me to allocate an "expiry Date" for each email before I delete it (i.e. move it to my deleted folder). Then every month I would simply run a job to delete all emails in my deleted folder where this date has past. Is this possible? How?
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Rob4077
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Rob4077
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Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Hi Rob4077!

You can do this using flags: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/add-or-remove-a-flag-for-follow-up-HA001234150.aspx?CTT=1 

You can set flags for specific dates and then create a rule to clear old ones. I actually setup a rule on every email inbound to be flagged by default that way I can "checkmark" each email after I have completed whatever is needed. Hope this helps. Let me know. Thanks!
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Rob4077Author Commented:
Thanks for the suggestion diverseit but I am not sure that I can use flags the way I want.

When I have finished dealing with an incoming message I move it to the deleted folder. Some messages I want to keep there indefinitely whereas others I may be happy to permanently delete after a month, others a few months etc, depending on how likely I am to need to refer to them again.

At present I have a VBA routine that loops through everything in my deleted folder every now and then and applies my customised logic to decide if a message can be removed but the logoc is very hard to develop without the abiltiy to have a date set when I first move them to the deleted folder, hence the reason I have 15k messages there.

How do you suggest I use flags for that?
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Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Two options come to mind:
1.      Use flags to set custom dates for each msg: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/add-or-remove-a-flag-for-follow-up-HA001234150.aspx?CTT=1
2.      Edit Expires Date in the properties of the desired msg.
Then to view either of these options in your Deleted Items,right-click on the column header e.g. Received, etc. and click Field Chooser. This will bring up a dialogue box where you can either select Due Date (for option #1) or Expires (for option #2). See attachment.
I believe both options I provided will give you what you are looking for. Let me know.

CustomDate.JPG
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Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Option #1 is more efficient (less steps are involved) plus editing can be done line-by-line quickly. But Option #2 will actually strikethrough the entire msg greying it out, which is a nice visual affect but if the visuals don't matter as much I would stick with Option #1.
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Rob4077Author Commented:
Thanks for that. Does Outlook give you the ability to redefine the flags. i.e. set the red flag to 3 months, the blue one to 6 months, etc?
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Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Yes, by default it allots for Today, Tomorrow, This Week, Next Week, No Date & Custom. You can also add reminders to them. Here is the link for adding color categories to flags: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/add-a-color-category-to-a-flagged-item-HA010013776.aspx?CTT=3 
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Rob4077Author Commented:
Thanks for all your help. Looks like my best alternative is one of the two options you explained earlier. Thanks again
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Blue Street TechLast KnightCommented:
Thanks for the points. Glad I could help. Happy New Year!
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