Organize emails with folders in Outlook web mail and mobile apps

It is easy to become overwhelmed by the number of emails arriving in our inbox every day. Keep on top in Outlook by moving them into folders to organize them by category or topic. Clear your inbox.

Folders can be created in Outlook mail to store specific types of emails. For example, you could have a Personal folder to separate your personal mail from work mail. You could have a folder to store email newsletters so they do not clutter the inbox, or a folder for family emails to separate them from friends and acquaintances. You could even have To-do and Done folders for emails that require some sort of action so you know which messages have been dealt with.

It is up to you to decide what you want to use mail folders for. The idea is to clear as many emails from the inbox as you can. It is very satisfying to have a clear inbox.

Create folders in Outlook web mail

Folders can be created in the Outlook phone app and I show how to do this below, but first, let’s see how to do it in a web browser on a desktop computer. A PC, Mac, Linux, Chromebook, whatever you want to use.

Create a new folder in Outlook web mail
Create an Outlook folder

Expand the Folders section if it is not already expanded and the last item in the list is New folder. The Folders section shows all folders whereas the Favorites section shows only those folders you have marked as a favorite.

Create a new folder in Outlook web mail
Type in the folder name in Outlook

Click New folder and the link turns into a text entry box. Just type the name of the folder, avoiding special characters like *, ? and a few others. Just use letters and numbers. Press Enter and the folder appears in the list.

Move emails in Outlook web mail

After creating a folder, it can be used straight away and there is a Move to menu at the top. Click it and the folder you created is on the menu, along with other important folders like Deleted Items, Junk Mail and so on. Just click the folder you want to move it to. If you cannot see the folder you want, click Move to a different folder and the menu expands to show all folders.

Move an email in Outlook web mail
Move an email in Outlook

The contents of the Move menu changes depending on when it is clicked. Inbox is not an option in the screenshot above because the email is already in the Inbox. If a message in a folder is selected, Inbox appears as a menu option so you can move it back to the Inbox.

Drag and drop is supported and this is often more convenient than using the Move menu. The sidebar lists all the folders and you can simply drag an email from the inbox list and drop it on a folder to move it. This enables you to deal with messages very quickly.

Move an email in Outlook phone app

The option to create folders is available in the Outlook phone app, but it is easily missed. You can see folders and use folders, but at first sight, it looks like there isn’t an option to create one. There is.

Move an email in the Outlook mobile app
Mail actions in Outlook

Open an email in the inbox to read it. Press the three dots in the top right corner of the app to open the menu and then select Move to folder.

Move emails in the Outlook phone app
Tap a folder to move an email or create one in Outlook app

If the folder you want is on the list then press it to move the email to it. If you need to create a new folder, press the button in the top right corner.

Create a new email folder in Outlook on a phone
Create a folder in Outlook mobile app

You can now create a folder for the email. Enter the name and then tap Create & Move. It does exactly what it says and a new folder is created and the email is moved to it. It is automatically added to the folder list so next time you can simply tap it to move the message.

Configure swipe actions in Outlook app

Instead of going through menus to move an email, there is a quick way to do it. Use swipe actions. When viewing the inbox in the Outlook app on a phone, you can swipe left or right over a message. You can choose what actions the swipes perform In the app settings.

Configure swipe actions in the Outlook mobile app
Configure swipe actions in Outlook app

Tap your picture in the top left corner of the Outlook app to open the menu and then tap the gear icon at the bottom to open Settings. Press Swipe options in the Email section. Click either of the two Change buttons and select Move to folder for one of them. I have Move to folder on Swipe right and Delete on Swipe left, but it is up to you how you configure swipes.

Swipe left or right over emails in the Outlook app to perform actions
Swipe emails in the Outlook app

Now when viewing the inbox list, you can swipe to move an email. Where does it move it to? It shows a list of folders and you just tap the one you want. Moving emails is then just a swipe and a tap, making it easy to deal with emails.

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