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Email Paper Trail

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  • Email Paper Trail

    I'd love some advice on's really a process question. I am a hotel sales/catering manager, and as such I have a HEAVY amount of email correspondence that I must (eventually) print out and put in the files I keep for each event/booking.

    As I don't have a discrete printer in my office, this means I must either
    (a) print out an email as soon as I send it; walk over to the printer, retrieve it, punch it and put it in the file, or
    (b) move emails to be printed into an @Print email folder, and do a periodic print/file activity.

    Both have drawbacks, as you can see. (b) generally results in my having a huge backlog of emails to print, which takes an enormous amount of time to print, punch and file. (We use the old "prong" filing system -- I've tried to change it, but to no avail!)

    (a) is better, but I find when I'm in the swing of things, the last thing I want to do is get up out of my chair, walk out to the printer, etc. etc.

    I've tried asking my assistant to go into my email folder and print, but she's already swamped, and I find I don't have the backup in the file in a timely manner if I do it that way. The reason for the printed backup is in case of discrepancies in understanding of agreements between hotel and client, etc etc.

    Sorry for the rambling message -- any ideas would be appreciated!!

  • #2
    Greetings from NYC !

    I too am in an intense "CYA" environment. Here is what I do - see if you can adapt it to your needs.

    My environment is very "project oriented." Every time a project is opened, I set up a folder for it in Outlook, as part of my PST, so it decreases the size of my inbox. All e-mails sent to and fro, regarding this projet are filed in this folder.

    I also have folders set up for relationships, and people who report to me.

    Once a project is completed - I "print" all of the e-mails in the folder. Outlook gives you the option of startig a new page for every new e-mail, or keeping them "flowing." I opt for starting the new page, personally.

    EXCEPT -

    I don't "print" them on paper.

    I print them as an Adobe Acrobat PDF

    The PDF can then be stored on some sort of hard drive or disk. OR you can send it to your assistant - asking her to print to paper at her earliest convenience.


    • #3
      Thanks for the advice -- I think it will be very helpful!


      • #4
        Priting e-mails

        If you must print e-mails, here are two easy solutions. One free and one cheap.

        In Windows, Start -> Settings -> Printers, R-click on your printer and select "pause printing". Your documents will be stored in the print queue until you go through the same steps again and select "resume printing". I use this system all the time.

        Worth It:
        Auto Print Outlook add-in $25

        Good luck,



        • #5

          My setup is similar to yours and I'm curious how you handle this issue:

          suppose someone sends you an email and they talk about multiple projects (in this one email). How do you handle this? Do you copy and paste the email to multiple project folders?

          Also if anyone is in need of a free pdf "creator" check this out.

          It is adware supported (i.e. everytime you select print as PDF your browser will pop up and display an ad).


          • #6
            Yep. I use Outlook's "copy to folder" feature; and make multiple copies for any project mentioned in the e-mail.

            if there is one that it pertains to primarily, that is the one that I assign as a "Project" label to it - using the GTD Add-In.