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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mimicking Outlook 2010’s Conversation View in Outlook 2007

One of Outlook 2010 (and Gmail)’s better features is that conversations are grouped together – that is: if you send me a message, and I reply, and you reply again, all three messages are grouped together – not just the two you sent me.

The latter is what Outlook 2007 considers a “conversation” – I’d call it a monologue, or at best half a conversation.

To get the full duplex conversation thread in Outlook 2007 do the following:

  1. Right-click Search Folders, select new Search Folder
  2. In the New Search Folder dialog, scroll all the way to the bottom, and select Create a custom Search Folder, then click the Choose.. button.
  3. In the Custom Search Folder dialog, enter a name that makes sense to you – I’ll call it Inbox2.0 - SKIP THE CRITERIA, then click Browse… to select which folders to include.
  4. In the Select Folder(s) dialog, select the Inbox and Sent Items folders (and any subfolders/other folders that may make sense for your setup), then click OK
  5. Back in the Custom Search Folder dialog, click OK
  6. Outlook will present a warning that all items in the folders will be included – this is precisely what you want, so click Yes
  7. Your new (Inbox2.0) folder will appear listing all received and sent messages
  8. From the View menu, select Arrange By, Conversation – now your messages are threaded by conversation – the full duplex kind.
  9. From here, you may chose to remove/insert colums (I like to show the 'To' recipient and remove the 'In Folder', and also the 'Subject' column – it is (mostly) a duplicate of the conversation title.

Enjoy your new duplex view.

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