How can we use Email more effectively to share and manage information? One way is by using folders.

Private folders are in your mailbox that only you can see and public folders are on the server for others to see and use. One of the most common uses for private folders is to organize email by subject or from specific sender using the Rules Wizard; I will explain the use of the “Rules Wizard” in future a How-To.

Public Folders are generally used to share (post) information between personnel; an example would be our Corporation Calendar. Public folders can also be used to schedule resources such as lab time. I have also setup one Public Folder to track Computer Help Request. Since they can be configured to allow only certain persons to view, post, and edit them, the applications are endless. If you have any questions about the use of folders, let me know and I will try to explain a little better. 

About folders in the Folder List

In Microsoft Outlook, you store information in folders the same way you store documents in Windows Explorer. You use a variety of folders based on the type of Outlook item (message, calendar appointment, task, etc…) you're working with and the type of e-mail account you have. Where these folders appear in the Folder List (View\Folder List) varies based on your account type and where the data is stored.

1.    Standard (default) folders

1.1. By default, Outlook displays folders under Outlook Today for each of the item types: InboxCalendar, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, and Journal. It also provides the following folders:

·       Drafts: stores unfinished items you are working on

·       Sent Items: stores copies of items you sent to others

·       Deleted Items: stores temporarily deleted items until you permanently delete or retrieve them

·       Outbox:  stores items created offline that you want to send the next time you are online


- If you're using a Microsoft Exchange account (which we are), your e-mail is delivered to the Inbox folder. You can create your own folders to further organize and track Outlook information. You can also work with file folders on your computer and folders on any network drive you are connected to. To work with all folders, use the Folder List (View\Folder List). To work with just the standard Outlook folders, use the shortcuts on the Outlook Bar (Left side of screen in Outlook).

1.2. Folders for backing up and organizing items

1.2.1.   Outlook automatically creates a folder labeled Archive Folders after you run AutoArchive to back up your items. Outlook stores the archived items in these folders.

1.2.2.                    If you create additional data files for organizing items on your own, Outlook adds each data file and its folders in the Folder List under Personal Folders.

1.3. Private folders vs. shared private folders

1.3.1.   The standard folders mentioned previously and folders you create in your mailbox on the server, in a Personal Folders (.pst) file , or Offline Folders file (.ost) are private folders that only you can access. However, we use Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server, you can share your private mailbox folders with others by assigning them permission to access the folders or by making someone your delegate.

1.4. Public folders

1.4.1.   Public folders are a separate location outside of your own mailbox where you and other Microsoft Exchange users can create and view Outlook items related to a specific subject or project. You'll see folders labeled Public Folders in the Outlook Folder List. If you have permission, you can open individual public folders to view and add content, and you can set up your own public folders and give other people permission to use them (if you want to setup a public folder, please see me for assistance). An item that you open in a public folder appears like the items in your own mailbox.  

1.4.2.   Post information in a public folder        Open the public folder you want to post information in. How?  In the Folder List (Folder List: Displays the folders available in your mailbox. To view subfolders, click the plus sign (+) next to the folder. If the Folder List is not visible, on the View menu, click Folder List.), click Public Folders, and then click the folder you want to open.  Such as “Computer Help Request”, “Elementary Computer Lab” or “High School Computer Lab”.  If the folder you want to open is located within another folder, click the plus sign (+) next to each subfolder until you find the folder you want.  To use the default form for posting information, on the File menu, point to New, and then click Post in This Folder.  In the form, enter the information you want to post.  Click Post.




You can also move or copy a file to a public folder to post information.

1.     Open the public folder.

(If the folder you want to open is located within another folder, click the plus sign (+) next to each subfolder until you find the folder you want.)

2.     Use Windows Explorer or My Computer to find the file you want to copy.

  1. Position the Folder List and the other window so you can see both windows.
  2. Drag the file from Windows Explorer or My Computer to the public folder you want in the Folder List.

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