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Using Multiple Personal Folders Files

You aren't limited to only your default Personal Folders file. You can create as many Personal Folders files as you need. You might want to create new Personal Folders files for different projects. If you have a hard time keeping your email organized, you might even want to create a new Personal Folders file for each year. You can archive your emails from each year into their own Personal Folders file.

Creating a New Personal Folders File

To create a new Personal Folders file, click the Office button and select New, Outlook Data File (see Figure 3.32).

Figure 3.32

Figure 3.32 You can create two types of Personal Folders files.

Outlook 2007 can use two types of Personal Folders files. You can create an Office Outlook Personal Folders file with support for multilingual Unicode data or choose to create a Personal Folders file compatible with all previous versions of Outlook. Select the type of Personal Folders file you need to create and click OK to display the Create or Open Outlook Data File dialog box, as shown in Figure 3.33.

Figure 3.33

Figure 3.33 In this dialog box, you select the location for your new Personal Folders file.

Outlook suggests a default location for your new Personal Folders file. The default location is C:\Documents and Settings\ProfileName\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook. You can change this location to another folder on your hard drive or a network file share. Select a location for your Personal Folders file and enter a filename. Click OK to open the Create Microsoft Personal Folders dialog box, as shown in Figure 3.34.

Figure 3.34

Figure 3.34 Here, you can enter specific details about your Personal Folders file, such as name, display name, and password.

The name you enter in the Create Microsoft Personal Folders dialog box is the actual filename for your Personal Folders file. You can also choose a display name that will show in Outlook's folder list.

You can also password protect your Personal Folders file when you create it. Be aware that many password-cracking utilities are on the market today. Many are low cost or free. If you're concerned about a nosy officemate reading your email, use a Personal Folders password. If you're dealing in highly sensitive information, consider an encryption program such as PGP (www.pgp.com). Click OK to create your Personal Folders file. Your folder list will now include your new personal folders. If you look at Figure 3.35, you'll see my new personal folder, Projects, in my folder list.

Figure 3.35

Figure 3.35 Your folder list displays all open Personal Folders files in alphabetical order.

You can create as many Personal Folders files as you need. Many people use a Personal Folders file to store all communications about a particular project or with a particular client.

After you create a Personal Folders file, you can set it as the default delivery location for your received messages. Select Tools, Account Settings and click the Change button. Use the drop-down list marked Deliver New Email to the Following Location and select the Personal Folders file you need. It's important to name your Personal Folders files when you create them so that you see something other than multiple instances of the title Personal Folders in this drop-down box.

Opening a Personal Folders File

Personal Folders files are an easy way to share information with others. If you need to transfer all of your contacts to another person, you can export those contacts to a Personal Folders file and send the entire Personal Folders file to that person. Many professional sports teams and even some Little League teams are emailing Personal Folders files to fans or parents for import into their calendar. To open a Personal Folders file, select click the Office button, Open, Outlook Data File. Navigate to your Personal Folders file and click OK. The Personal Folders file is added to your folder list. If you receive a Personal Folders file via email, you must first save it to your hard drive and then open it through Outlook.

Removing a Personal Folders File from the Folder List

If you create a large number of Personal Folders files, you'll probably want to remove some of them from the folder list eventually. After all, if you make heavy use of the Favorite Folders portion of the Navigation Pane or have a screen resolution of 800x600, you can't see very many folders in the folder list area. To close a Personal Folders file, right-click on the name of the Personal Folders file and select Close <filename>. The Personal Folders file disappears from your folder list. This action doesn't delete the Personal Folders file. The data is still intact, and you can reopen it at any time. The only way to delete a Personal Folders file is to find the file in the file system and delete it. You cannot delete it from within Outlook.

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