Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by Amit Bansal
Managing your email efficiently is essential for staying organized, especially for professionals or individuals with busy inboxes.
One aspect of email organization is optimizing the layout of your inbox, and Microsoft Outlook offers several features to help with this task.
In this article, we will discuss how to organize column fields in Outlook, allowing you to personalize your inbox view and easily access the information that matters most to you.
Outlook’s column fields allow you to sort and arrange your emails in a variety of ways.
By default, columns display the sender, subject, and received date, but you have the flexibility to add or remove fields based on your preferences.
Customizing your columns not only enhances the appearance of your inbox but also helps you manage emails more effectively.
To get started with organizing your column fields, you’ll need to access the column settings and experiment with different layouts.
In the following sections, we will provide step-by-step instructions on:
- How to navigate the settings.
- Add or remove columns
- Rearrange the column order
- And fine-tune your Outlook inbox to suit your needs.
Getting Started with Outlook
Understanding the Outlook Interface
Outlook is a powerful email client that helps us manage our emails efficiently. When we launch Outlook, we see a well-organized interface with important parts being the Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks sections.
In the mail section, the interface is divided into three main components: the Folder Pane on the left, the Mail Items List in the center, and the Reading Pane on the right.
The Folder Pane displays all our mail folders, including Inbox, Sent Items, Drafts, and more.
The Mail Items List presents a list of emails in the selected folder, while the Reading Pane allows us to preview and read the email contents without opening them.
Our Inbox is where all incoming emails are stored, and it’s essential to keep it well-organized.
In Outlook, we can achieve this by customizing the mail folders and views, which brings us to the next topic.
Exploring Mail Folders and Views
Outlook offers a variety of views that help us ensure the Mail Items List is displayed according to our preferences.
By default, Outlook organizes emails by date and groups them under headings like Today, Yesterday, and Last Week.
However, it’s possible to organize emails by various criteria such as sender, subject, or size.
For instance, here’s a simple table showing some popular views and their organization:
To switch between these views, we can go to the View tab on the ribbon and select the desired option from the Change View dropdown menu.
Moreover, we can also create our views by selecting Manage Views and following the prompts.
Outlook’s mail folders play a crucial role in organizing our emails.
Apart from the default folders like Inbox, Drafts, and Sent Items, we can create additional folders for organizing our messages based on projects, categories, or any other criteria that suit our needs.
To create a new folder, we can right-click on an existing folder (such as Inbox), select New Folder, and then type in a name for the folder.
By leveraging Outlook’s folder and view options, we can maintain an organized and manageable email environment that enhances our productivity and overall experience.
Customizing Your Email View
Adding and Removing Columns
To better organize your inbox in Outlook, you can customize the columns displayed.
This enables you to choose which data, such as the “From,” “To,” and “Subject” fields, appears in your email list.
To add or remove columns, simply click on “View,” then “Current View,” followed by “Change View,” and finally “Manage Views”.
From here, you can either create a new view or modify an existing one.
Organizing Emails by Sender or Subject
In addition to customizing columns, you can also organize your emails by sender or subject to make it easier to navigate your inbox.
To do this, click on the “Organize” tab and select “Arrange By.” Choose the desired option, such as “From” or “Subject”.
This will help you quickly locate the emails you need without having to search through your entire inbox.
Adjusting Font Style and Size
Lastly, customizing the font style and size of your email text can enhance readability and overall appearance.
To change the font settings in Outlook, go to “Preferences” under the Outlook menu. Under “Personal Settings,” select “Fonts”.
Here, you can adjust the text display size by sliding the selector to your preferred font size. Experiment with different font styles and sizes until you find the one that suits your needs best.
Managing Outlook Layout
Customizing the Reading Pane
Managing the layout in Outlook allows us to create a more personalized and efficient workspace. One crucial area to customize is the Reading Pane.
We can adjust the position of the Reading Pane by going to View tab >> Reading Pane >> select either Right, Bottom, or Off.
It is worth noting that hiding the Reading Pane allows us to choose which columns we want to display for the item list.
To select columns, go to the Organize tab, select Arrange By, and then choose an option from the drop-down menu.
Modifying Navigation and Folder Panes
Another essential aspect of managing Outlook layout is customizing the Navigation Pane and Folder Panes.
We can adjust the pane size, show/hide folders, and change the navigation order. To customize the Navigation Pane settings, select the View tab > Layout group > Navigation Pane.
This will display a drop-down menu with options to adjust the visibility and position of your Outlook folders.
We can further customize folders in the Folder Pane by right-clicking on any folder and selecting Data File Properties to rename, change the color, or set up automatic folder clean-up settings.
In addition, we can modify the Folder Pane viewing options by selecting the View tab > Folder Pane and choosing among the visibility options (Normal, Minimized, or Off).
In summary, managing the Outlook layout, specifically, the Reading Pane and Navigation and Folder Panes, can greatly enhance our efficiency and overall experience within the application.
By taking advantage of these customization options, we can create a more tailored workspace that fits our personal preferences and needs.
Using Advanced View Settings
Creating and Saving Custom Views
In Outlook, you can customize the way your data appears in columns by using “Advanced View Settings”. To create and save custom views, follow these steps:
- Go to the View tab on the toolbar.
- Click on Change View on the far left.
- Select Manage Views from the drop-down menu.
- Click on New, enter a name for your new view, and choose the type of view you want to create (e.g., List view).
- Specify which folders you want to apply your view to.
You can also customize a view based on your preferences. Once you have set up your custom columns, remember to save the view for future use.
Leveraging Conditional Formatting
One of Outlook’s advanced features is conditional formatting.
This tool allows you to automatically apply different formats to fields in your columns based on specific rules.
For example, you might choose to highlight emails from a specific sender in bold or change the color of an email subject when it contains a specific keyword.
To use conditional formatting in Outlook:
- Go to the View tab on the toolbar.
- Click View Settings.
- In the Advanced View Settings window, click Conditional Formatting.
- Click Add to create a new rule, then enter a name for your rule.
- Click Condition to set the criteria for your rule.
- Click Font to define how your conditional formatting will look when the rule is applied.
Also Read: – Conditional Formatting in Outlook 365
In conclusion, utilizing Outlook’s advanced view settings allows you to create custom views and apply conditional formatting to organize your columns efficiently.
By following these steps, you can easily manage your emails and keep track of important information.
Sorting and Filtering Messages
Mastering Search and Filter Tools
Organizing your messages in Outlook can be a breeze with the right knowledge and tools.
By using the search and filter options, we can efficiently locate specific emails in our mail inbox.
To start, click on the search bar located at the top of the inbox and type in the keywords you’re looking for.
For a more refined search, click the “Search” tab and use the “More” button to add additional criteria such as categories, recipients, or flags.
Filters help us narrow down messages based on specific criteria. To use the filtering options in Outlook, click on the “Filter Email” button in the “Home” tab. Here you can filter messages by:
- Has attachments
Outlook also provides options to customize your View settings to display the columns in your inbox that are most relevant to your needs.
Applying Categories and Flags
Assigning categories and flags to messages serves as an effective way to organize our mail.
Categories help us visually differentiate between emails by assigning color-coded labels.
To assign a category to a message, right-click on the email and select “Categorize” from the context menu.
You can then choose a predefined category or create your custom categories to suit your needs.
Also Read: – Flag a Message for Follow Up [Keyboard Shortcut]
Flags, on the other hand, are an excellent tool to mark actionable items in our inbox, allowing us to easily track our tasks.
To flag a message, click on the flag icon next to the email, or right-click and select “Follow Up” from the context menu.
Flags can also be customized with due dates and reminders.
By mastering the search, filter, and organizational tools such as categories and flags, we can effectively manage our mail inbox and locate messages more easily.
Applying these methods will help maintain a clutter-free and organized Outlook experience.
Integrating with Other Outlook Tools
Linking Email with Calendar and Tasks
We understand that staying organized involves more than just customizing your inbox.
That’s why integrating your email with other Outlook tools, such as the Calendar and Tasks, is essential.
By doing so, you can streamline your workflow and ensure that everything stays connected.
One way to link emails to your Calendar and Tasks is by creating appointments or tasks directly from the received messages.
From here, you can set the due date and priority for the task and even add it to your Calendar.
For a more systematic approach, we can utilize Outlook’s Quick Steps feature.
With Quick Steps, we can create custom shortcuts for frequently performed actions, such as moving messages to specific folders or converting them into calendar events or tasks.
For example, we can create a Quick Step that moves an email to a “Calendar Events” folder and automatically creates a new calendar event in one click.
Connecting Contacts to Mail
Maintaining relationships with important contacts can be made easier by integrating your Contacts list with your email management.
By doing so, you’ll be able to quickly locate and communicate with the people you need.
When you receive an email from a new contact, save their information to your Contacts list by right clicking their name and selecting Add to Outlook Contacts.
You can add more details about this contact, and these details will be searchable within your inbox.
This way, when you want to find an email from that contact, simply type their name or related information in the search bar.
Taking advantage of categories can also help in organizing your connections. Assigning a category to an email or contact allows you to group related items.
For instance, you can create categories for different projects, clients, or teams.
When you need to send an update or search for related messages, use the categories to filter your inbox or contacts list efficiently.
By integrating these various Outlook tools – tasks, calendar, contacts, and inbox – into a seamless system, our email management can not only be more organized but also more efficient.
Additionally, these tools can help in make the most of our subscription benefits, such as lower response times and increased productivity.
Utilizing Focused Inbox and Clutter
To increase our efficiency, we can make use of Outlook’s Focused Inbox and Clutter features.
The Focused Inbox helps prioritize important emails, separating them from less pertinent ones.
This allows us to concentrate on essential messages, thus enhancing our productivity.
On the other hand, the Clutter feature automatically sorts low-priority emails into a dedicated Clutter folder, making it easier to manage and declutter our inbox.
By using both features, we ensure that we don’t miss crucial emails while keeping our inbox organized.
Employing Rules for Email Organization
Another effective way to maintain an organized inbox and improve efficiency is by employing rules in Outlook.
Rules enable us to automate the process of sorting and managing incoming emails with predefined conditions. For example, we can set up rules to:
- Move emails from specific senders to designated folders
- Flag emails containing certain keywords
- Redirect emails meeting specific criteria to other recipients
To create a rule in Outlook:
- Select Home tab and click the Rules button.
- Choose Create Rule or Manage Rules & Alerts.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to set up conditions and actions for your rule.
Also Read: – How To Setup Rules in Outlook 365 Webmail?
By combining the use of Focused Inbox, Clutter, and rules, we can increase our email organization and overall productivity in managing our Outlook inbox.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to edit custom field of email in Outlook
To edit a custom field of an email in Outlook, you can open the message and click on the “Tags” section in the message ribbon. From here, you can add or edit your custom fields.
Field chooser in Outlook 365
In Outlook 365, the Field Chooser is an easy way to add, remove, and rearrange columns in the message list. First, go to the “View” tab and select “Column options.”
Next, select “Field Chooser” from the dropdown menu. A window will appear, displaying a variety of fields you can add or remove by dragging and dropping.
How to rearrange columns in Outlook mail
Rearranging columns in Outlook mail is simple. Here’s how you do it:
- In the Outlook main window, click on your Inbox folder.
- Locate the column headers above the list of emails.
- Click on the header of the column you want to move and drag it to the desired position.
- Release the mouse button to drop the column header in its new location.
Date column in Outlook is missing – [How to get it back]
If the date column in your Outlook inbox is missing, you can restore it by following these steps:
- Open your Inbox in Outlook.
- Click on the “View” tab in the top menu.
- Select “View Settings” from the “Current View” group.
- Click on “Columns” in the Advanced View Settings dialog box.
- Find the “Date” field in the list of available columns, then click on “Add” to include it in the columns to show.
- Adjust the order, if necessary, using the “Move Up” or “Move Down” buttons.
- Click “OK” to save your settings and restore the date column.
What is Column font in Outlook?
Column font in Outlook refers to the typeface used to display text in message list columns, such as the subject, sender, or date.
You can change the column font by going to the “View” tab, selecting “View Settings,” and clicking on “Other Settings.”
From there, you can choose a different font and size for the column headers and the contents of the columns.