Mouse Nudging in Outlook

Use your mouse to nudge down a folder list in Outlook

Do you have dozens of folders in Microsoft Outlook into which you sort incoming email? To make life more manageable, you can create shortcuts to the folders you use most frequently and then use the Shortcuts button in the navigation pane to display only those shortcuts instead of the full Folder List.


A drawback to this approach becomes apparent when an email arrives in your inbox and you want to move it to a folder that’s not included in your Shortcuts list. In that case, to move the email you must first click the Folder List button in the navigation pane to display the complete folder list, then click-and-drag the email into the now-visible folder. If the folder is tucked away as a sub-sub-folder, you’ll need to do even more clicking to make the destination folder visible. That’s several clicks too many for an action you probably perform repeatedly.


There’s a smoother, one-click method to get email from your inbox into a folder tucked away in your Folder List: use mouse nudging. Give it a try:


1.      Open Outlook and make sure your Shortcuts list is displayed. The Folder List button will be visible at the bottom of the navigation pane.

2.      Click and drag any email from your Inbox onto the Folder List button and keep the mouse button depressed. After a short delay, the Folder List will pop open.

3.      While keeping the mouse button depressed, drag the email into the appropriate folder.

4.      If the destination folder is contained within another folder and is not immediately visible, while still keeping that mouse button down “nudge” the + sign to the left of the parent folder. The sub-folders will spring open and you can drop the email into the desired location.


This nudging technique also works in folder lists in Windows Explorer.  Mac users have a similar option, in fact the Mac OS has ‘spring-loaded’ folders long before Microsoft discovered them for Windows.

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