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UVa Centralized Exchange Service

Best Practices for Using UVa's Centralized Calendar & Email System

Best Practices for Using Outlook Email with UVa Exchange

  • For optimal performance, maximum functionality, and greatest security, access your UVa Exchange Account via the latest version of Outlook.
  • Avoid leaving your Outlook email program running on multiple computers simultaneously. Access your Exchange account only on the computer you are using at the present time, and via only one email program.
    • Close Outlook whenever you are finished working.
    • If you have 2 computers (both for the office, or a work and a personal machine), one of which is a Windows PC and one is a Mac, use Outlook Web App (OWA) rather than Outlook on the computer that is not your primary one.
  • Manage your mailbox size.
    • Although your total Exchange mailbox quota is 4GB, you will see even better performance if you keep your mailbox well under that size.
      • Keep fewer than 5000 messages in your active folders, fewer than 2000 if you access your Exchange account on a mobile device. Remember that your Sent mail folder counts too, and may be very large! So if you are experiencing problems with your email program or mobile device loading very slowly, you may want to periodically archive mail in your Sent folder.
        • Not sure how to determine the size of one of your mail folders in Outlook? See the Microsoft’s support article for Outlook 2010. See the Exchange FAQ site for Outlook 2011 (Mac) instructions.
        • Although Outlook offers an Auto-Archive option, for most users it is simpler to just create folders for email messages you need to save, and manually move emails there from time to time, for long-term storage.
      • If you could use some guidance on inbox management and reducing your mailbox clutter, remember the “4 Ds:” process every email message as it comes in by determining whether you will take action on it or file it for reference (Do it); wait to deal with it until later (Defer it); forward to someone else (Delegate it); or remove it from your Inbox (Delete it).
        • Do not store mail you need to keep in your Deleted Items folder. If you wish to keep a message, file it in another folder. That way, you can safely empty your Deleted Items folder occasionally.
          • You may see delays and slower performance in your Exchange account if you do not empty your Deleted Items folder from time to time.
        • Save your email attachments locally (on your computer) and then delete the messages they are attached to in your Mailbox.
        • Another possibility is to compact individual files to reduce their size. You can do this by creating .pst files in Outlook. Learn how to do this in Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2011 (Mac).
        • Also consider attending a free, 2-hour Email Management training offered periodically by the UVa Office of Records Management for more tips.
  • Disable the Junk Mail filter in Outlook if you find that you have too many “false positives” (real email messages being routed as spam to your Junk Mail folder). Since the built-in spam detector in Microsoft can be overzealous and classify real email as junk, and the University uses the IronPort® spam filter service for all incoming UVa email anyway, you can just rely on the UVa solution to provide you with some level of spam protection.
  • Do not set a forward for your UVa Exchange account; it will break your calendaring. The Exchange calendar and email are closely integrated, and email messages about calendaring must be received and processed on the centralized Exchange server to have the information automatically put onto a calendar.
  • Do not be concerned that sending calendar-related email traffic is “spamming” your coworkers. With Microsoft Exchange, email and calendar are very tightly integrated and therefore closely intertwined. For calendaring to work optimally for everyone at UVa, many email messages must be sent and received!
    • As described on best practices for processing meeting requests, when you receive a meeting invitation, send the organizer your response via email so they know if you plan to attend. Most of the time, meeting organizers greatly appreciate being appraised of your decision to attend or not.
    • As described on best practices for scheduling meetings, choose to “Send Update” when deleting, canceling, changing, or moving events you have scheduled, or when inviting another person after sending out the original meeting request. If you do not send out an email update, attendees will not know what you have changed. Be sure to note in the body text of the updated email specifically what you are changing from the original meeting invitation, as attendees may not be able to tell at a glance.
    • As described on best practices for vacation planning, when sending a meeting “invitation” to notify coworkers of a time you plan to be out of the office, be sure to select “Free” from the Show As: dropdown menu of the meeting request, so your colleagues do not appear on their calendars to be “Busy” during your vacation!
    • View more best practices for using Outlook calendar with Exchange.

  Page Updated: Thursday 2013-12-19 16:22:46 EST

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Page Updated: 2013-12-19; © 2014 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia.

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