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A while back, John Scaramuzzo came around the office asking employees to clear out any e-mails we could afford to lose in Outlook. When disk space is low, it can be difficult and time consuming to filter through thousands of e-mails determining what to keep and what not to keep.
Using a feature of Adobe Acrobat (I have version 9 installed) I was able to backup all those e-mails into a single indexed PDF. If you keep your Outlook mailbox organized by folder, this will turn out even more nifty after converting to a PDF. Right click on a mail folder and notice there are 2 options regarding Adobe PDFs. Converting will create a new PDF and appending will add the emails and the folder structure into a PDF which can be saved to the local machine. This does NOT remove the emails from Outlook and needed to be deleted manually.
After a certain point, the PDF document will start to respond slowly after a certain size is reached. The best solution I’ve come up with is to organize the PDFs by year. Remembering the relative year to a project or development period isn’t too difficult and Adobe contains a search feature to find information quickly. A ticket number or relative project phrase usually works removing any need for digging around. Anytime my outlook folders start to look full, I can append all the contents to the current year’s PDF and free up the space in Outlook. Below is a screenshot of what my Sent Items folder looks like in 2011′s PDF.
If your mailbox does not already have a folder structure, it might be a good idea to set some up. Organization never hurts!