Is your inbox full of email you might need but haven’t had time to think about or file away?
Is it all jumbled up with mail you definitely don’t need, but you don’t have the time or energy to sift the wheat from the chaff?
Just sweep it all in to an archive file labeled “2011” and forget about it. If you need to go back and look for something later then Outlook’s search function can do a good enough job to find it for you.
Right before Chinese New Year is the perfect time to do this : a few weeks into a new calendar year. Anything from last year can’t really be “pending”, so you can just lump it all together. Your inbox will be slim and trim, searching will run quicker on the most recent items and your backups will run much quicker.
The key word is “archive”. Don’t just create a folder in the inbox, as that won’t really free up any space. On the Outlook File menu, select “Archive”. Choose the “before” date as Dec 31 2011. Browse to the location you want to keep the archive file and create a new one called “2011”, or something meaningful to you. The process may take a while to run, so find a time when you won’t be needing the computer to do this!
Repeat for the sent items!
Do remember to keep a backup copy of the “pst” file you created, perhaps on a USB disk or burnt to a DVD. There shouldn’t be any need to change any email from 2011 now, so a single copy safely stored elsewhere should be good enough.