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Outlook’s Conversation view–what’s the point?

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in Microsoft Email Outlook,Office Technology

Conversation viewQ. Why should I bother with Conversation view in Outlook? I don’t like it.

A. Many people don’t like Conversation view because, by default, it only shows you the latest message. Even when you expand it, you only see some of the messages. That happens when there’s a split thread (some people reply to one message, others to another).

The biggest benefit to Conversation view is the ability to clean up a conversation (Home tab, Delete group, Clean Up button). This gets rid of all redundant messages in the thread. You can switch to the Conversation view just to do that. Then, just switch back to whatever view you like.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nathan November 25, 2018 at 5:19 pm

I would disagree that Conversation view is not useful other than just for cleanup. In my job as a network engineer, I receive around 300 emails per day from individuals as well as emails being sent to distribution lists that I am on. If you only have conversation view on and do not have it sorted by date, then yes, it’s a little difficult to follow your email. However, in the case where I am on several teams which each have their own distribution list, it is very helpful to have my inbox sorted in by date and in conversation view. This way, if one of my teammates replies to an email that was sent to our entire team, I am able to see it and do not spend the time replying to an email that has already been handled. This is further confirmed when you have rules that send different emails to different folders when they first arrive. If you have your mailbox sorted by Date and in Conversation view, when you expand an email conversation, it will display all of the emails in that conversation regardless of what folder each message is in, so you don’t just see the messages that are in that particular folder.

Conversation view is just a way to see every message on subject/thread/conversation without right-clicking on a message and choosing “Find Related Messages in this Conversation” everytime. Just like setting up Search Folders for searches you regularly do for messages, it’s just faster to click on the folder and see all of the messages that match that search criteria than to enter the criteria and wait for Outlook to compile all of the results.

It all comes down to how you use a tool, or what your goal is, that answers the question regarding if a certain view or option is useful or not. It may not be useful for you, but it may be very useful and something they can’t do without to the next person.


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