Finding All Your Large Mail Messages

Earlier, James wrote an entry describing how to use the Outlook Attachments Viewer to manage your Outlook attachments. This is a great way to control your mailbox size, as a high percentage of this is almost always found in a few big attachments.

There’s also a way to do this inside Outlook itself, by using Search Folders. What we’ll do is create a Search Folder with no filters. (click the pic to see a larger image) This will create a folder that contains every piece of mail in your mailbox. Once this is done you can sort by size by clicking the top of the size column. Now delete what you want, save what you want, and in no time flat you’ve removed many dozens (hundreds?) of megabytes from your mailbox. Here’s how you do it in Outlook 2003:

Click File / New / Search Folder.
Scroll down in the selection box and choose “Create a custom Search Folder”.
Click the Choose… button.
Type All Mail in the Name field.
Click the Browse… button. Make sure the upper-leftmost checkbox (Mailbox – Your Name) is selected and none of the child checkboxes are selected.
Click OK.
In the Custom Search Folder dialog click OK.
See a warning saying “you have not specified any crieteria…”. This is fine because we want all messages in this folder. Click Yes.
In the New Search Folder dialog click OK.

Your new folder is now created. This may take some time to create. I haven’t been here that long and don’t have too much junk in my mailbox yet, so it only took a few seconds. When this is done you’ll see it as a subfolder on the left under the Search Folders folder. Open it up and click the top of the Size column which will sort by size. Find the biggest emails you have and go to town.

Inbox Zero – Email Management

Recently I took an hour out of my work day to watch a presentation on Inbox Zero. It is an email management process described by Merlin Mann. If you ever feel overwhelmed by your inbox this is an excellent method of getting your email under control. I highly recommend watching the first 10 – 30 min (the second part is question and answer). I’m aware watching a webcast can take awhile, but this will save you time and frustration in the long run particularly if you deal with a high volume of email. Check it out here:

-Use your inbox as an inbox not a to do list
-Don’t just check your email (Instead process it into things you can delete, save, or act on)
-Process your email only several times a day
-How this method will save you time and frustration

How to Make a New Email Shortcut

Email seems to be one of those things that modern offices generate a lot of. Thus when I found an article on how to make a shortcut for new email I figured I’d share.

The first step is to right click on the desktop highlight New and select Shortcut.

The second step is entering mailto: into the shortcut wizard. (And Clicking Next)

Then Name your shortcut. As you can see with a nearly uncontrolled burst of creativity I called mine “New Email”. That’s it: click Finish and you’ll have a new shortcut.

Here are the results from my shortcut:

If you’d like to further customize your shortcut has a great tutorial here

In it they explain how make your shortcut include: To, Subject, CC, BCC, and even a preset message.

The idea I really liked from the tutorial:
How to create a toolbar with frequently
used Contacts.

If you think it’ll help take a look here.

Excellent Comparison of Paid Home Antivirus Programs

On of the more common questions we get from folks about their home computers: What should I do about computer viruses? The folks over at have put together a nice comparison of six antivirus options. They also have an in-depth article on each program. If you are interested in getting an antivirus program for your home computer this article might be worth a look.

Free AntiVirus Protection (For your home computer)

Hello Loyal Reader,

Today I thought I’d share the answer to one of the ITS tickets. Oh yes, it is an exclusive sneak peek behind the scenes at ITS! Anyway the other day we got a ticket with an excellent question in it. To paraphrase: “I think my antivirus service is going to run out, do you know of any good free alternatives?” It’s a simple question but not always a simple answer. There are many options, but here are a two I have tried out personally (and had a reasonably good experience with):

AVG Free

I use this at home and have had very good luck with it. The program updates often and seems to catch viruses.

It will constantly try to get you to upgrade to the paid version of the program.

Home Page

Avast Home Ed Free

Lots of different protection elements besides antivirus, it’ll keep an eye on your web surfing, instant messaging and a bunch of other things. It’ll even try to restore your computer if you get a virus that destroys data. You can sound like a pirate when you talk about your computer’s antivirus software.

The thing is really a suite of programs, so it will slow down your computer with all the extra things running. Also: you’ll sound like a pirate when ever you mention antivirus stuff…

Home page

Disclaimer: This article is based on my personal experience and opinions may vary.

ISP switch this weekend

Hey Folks,

We’re switching Internet Service Providers Saturday Morning, so if you see any weirdness in the AM hours that’s probably it. You’re most likely already aware of this since I sent out an email already. If you notice anything weird after 9AM, then something went wrong, you can let us know by calling in at 617-948-6109 or emailing


Have a great weekend!