Why You Should Use The Clutter Feature In Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook has all sorts of quality-of-life features for active users, but they aren't always obvious. Erring on the side of simplicity makes for a clean, user-friendly interface, but it can hide certain useful tools, such as the ability to schedule email delivery for later or activate offline mode to avoid expending unnecessary data on a metered connection.

One of the most useful features in Outlook takes on perhaps the most common frustration in personal and professional email: clutter. As email has become the go-to tool for professional interactions in particular, tools like Outlook can easily become overburdened with irrelevant or outdated messages. At the same time, whether it's a personal or professional account, a user may want to hang onto old messages for reference purposes without having them clog the main inbox.

That's where Outlook's "Clutter" tool comes in. Microsoft's proactive answer to the spam filter, the Clutter function removes messages from a user's workflow while keeping them available for searches and other future references.

Unclutter yourself

Outlook's Clutter feature is fundamentally the email client's way of establishing a priority level in the user's inbox beyond "Inbox" and "Trash." More than a simple content filter, Clutter takes messages the user designates as "clutter" and analyzes incoming messages for similarities, moving low-priority messages out of the main information flow and putting them aside for subsequent reference or deletion.

Especially welcome is the complete, convenient integration of the Clutter tool into Outlook's basic interface. Ilija Sekulov of MailButler quotes Sara Graves, founder of US Title Loans:

"[The Clutter feature] makes the trick on the coolest Outlook tips to increase efficiency. The feature provides many options as you can move the emails manually into the folder, drag and drop or right-click the email and press the Move → Move to Clutter."

Obviously, Clutter can't be a complete solution: it still requires the user to monitor the standards it uses to tag low-priority messages to avoid missing important emails and, like all email tools, will occasionally need to be cleaned out. At the same time, it's a useful, proactive way to tackle an ever-expanding inbox.