Outlook 2010 - How to create custom Group By Arrangements for email

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Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
June 2011: I've been wanting to do this for a long time but only recently figured out how to accomplish it.

Before I get to my suggestion, it's important to understand that Outlook 2010 comes with built-in, pre-defined groups to organize email in one's Inbox or other mail folder. Click VIEW tab in the upper navigation area, then click VIEW SETTINGS (under Current View). The Advanced View Settings windows appears. Click OTHER SETTINGS button and then checkmark "Show items in Groups" adjacent to Grid Line Style. Note that this is easier achieved by right-clicking any column heading, then clicking Arrange By > Show in Groups. You'll now notice that your mail items are arranged in groups such as "Three Weeks Ago", "Last Month" and "Older". While this may be helpful to some, more savvy users who prefer defining a custom group (such as group by Month Received) will want to read the remainder of this post.

In the following example, I'll define a new field for "Month Received" and then group my email by this new, custom value:

1. Click VIEW tab, then View Settings, then the Columns button,

2. In the "Select Available Columns" dropdown, choose "User-defined fields in folder",

3. Click the "New Column" button,

4. Set the name as "Month Received",

5. Set the type as "Formula",

6. Click the Edit button,

7. Click the Function button and choose "Date/Time", then "Month( date )",

8. Erase the word "date" that appears inbetween the parenthesis,

9. With the cursor inbetween the parenthesis, click the Field button and choose "Date/Time", then "Received",

10. Click OK to save this formula,

11. If you did as described, you should now see "Month( [Received] )" in the Formula box,

12. Click OK to safve this new custom column,

13. The new column "Month Received" should now appear at the bottom of the Show These Columns" box. Move it as desired, using the "Move Up" or "Move Down" buttons,

14. Click OK to save the columns settings,

15. Click OK to save the advanced view settings,

16. You should now see a new column for "Month Received" which contains the numeric value of the associated month,

This is where I left off. I should be able to sort and/or group on this custom column .. but it appears that Microsoft's short-sighted anticipation of true customization has not allowed for this action.

If you're able to figure out the remainder of this task, please let me know!
 
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Thank for the reply, however, it's extremely short-sighted for a Microsoft product to disallow this. If what you said was true, MS SQL, MS Access and other data-related tools would be out of business. Let's be honest; Microsoft failed to predict this need and therefore didn't bother to make it a feature. Granted, there may be a performance hit, if the mail data is not stored in a relational DB and having to perform this dynamic sort, but you can't expect me to believe it's impossible or impractical. Respectfully,Paulie D
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
While outlook data files are databases, they aren't nearly as good as "real" databases - and Outlook's abilities aren't anywhere close to Access and SQL. But yes, it would be nice if we could sort and group on custom fields.
 
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