ATOI365D#Office365Challenge Nothing destroys a good vacation of quality time spent with family and well deserved rest – as an aggressively overflowing Inbox. I feel your pain.

Day:  315 of 365, 50 left
Tools:  Office 365, Outlook
Description:  How to Train your Inbox Dragon
Audience:  All


Below are some Tips on managing that chaos – and getting a handle on things, asap.


Searching your inbox is a great way to quickly filter out those unnecessary and important mails.

Process based

Search for the following type of words and deal with these first. Approve, Approval, Sign, Report, As Requested, Change Control, Denied etc.. Use words familiar to your industry / environment that usually indicate urgency.


Search for the word unsubscribe in your Inbox, then sort it by From by clicking on the column header at the top. Take a couple of minutes to unsubscribe where applicable, then delete them all (if applicable of course).


Search for any mails containing Christmas, Xmas, New Year, Blessings, Prosperous etc.. Move them to a separate folder to deal with later – or delete them. See my blog on moving completed mails to another folder.

Private Accounts

Search for any mails containing keywords related to your personal accounts (banks, gym, phone, medical aid etc.), move these to a separate folder to deal with later.


Calendar (meeting invites)

Sort by Icon and deal with Calendar Invites first – you don’t need any surprises of meetings coming up that you haven’t prepared for.


Sort by Sender then right click on one of the headings and collapse all. This is much easier to quickly scan through your Inbox, click on a header and delete, move or mark as complete a full set of emails.

For help on sorting and views, see my post on the topic.

Remember to check & clean out:

  1. Clutter (not sure what Clutter is – read more here)
  2. Junk Mail
  3. Delete Items

Accidentally deleted mails you shouldn’t have? Remember you can restore permanently deleted items in Outlook.

Use Rules & Quick Steps:

Before you get caught up in the craziness of the new year, setup any rules or quick steps that could help you manage your Inbox. I absolutely love Quick Steps as it saves me SO much time. 

For those who only started work today – good luck. Let’s go plant some flowers 🙂


Overview of my challenge: As an absolute lover of all things Microsoft, I’ve decided to undertake the challenge, of writing a blog every single day, for the next 365 days. Crazy, I know. And I’ll try my best, but if I cannot find something good to say about Office 365 and the Tools it includes for 365 days, I’m changing my profession. So let’s write this epic tale of “Around the Office in 365 Days”. My ode to Microsoft Office 365.
Keep in mind that these tips and tricks do not only apply to Office 365 – but where applicable, to the overall Microsoft Office Suite and SharePoint.