Arrange your Inbox messages using predefined groups

Try using arrangements to organize your Inbox. An arrangement is a predefined grouping and sorting order for messages. For example, you can arrange your messages by conversation so that they are grouped by message subject or "thread." The threads are sorted by date, and the messages within each thread are sorted based on who replied to whom and when.

Outlook provides 13 predefined, standard arrangements that you can choose from. They are available from the View menu.

View menu, Arrange By command

The default arrangement that is used to view messages is the Date arrangement. When you choose an arrangement and view it, the groups of messages are fully expanded by default, with the exception of the Conversation arrangement, in which the groups are collapsed by default.

Arranged By: Conversation

Callout 1 Click the arrow next to a message heading to expand or close the related messages.
Callout 2 This message has no arrow; it has no replies associated with it.
Callout 3 Messages are indented to show who replied to whom and when they replied.

Tip    In the multi-line layout, you can quickly change from one predefined arrangement to another within a view by clicking the Arranged By column heading (column heading: The horizontal bar at the top of one column in a table. There are multiple column headings in the column heading row.) and then clicking the arrangement that you want.

Although you cannot create a custom arrangement, you can create a custom view with customized grouping and sorting. However, this customizing can be done only in a table view.

The following is a list of descriptions of the predefined arrangements.

ShowAttachments

This arrangement groups messages into two groups (With Attachments and No Attachments) and sorts by the received date.

ShowCategories

This arrangement groups messages by categories and sorts by the received date.

ShowConversation

This arrangement groups messages by message subject or thread. The sorting order of items (item: An item is the basic element that holds information in Outlook (similar to a file in other programs). Items include e-mail messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, journal entries, notes, posted items, and documents.) in the threads is based on who replied to whom, and the sorting order of the groups is by date. When a new message is received, the entire conversation that it is a part of moves to the top of the message list. By default, only unread and flagged messages are displayed. You can see all messages in the conversation by clicking the arrow next to the conversation heading. To help you keep track of the conversation or e-mail message thread, messages are indented to show who replied to whom and when they replied.

ShowDate

This arrangement groups and sorts messages by date. This is the default arrangement, and your view is simplified by hiding unnecessary details. For example, messages received today show the time only. Messages from yesterday show the day and time, and messages that are older than a week show you more detailed date information.

ShowE-mail Account

This arrangement groups messages by e-mail accounts and sorts by the received date.

ShowFlag

This arrangement groups messages by flag color and sorts by the received date. This arrangement shows only messages that you have flagged. Any message flagged by someone else (the message sender) is displayed in the Unflagged group.

ShowFolder

This arrangement groups messages alphabetically by folder names and sorts by the received date. This arrangement is available only in a Search Folder (Search Folders: Virtual folders that contain views of all e-mail items matching specific search criteria. The items remain stored in one or more Outlook folders.).

ShowFrom

This arrangement groups messages by names on the From line and sorts by the received date.

ShowImportance

This arrangement groups messages by Importance (High, Normal, and Low) and sorts by the received date.

ShowSize

This arrangement groups messages into the following five categories and then sorts the messages by size:

  • Enormous (> 5 MB)
  • Huge (1-5 MB)
  • Very Large (500 KB - 1 MB)
  • Large (100 - 500 KB)
  • Medium (25-100 KB)
  • Small (10-25 KB)
  • Tiny (< 10 KB)

ShowSubject

This arrangement groups messages alphabetically by subject and sorts them by the received date.

ShowTo

This arrangement groups messages by the name on the To line and sorts them by the received date.

ShowType

This arrangement groups messages by item (item: An item is the basic element that holds information in Outlook (similar to a file in other programs). Items include e-mail messages, appointments, contacts, tasks, journal entries, notes, posted items, and documents.) type and sorts by received date. For example, all e-mail messages are in one group, meeting requests are in another, and task requests in a third.

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2003