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How to make Outlook store a copy of your Reply in the same folder as the Original Email

The default behaviour for Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail and most other email programs is to allow you to easily store the emails you receive in separate folders.
This "filing" can be done manually or automatically using Rules.
However, a copy of the emails that you send are all stored in the same folder, called
Sent Items and so, with no support for automation, you would need to manually move these copies of sent emails to their appropriate folder in order to store incoming emails together with your replies.

Most people don't see this as unusual - until you point it out.
Often the content of the last email you sent, in an ongoing conversation, is appended, with double chevrons at the start of each line, to the bottom of the next email you receive, but you can't rely on this and it's not such a convenient way to read emails in chronological order.

So when you're trying to refresh your memory about a previous exchange of emails, you might find yourself hopping between the folder with the received emails and the Sent Items folder.
Sure, you can do a search of all folders to obtain a listing of the sent and received emails together, just so long as you can find the right search term to use.

It really depends on how you use email as to whether this is such a big deal.
I've come across people who are amazed and exasperated that Outlook doesn't store sent and received emails together as conversation threads that can easily be followed.

The email programs PocoMail and Eudora do provide this facility.
Eudora shows your replies in italics, allowing you to easily tell apart sent and received emails.
Outlook with Exchange provides so many other great features that you would have to be a fanatic to prefer to use Eudora because of this one feature.
One such fanatic is Scot Finnie who writes the excellent SFNL Newsletter.
I recommend you subscribe to it by going here.
He gives his take on "filtering outbound email" in a recent newsletter here.

The point of this article is to alert you to an obscure configuration option in Outlook which, while not a patch on what Eudora can do, is at least a nod in the right direction.

To find this setting, from the main Outlook screen, go to:-

Tools - Options - Preferences - E-mail Options… - Advanced Email Options

and select the box indicated by the red arrow below:-

Save replies to emails in the same folder as where the original email is stored  

Then click:-

OK - OK - OK

…and you're done.

This configuration screen, and the way you get to it, is exactly the same in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007.

With this option selected, when you reply to an email, the copy of your reply is automatically stored in the same folder as the original email instead of in Sent Items.
You must move the received email to a folder, other than the Inbox, before clicking Reply, otherwise the copy of your reply will still go into Sent Items.
If you're not careful you could end up with the worse situation of some replies stored with the original email and others in Sent Items.

Outlook doesn't provide any formatting to differentiate between incoming and outgoing emails so your name in the From column will have to do.

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