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The Sent Items Folder Unmasked

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Doug Anderson

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Posted: 16 Sep 1999
 

Okay, okay, okay. We get the impression that the Sent Items Folder is mystery that needs unraveling. So let's unravel it. We'll give you an overview, then point you to all the stuff we've previously written on this subject.

What is it?

First and foremost, let's define the darn thing. Because the Sent Items Folder is no ordinary folder. No, it's what we call a Find Results folder. And what, pray tell, is a find results folder? Nothing more than a query folder. That is to say, nothing actually lives in a find results folder. Every time you click, or open, a find results folder, any find results folder, GroupWise examines the search criteria defined for the folder, and searches for everything specified. GroupWise then populates the Item List (the big list of e-mail, documents, and stuff in your Mailbox) with what it finds. For more info about Find Results folders, see Daren Deadmond's fine article on the topic.

Remember, though, that your stuff actually lives somewhere else. GroupWise simply uses this search folder to find and display the stuff. And here's the kicker: You can act on the stuff displayed in this folder. That is, you can copy it, move it, or delete it. Actually, here's the real kicker: even if you copy or move stuff from this folder, if you open this folder again, you'll see that same stuff again. Why? Because this folder finds sent items wherever you put them, and displays them for you.

Many people write us to complain that they move stuff out of the Sent Items folder, only to have it reappear there again later. Confusing? Maybe. Logical? Absolutely. Because the item still lives, safely in the place you put it, and the Sent Items folder is only doing its job, finding sent items wherever they live and displaying them for you.

In fact, when you view the Sent Items folder, look at the displayed columns. Notice that column called Folder? That column tells you which folder or folders the item lives in.

If we could offer one word of advice to users about the Sent Items folder it would be this: Relax. Don't stress out because your Sent Items folder is bursting at the seams. It doesn't matter. Don't go moving stuff out of there and then try to delete the item from the Sent Items folder. Just because the thing lives in two places doesn't mean it really lives in two places. GroupWise merely displays the item in two places. Not the same thing at all.

If you really want your Sent Items folder to behave more like what you're used to, change its properties so that it only displays sent items that live in your Mailbox, and ignores items you've filed in personal folders in your Cabinet.

  1. Right-click your Sent Items folder, then click Properties.
  2. Click the Find tab.
  3. In the Look In box, click the + next to your Mailbox name (usually your own name) to display all the folders in your Mailbox.
  4. Deselect the Cabinet check box.

How is that different from the good old 4.1 Outbox?

Now, we realize that many of you came from somewhere, like GW 4.1, or Outlook, or Pegasus, or whatever. If you're used to the Outbox, well, the Sent Items folder works differently. Think of it like this: Outbox equals Filter, Sent Items folder equals Find Results folder (or query folder).

So what's a filter? Let us explain. No, there is too much, let us sum up. A filter simply takes any folder in your Mailbox, and either hides stuff you don't want to see, or conversely displays only the stuff you do want to see. For example, if you open your Trash folder, which is typically very crowded, and you're looking for that inadvertently deleted Performance Review e-mail from last week, you can create a filter which will display only e-mails containing the words Performance Review.

GroupWise ships with myriad pre-fab filters for your viewing pleasure, just like it ships with many pre-fab Find Results folders. If you're using pre 5.5 GroupWise, the pre-fab filters are found under the View menu. If you're using 5.5, they're still under the View menu, but they're also more conveniently located at the top of your folder list in the Display pop-up list. If you're using 5.5 (and you really should be), click the Display pop-up list, then click the stuff you want to see. Do it again to go back.

Here's a little insider tip: We here at Cool Solutions rarely use the Sent Items folder. Instead, when we want to see sent items, we click the Display pop-up menu, then click Sent Items. When we're done looking, we click Display, Received Items. We just like it better. No muss, no fuss. You only see the sent items in the active folder. However, if we ever need to see Sent Items, no matter where they are, we'll occasionally click the Sent Items folder. Because we can.

More and more detailed additional reading

Because this is the web, and to reproduce here everything we've written elsewhere would be counterproductive, here are some links that will be invaluable in answering questions about the sent items folder. Questions like how do I link or move items, or how do I re-create my sent items folder, or even why do my sent items live in two places?

Click on over to this article by our good friend Mark Talbot for a fine tour of the your Mailbox Cabinet.

Click on over to this roundup of an entire FAQ about the Sent Items folder.

If you still have questions about the Sent Items folder (or, of course, anything else), ask us.


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