No matter what kind of industry you work in, staying up to date on your emails is crucial. They're one of the most important forms of communication in the business world. Depending on the kind of work you do, you could end up having to deal with hundreds or thousands of emails on a weekly basis. Productivity experts can extoll the virtues of "Inbox Zero" all they want, but the truth is that there is simply not enough hours in the hour to go through all those messages. Pressing business concerns, personal matters, and all sorts of other things can happen that make staying on top of your emails as tricky as a rodeo cowboy staying on top of a bucking bull.
So it begs the question: what is a busy professional to do? Sure, you could archive your emails or Dropbox them, but that poses the danger of "out of sight, out of mind." You want to be able to store your emails safely, but in such a way that you don't forget to prioritize them. A great way to achieve that is by moving your backlog of work emails to a USB drive.
Doing this offers several benefits:
- It provides you a reliable and easy to use means of storing your vital communications, file attachments, and other essential documents. The importance of tracking what you say and who you say it to can’t be stressed enough.
- Copying emails to your flash drive can free up much-needed room in your inbox for your most recent emails. If you use Microsoft Outlook (a staple for most businesses), keeping your inbox clean allows the program to operate more efficiently.
- You can access your email offline without the need for an Internet connection.
- Saving emails from your inbox to a flash drive acts as a valuable form of organization that allows you to be thorough about every message that you are sent, no matter where you are. It also makes it so you KNOW that these are emails you need to address. Unlike messages that get archived and forgotten about, your flash drive is a reminder that you have messages you deemed important enough to move to a drive. The physicality of the drive is a reminder about the necessity and priority of dealing with your emails.
There are a few different approaches you can take when moving emails to a USB drive. For Microsoft Outlook, it can depend on which format you want to save your emails in. Think about whether you need just the text of the email or if you’d prefer that the message looks exactly like it does in your Outlook inbox.
In Outlook, one option is to go to the file menu and click on the “Import/Export” option and then click on “Export to a File.” Next, you’ll click on the .pst option, then select which folders you'll want to export. Subsequently, go to “Browse” and then select “Save Exported File As”. With your USB flash drive plugged in, select it as your saving location.
If you work off of an account like Yahoo or Gmail (or again, even with your Outlook) you can also open up a Word document and then simultaneously open your email messages. Hit CTRL+A, CTRL+C, and CTRL+V from the email to the document. From there, save the pasted email Word document onto your flash drive.
Outlook will also let you use the “Save As” option to move emails to your USB flash drive. Choose the file format that works best for your needs.
What other methods do you use to save your email inbox to a USB flash drive? Share your tips!