Tip of the week # 413
24 January 2014

Rename the subject line of an email message you received (Outlook 2007-2010)

During a recent one-to-one coaching session I had a light-bulb moment when I spotted the person I was training rename the subject line of an email message in her inbox, before storing it in their electronic document and records management system. Why would you want to rename the subject line of an email message you received, I hear you ask. Well, finding information can be an absolute nightmare and I read somewhere that the average person loses up to six weeks every year searching for misplaced information at work. I'm pretty sure you've wasted time finding email messages that did not have a clear indication of its content in the Subject line.

Obviously, renaming email messages with silly subject titles isn't only useful when you use a content management system, such as Livelink, so if an email message you received (after all, you're in control of the titles when you send) can do with a more descriptive Subject line, here's how:

  1. Open your email message, as normal.
  2. Click anywhere in the subject line where you want to make modifications and type your amendments.
  3. Close the email message, as normal.
  4. Click Yes to save the email with the modified subject line.
  5. If appropriate, store the email in your content management system, as normal.

For those of you who like to idea of renaming an Outlook email message subject line without opening the message first, here's how:

  1. In Outlook 2010, right-click the Subject column heading and select View Settings. (In version 2007 select the Customize Current View option.) 2. Click on the Other Settings button.
  2. Tick the Allow in-cell editing check box.
  3. Click OK twice.

In future, you can simply place your cursor in the Subject line and overwrite the current title.