How to sort your folders in Outlook

If you are an Outlook user with more than a few folders, at some point you might end up frustrated because there’s no easy way to sort them. By default, Outlook 2011 and below sort your folders based on the folder name. If you’ve got a folder Super Important, Can Wait, Important and Annoying, it’ll show up like this:

  • Annoying
  • Can Wait
  • Important
  • Super Important.

I don’t know about you, but I like my most important folders on top. But Outlook doesn’t allow you to do that – unless you use it’s sorting method to your advantage.

Numbers are the answer

To easily sort your folders, you can add numbers to the beginning of your folders. Outlook will then sort the folders based on the Number, allowing you to sort your folders as you please.

So, for exaple, if you want Super Important to be on top, and Annoying on the bottom, try renaming your folders to this:

  • 00 Super Important
  • 01 Important
  • 02 Can Wait
  • 99 Annoying

Outlook will now order your folders based on the numbers you’ve added, giving you the power to order them as you want.

A personal tip (or two)

  • It’s important to use double digits. Otherwise, once you’d reach 10 your sorting order would be messed up again.
  • Use 00 for the folder you always want to be on top
  • Use 99 for the folder you always want to be on the bottom. If you need more than 99 folders to sort your mail… Ouch.
  • If you use the same digits twice, Outlook will sort these folders based on what comes next (likely the real folder name).
  • Want to sort Subfolders? Just apply the same system to them! E.G Subfolders for 04 could be 04.01, 04.02 etc. etc.

I hope this tip gives you a bit of freedom in sorting those folders.

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