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Posted by Ken
Aug 3, 2015 at 11:14 PM


I have been trying to use OneNote to keep project-related messages together so I have access to them when they have been archived and are no longer available in Outlook (a mandatory procedure at work).  Unfortunately, the problem that I have with Outlook is that there is no way to easily collapse/expand messages, and that OneNote does not put a clear visible boarder around the windows that each messages is contained within.  The boarder is only slightly visible when you hover th4 mouse over the message.  This makes it very difficult to work with numerous messages that may already be threaded, as everything reads as one long giant scroll.  I do not believe that there is a setting that allows you to adjust the boarders for better visibility, so I am wondering if there are better web-based or portable applications that can accept an Outlook message intact (complete with attachments), and allow me to handle a number of related messages easily.  I hate to be on the prowl, and I did try Todoist and Asana as possible alternatives, but I do not like that the messages are contained in notes fields.  any possible alternatives for consideration?




Posted by Arnold
Aug 4, 2015 at 03:06 PM


Can you not use the outlook Archive file (offline from Exchange) to store the e-mail messages? Will duplicate folder structure on the local (not a good idea on a network share do to possible file corruption).

Of course since stored locally if your hard drive dies so do the data unless backed up… which every one does right?

Of course TheBrain does handle drag and drop of e-mails

Search for proedure as to how to archive in your version of Outlook/Exchange.

Otherwise I use Mailbag Assistant - discontinued :-(
Or MailStore Home


Posted by dan7000
Aug 4, 2015 at 05:59 PM


Evernote does a decent job of this, particularly because the search capability is fantastic - even searching within attachments.  You can either manually archive individual emails using the Outlook plugin or just set up a rule to forward emails to evernote.

You can also just forward emails to a gmail account. 

If you want something secure, forward emails to a protonmail or tutanota account. 


Posted by Franz Grieser
Aug 4, 2015 at 06:15 PM



I’d say the AutoArchive settings are less than ideal. Removing e-mails you still need to work on does not make sense.

If you can: Change the AutoArchive settings and keep important e-mails/folders from being archived so soon.
If your admin won’t let you: You can exempt important e-mails from being moved out of your inbox: Open the e-mail, open the Properties dialog and check the “No AutoArchiving this element” (don’t know the exact option name - I only have a German Outlook here). You can also do that for folders: Right-click a folder, open the Properties dialog and set the folder to “do not archive”. A bit tedious but it works.

And: As Arnold wrote, you can always open the archive.pst file in your Outlook.



Posted by Ken
Aug 4, 2015 at 06:44 PM


Thank you all for the suggestions.  I probably should have been more clear when I used the term archive.  We do not use Outlook’s archive feature, and are in the process of moving from an abandoned archive system, Nearpoint Mimosa, to another system.  In the meantime, I need a special FireFox browser window to access the archive, and if I want to retrieve a message, it can only be done through the old version of Outlook Web Access.  Cumbersome to day the least, and we operate on a 45-day deletion schedule, so much of my time is spent managing messages as they do not want everything just dumped into the archive.

I am trying to use OneNote in a slightly different manner by creating a discrete section and having each message become a page in it.  This is a bit different for me as I normally do not like to clutter up OneNote with a number of pages, but I am trying it anyways to see if it is workable.  What I am finding is that I would really like a multi-pane tree-based program that would allow me to select a message or a file (e.g. a PDF file) from the left pane that would be displayed in a central pane, and then allow me a third pane where I could take notes.  I do not suspect that this is going to be easy to find, if it even exists at all, but I think that kind of arrangement is helpful if you have to quickly switch between a number of messages or documents to review data.


P.S. I was not aware of those secure email providers.  Thanks for the recommendation.


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