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Dealing With a Full Mailbox in Outlook 2010

Dealing With a Full Mailbox in Outlook 2010


    We’ve all seen it. The dreaded “Your mailbox is over the limit.” message.

    This means that not only can you not receive any new mail messages, you can’t send any emails either. This usually happens right at the climax of a very important project. The question is: What can we do about it?

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    You could always ask your email administrator to increase your limits, but that could take some time depending upon how busy they are with other help desk tickets. Below I’ve offered ways to help yourself. Plus, if you’ve already done these steps below, then when you do request the help desk ticket for increasing your limits, you will stand a much better chance of getting them increased.

    Three Solutions

    The first thing that you can do is empty your Deleted Items folder. The following steps are if you are using Outlook, but the concepts work in almost any mail program. Like your trash can at home, if you don’t empty the Deleted Items once in a while, you won’t ever get the space back. Simply right-click on the Deleted Items folder and choose Delete.

    The next one that’s often overlooked is your Sent Items folder. Outlook by default, saves every mail message to your Sent Items folder. Most other mail programs have the same capabilities. What this means is that every single “Hey…what are you doing for lunch?” email is in there. All five years worth of them. You don’t need to hang onto those messages. Go ahead and delete them. This step may take a bit longer than emptying the Deleted Items folder, but it will get the job done as well. You may want to sift through the messages, since there will be some messages that you have sent that you want to retain.

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    The third option is to use the AutoArchive function of Outlook. This one could be an issue for you, since the criteria for most archiving is by date. There are some messages (an annual or biannual contract negotiation with a vendor, for example) that you need to keep. Instead of auto-archiving those, move the messages to another folder manually.

    Outlook is usually configured to store messages on the Exchange server, which is good because you can sign into any PC in your organization and still retrieve your messages. Likewise, you can sign into webmail while you are traveling and still have access to those same messages. Unfortunately, this is where those mailbox limits come into play.

    For less critical mail, create an archive for yourself , since we’ve determined that AutoArchiving may not be the answer.

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    Your Own Personal Email Archive

    The way to do this is to have Outlook open, then go to File > Account Settings. Click on the Data Files tab and click on Add. This will let you create a new .PST file. You can name it anything your want. (I would suggest something along the lines of “2011 Archives” vs. “Personal Folders”, which is the default name. And no, I don’t know how they got PST out of Personal Folders. It’s a mystery to me too…)

    When you go to create the new PST file, you may want to create it in your shared files drive letter (commonly called H: for home, P: for Personal or U: for Users — your mileage may vary depending upon your network administrator.) This will create a new folder icon underneath your normal mailbox icons on the left. Expand this folder and start dragging emails over to the new folder. This folder used to have a limit of 2 GB in size, although you could always create more PST files. In Outlook 2010, they changed its formatting, increasing the limit to 50 GB — more than enough space. (If you need more than 50 GB of email, you have bigger issues than “mailbox full” messages.)

    There are some caveats to this method of archiving. First, this PST file won’t be available to you from machine to machine, unless you saved it to your U: drive. Secondly, if the machine that you put it on gets corrupted or has a hard disk failure, say goodbye to your e-mail (unless it’s backed up…you do have a backup, right? ). Third, your email administrator or your network security may not favor you doing this. If there is a virus in the email system, they can clean the mail servers. If if makes it into your PST file, it’s a whole lot harder to eradicate it. Of course, you should have anti-virus scanning your email as it comes in, but it still is a concern.

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    If this still doesn’t do the trick, then you simply need a larger quota. Doing the steps above will help support your request for more space.

    (Photo credit: White Email Symobls with One Red One via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

    Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

    Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

    Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

    So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

    Joe’s Goals

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      Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

      Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

      Daytum

        Daytum

        is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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        Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

        Excel or Numbers

          If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

          What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

          Evernote

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            I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

            Evernote is free with a premium version available.

            Access or Bento

              If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

              Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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              You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

              Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

              All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

              Conclusion

              I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

              What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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