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I come from a Lotus Notes background where the email client distinguishes between "folders" (physical representation of a set of emails) and "views" (logical representation of a set of emails). One benefit of this behavior is that if I file a sent email in the "Stuff" folder, the message will appear both in the "Sent" view and the "Stuff" folder. This way, my "Sent" view is an authoritative record of ALL sent emails.

In Outlook, "Sent Items" appears to behave like a folder, such that if I send an email and then file it, it's removed from the "Sent Items" folder. This makes it difficult to see all the emails I've sent regardless of where those outbound messages are now filed.

Are there workarounds for this?


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up vote 1 down vote accepted

From Outlook 2007 help under the "Create a Search Folder" topic:

A Search Folder is a virtual folder that provides a view of all e-mail items that match specific search criteria. For example, the Unread Mail Search Folder allows you to view all unread messages from one location even though the messages may be located in different Mail folders.

Search Folders fit perfectly because you can have an arbitrary number of them, essentially creating virtual folders (or views) to present a list of emails depending on the search criteria. To create a Search Folder showing ALL sent emails I did the following:

  1. Right-clicked "Search Folders" and selected "New Search Folder..."
  2. Selected "Create a custom Search Folder"
  3. Clicked "Choose" then named the new search folder
  4. Clicked "Criteria" then clicked the "Advanced" tab
  5. Clicked "Field", selected "All Mail fields" then selected the "Sent" field
  6. Left the "Condition" at "anytime", clicked "Add to List" and saved the Search Folder
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When you drag an email from "Sent Items" while pressing the Control key, the email will be copied rather than moved.
Does that answer the question?

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hi Harrymc thanks for the quick response. I should have clarified in my question that creating a duplicate is definitely not something I'd like to do. Ideally I'd like to mimic the view-like behavior I get in Notes where the physical message is in some other folder and a pointer to that message is placed in the "Sent" view. – Matt Sep 23 '09 at 20:07
Might be that another way of organizing the mail will be more adapted to Outlook 2007. For example, use Categories instead of filing. You might also look at Search folders. – harrymc Sep 23 '09 at 20:21
hi harrymc - I just RTFM'd (I should have done this from the start :) ) and Search Folders do the job exactly. I just made a Search Folder with critera "Sent" equal to true (technically it's just that the "Sent" flag is set in the expression builder, and it works like a charm. I'm going to answer my own question here and close this out. Thanks! – Matt Sep 23 '09 at 21:01

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