Wasting Time with Outlook

I use Microsoft Outlook at work because that is what is supplied. We are given a quota of 450 MB of storage on the Exchange Server. Much of my work centers around email, so I do find that I hit that limit quite easily if I do not aggressively archive my email. This of course introduces a new problem. Outlook 2002, which we are still running, only supports 2 GB archives. My primary archive hit that limit this Monday and I spent all morning cleaning up.

I had to decide on a strategy to split of the archive. Did I move all messages before some date to a different archive or did I grab a couple of big folders and move them to a new archive. I have 62 folders with some folders being nested four levels deep. The only way I know to move all messages before a particular date would be to search each folder individually for messages before some date. I chose to grab a handful of big folders and move them. I also had change the autoarchive settings so that new messaged would be archived to the new file. I ended up moving six related folders and the slowest part was the copying of the messages. It took all morning to get everything cleaned up.

Today I had to find a message that I recieved somewhere between 6 and 12 months ago. With my autarchive settings that meant it was in the archives, but which one? I knew it had to be in either of two archives so I had search both and I had to search all of the subfolders. It took over an hour.

In both of these cases, Outlook came up short compared to Google’s Gmail which I use for my personal email. Gmail would have found that email in minutes if not seconds. Even Google Desktop would have found it quickly, but my employer does not want to have all of my work email indexed on Google’s servers and I can understand why.

I would like to have all of my accessible in one heap and I would like it to be searchable in an effective way in a finite amount of time.

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