Emails are the lifeblood of business, but all too often the veins get clogged by inefficient management. Maintaining networks and servers cost companies time and money. Administrators must be able to pull up important messages on demand, plus tackle disorganised file systems and redundant accounts.

Oasys Mail Manager (From £115 ex VAT, discounts available for multiple licences) is a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook that enables simple but powerful email management. This solution has the back end necessary for managing enterprise environments, but is also an effective tool for home users.

Mail Manager is a local client application that plugs its toolset directly into Microsoft Outlook. It doesn’t require complex installation over servers by IT experts.

It can be used on Windows computers and iPhone, Google Android, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry smartphones.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to using Mail Manager. We’ll take you through its comprehensive feature set, and will have you running its lightning-fast search facility, collaborative functions and filing system in no time.

Protecting your business

No business expects to find itself being instructed to hand over data by a court of law, but it happens every day. And huge legal costs can be incurred if those demands can’t be met – Microsoft was once forced to pay £25m when it couldn’t produce email evidence in court.

Courts have previously penalised companies for not being able to also provide the metadata, file owner, routing and sender information.

Under the 1988 Data Protection Act, anyone has the right to request information on what data your business servers hold on them. Such requests are often made by ex-employees in unfair dismissal suits. If you can’t produce the data within 20 days, you’re in breach of the law and will have little ground to stand on in court.

Mail Manager provides a comprehensive data-retention policy. The plug-in centrally manages employees’ shared documents, and makes them easy to find on demand.

Mail Manager uses the same Windows file system as your PC and treats emails just like any other Microsoft Office document.

How to use Oasys Mail Manager

Step 1. Mail Manager Outlook plug-in: Install Mail Manager, then restart your PC. A feature-complete 30-day trial is available at Mail Manager plugs into Outlook, where it takes the form of a simple but powerful toolbar. Mail Manager will automatically load with Outlook. Use the toolbar to select options from the File menu, or to try its Search, Snap ‘n’ Send and Label features. You can change your preferences on the Tools tab. The Help section contains excellent step-by-step video tutorials.

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Step 2. Filing a message: Select a message and click the File Email button on the Mail Manager toolbar. Choose where to store your message in the window that appears. Rather than hiding away messages on a mail server, Mail Manager uses a standard Windows folder system and the .MSG file format. This ensures your messages are easier to organise and read. Messages can be stored in existing file structures, and you can file them while not connected – when you next log in, Mail Manager files them away automatically. Click the Options tab for more control.

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Step 3. Locations and search: Mail Manager lets you store messages in several locations, and offers suggestions based on your behaviour. To add a new location, click File Email and select ‘Add Personal Location’. Oasys’ Search tool is faster and more flexible than Outlook’s native search, and even lets you search for messages when not connected. Choose your location on the left and search term on the right (you can use more than one). Results are displayed in the preview pane; multiple metrics help you organise them.

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Step 4: Search options: For more control over Mail Manager’s Search function, click the Options tab at the left of the window. A pull-out menu offers a breakdown of search options, letting you hunt down keywords in the body of messages, email subject line and attachments. You can also search for messages from or to particular contacts. Mail Manager can look in specific locations for an email, and search by date and even file size. Use the tilde (~) character on your keyboard for search terms that may have been misspelled.

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Step 5: Snap ‘n’ Send and Collections: Snap ‘n’ Send is a simple collaborative tool. It lets you take a screenshot, then add markers and annotations to it. Click ‘Snap ‘n’ Send’ on the toolbar, then select what you want to capture and left click. Oasys also offers Collections for managing filing locations across a network. In the Mail Manager toolbar click Tools, then choose Collections. Click ‘Open...’ in the window that appears to bring up the editor. From here, you can reduce user admin time with centrally managed locations.

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Step 6: Mobile devices: You can organise your messages using an iPhone, Google Android, Windows Phone 7 or BlackBerry smartphone via Mail Manager’s Drop Folders facility. Head to Tools, User Preferences, Drop Folders to configure this setting. Once configured, Mail Manager can dynamically create a specified number of Outlook subfolders directly below your inbox, based on recently filed to locations. Any messages moved or copied into these folder will be filed automatically.

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