MessageSave and EZDetach make Outlook mail management a lot easier

Some more friction reducers from Marc to investigate.

MessageSave and EZDetach make mail management a lot easier.

Reading some of the e-mail questions I receive from readers and scanning through some of the older posts on the Getting Things Done forum, it appears that many people are struggling with two problems related to Outlook e-mail

  • How to save e-mail for archival purposes (say, on a CD), to improve Outlook performance, and/or reduce the server space used by IMAP or Exchange servers.
  • How to manage attachments to e-mails when archiving

An elegant solution for Outlook users comes in the form of a pair of small add-ins for Outlook from TechHitMessageSave and EZDetach. These add-ins are available as two new buttons on the Outllok toolbar and provide a number of ways to quickly process your accumulated mail and define rules for new incoming messages.

MessageSave gives you the ability to save e-mail messages as either native Outlook e-mail files (.msg) or plain text (.txt) files. You can save individual messages or process an entire hierarchy of folders at once. A wide range of options are available fo adding data points to the saved file names including date received, sender, etc. This makes sorting the output folder contents a lot easier.

There are advantages to saving in both formats, of course. Text files are a lot smaller than native Outlook messages. Saving in native format preserves formatting and makes reintegration into Outlook darg-and-drop simple (if you choose to delete the messages from your .pst file or Exchange folder after saving them).

I was able to reduce my personal .pst file from 95 MB to under 20 MB by saving all my older messages to a folder on my hard drive. MessageSave preserves the folder hierarchy (optional) so my very idiosyncratic filing system is unaltered. And, because Lookout, which has become an indispensable part of my Outlook setup, can index and search file folders, my ability to find whatever I’m looking for is preserved.

EZDetach provides a nice solution to the problems associated with storing attachmnts to e-mails in your .pst or Excahnge files. You can save the attachments to a local folder (or network share) and maintain a link to that file in the e-mail message. This obviously saves space equal to the size of the attachment while maintaining the association betwee a message and an attachment. When saving the files, you can have an exact copy of your Outlook folder structure created and attachments can be inserted back into messages when you forward them. You can even reestablish the link if you move the file after detaching it.

Both of the tools are quick to install and easy to use. EZDetach costs $18.95 and MessageSave runs $24.95.

[Marc’s Outlook on Productivity]