One of the cool features Google added to Gmail was the Archive button – a way to quickly get items out of your inbox: out of sight, out of mind, but not out of the scope of a search. This way you’re not confronted with a massive inbox, just the items you need to deal with or need for immediate reference, and all it takes is the simple decision to hit Archive. Then whatever you archived will disappear, but still be available in the “All Items” folder.

Luckily Outlook 2010 already has all the features you need to implement such a scheme. You can do everything you want from the Quick Steps area of the ribbon.

  1. Make a new folder somewhere called “All Items” or “Archive” or something you’ll understand
  2. Create a Quick Step action entitled “Archive” whose action is to move the item(s) to your new archive folder
  3. Create a “Reply and Archive” action with two actions: to reply to the item and then archive it by moving it to your new archive folder

There. A few minutes work and Outlook 2010 becomes so much nicer to use.