Anita Fritz

How to Save Outlook Emails to Teams & SharePoint

In this blog we’ll look at 20 user requirements related to saving Outlook emails to SharePoint, Teams and OneDrive for Business and see how those needs are satisfied by add-on software from MacroView.

  1. I want to drag and drop to save Outlook emails
  2. …to save to Teams / OneDrive for Business / SharePoint Online / on-premises SharePoint
  3. …while I work in Outlook on my Windows desktop, macOS or Android mobile, Mac or Outlook Web Access.
  4. As I save, it should be easy to visualise the structure of my SharePoint areas.
  5. …and to have a familiar view of emails already saved to those areas.
  6. I want emails saved in EML format so I can open them on mobile devices.
  7. If the email is for a new customer or project, I want to be able to create the area in SharePoint for a new customer or project and then save it to that area.
  8. In my Outlook folders, I want to see which emails have already been saved to SharePoint.
  9. I want to save emails to SharePoint without being prompted for metadata
  10. …but I want to use metadata to help me find emails in SharePoint.
  11. I want to prevent duplicates of any email in any area of SharePoint.
  12. I should be able to save emails in bulk, in the background (so I can work in Outlook while the save proceeds).
  13. Emails saved in SharePoint should retain their attachments.
  14. …but I also want to be able to save attachments separately and rename attachments as I save them to SharePoint.
  15. I want emails to be saved to SharePoint automatically as they are sent and received (without the hassle of Outlook filing rules).
  16. I want to be able to save an email by sending it to an email address.
  17. I want to be able to save emails from Shared mailboxes.
  18. It should prevent the saving of certain types of emails.
  19. I want to save emails to SharePoint without volume limitations.
  20. I want SharePoint to replace private and Public folders as the store for emails.

1. Drag and drop to save Outlook emails

MacroView DMS lets you drag and drop to save Outlook emails to any SharePoint document library, document set or folder for which you have permission. These areas are displayed in a pane to the right side of the Mail windows of your desktop Outlook when the solution is installed (see 4. Visualise the structure of my SharePoint areas).

2. Save to Teams / OneDrive for Business / SharePoint Online / on-premises SharePoint

MacroView DMS provides excellent integration between Microsoft 365 and SharePoint Online, including Teams and OneDrive for Business. You can view and save to any SharePoint Online area for which you have permission.

Email Window With Macroview Pane

MacroView pane makes it easy to visualise the structure of a SharePoint email and document store.

3. Save from desktop Outlook / iOS or Android mobile / Mac / Outlook Web Access

MacroView Mail is an Office app that runs in the Outlook app on an iOS or Android device, on a Mac or in Outlook Web Access. MacroView Mail lets you save Outlook emails and attachments to any area you have permission in SharePoint Online, including Teams and OneDrive for Business. The emails are saved with the same naming and metadata used by MacroView DMS. MacroView Mail can be downloaded from AppSource and is free for up to 15 email saves per month.

4. Visualise the structure of my SharePoint areas

MacroView DMS automatically discovers all the areas you have permissions in your SharePoint Online or on-premises SharePoint Server environment. These areas are displayed in a complete and accurate tree-view in a new pane that the software adds on the right of the Mail window in your desktop Outlook.

The MacroView tree-view of a SharePoint Online environment supports hub sites. Suppose you have a large number of Teams site collections. In that case, the ability to arrange site collections into hub site groups and to hide nominated hub sites makes visualising and navigating much more straightforward.

Unlike many competitor products, you do not have to register each site collection – MacroView discovers them for you. The MacroView tree display can extend to cover multiple Microsoft 365 tenancies and numerous web applications supported by on-premises SharePoint Servers. You do not have to select folders or document sets from a drop-down list after you drag and drop them into a document library.

The Search Site Tree command of MacroView DMS lets you find and navigate rapidly to a SharePoint area based on the part of its title or name. Thanks to the way it uses the SharePoint Search engine, this finding by Search Site Tree remains fast even when the SharePoint structure grows to contain thousands of site collections, sites, libraries, document sets and folders.

MacroView Mail displays all areas for which you have permission as you drill down through each level in the SharePoint tree structure.

MacroView’s solutions support Favorites and Recents. Favourites can be arranged into groups – much like Favourites in a web browser- and are an excellent way to visualise and navigate rapidly to the areas you use frequently. You can right-click in the MacroView tree to create your Favourites, or they can be created automatically by the Push Favourites mechanism of MacroView DMS.

Macroview Pane Showing Hybrid Teams And Onedrive

MacroView pane showing the hybrid environment – on-premises SharePoint Server and SharePoint Online, including Teams and OneDrive for Business.

5. Familiar view of emails already saved

MacroView DMS make it easy to update your existing SharePoint libraries or to create new libraries with metadata and views so that saved emails are displayed with their To, From, Subject, and Received Time attributes – very similarly to how emails are displayed in your Outlook Inbox or Sent Items folders. Suppose you click on an email in SharePoint. In that case, MacroView software shows a formatted preview at the bottom of the main central pane of the Outlook Mail window – similar to how emails in your inbox or other Outlook folders can be displayed.

If you click the Subject column heading in the Emails view, the emails are arranged by Conversation Topic, so all the emails in the same discussion thread are grouped in descending order of Received Time. The Re: and FW: prefixes in the email subjects are ignored, just as when you sort the emails in your inbox by Subject.

Double-clicking an email in a MacroView file list causes that email to be retrieved from SharePoint and re-opened in Outlook, precisely as it was when it was saved to SharePoint. You can then Reply and Forward it as usual.

Familiar Viewing Of Emails

MacroView provides a familiar view of emails that have been stored in SharePoint.

6. Emails saved in EML format

MacroView Mail and DMS support saving emails in EML format. This format is preferred because EML emails can be opened on a mobile device.

MacroView DMS also supports saving in MSG format. Emails in both MSG and EML format are found when you search.

7. Create the area in SharePoint for a new customer or project

If you have to contribute permission (i.e. you can save an email), you can right-click in the MacroView tree and create new folders (and document sets, too, if the relevant content type is defined). The new folder will appear in the MacroView tree and inherit the permissions of its parent area. You and other users can save emails and attachments to the new area.

The right-click menu of MacroView DMS can be extended to include custom commands – e.g. New Client, New Project, New Case or New Matter. If you have appropriate permissions, these custom commands are an easy and convenient way to create SharePoint areas for new customers, projects, cases, or matters.

The new document set created for a new project, case, or matter can automatically have a standard set of folders (and sub-folders) corresponding to frequently used document types. The resulting standardisation of folder structures has apparent benefits. The typical folder structures are also easy to adjust if necessary – e.g. so that the document sets for all new projects contain a folder called Invoices. The standard folders are defined in an XML file stored in a SharePoint document library, which is an easy and convenient way to update the standard folders as required.

8. See which emails have already been saved to SharePoint

MacroView Mail and DMS set a yellow Saved to SharePoint category on an email as they save that email to SharePoint. This is the case when a copy of the email is saved. The original email remains in its Outlook folder and when the MacroView software is configured to delete the email from its Outlook folder upon saving it to SharePoint. In the latter case, the yellow category appears on the email in the Deleted Items folder of Outlook.

In addition to the yellow Saved to SharePoint, the MacroView software also sets a second category whose value is the URL of the area in SharePoint where the email is saved.

Email With Categories

Categories added by the MacroView software as an email is saved to SharePoint.

9. Save emails to SharePoint without being prompted for metadata

If like many other users, you deal with many emails, you will appreciate the way MacroView software is designed to record metadata automatically as it saves emails to SharePoint. All the non-personal attributes of the email (i.e. To, CC, BCC, From, Subject, Conversation Topic, Sent On, Received Time, Importance, Sensitivity, etc.) can be recorded by the MacroView software without any prompting the user for input.

This automatic recording happens provided the destination document library contains the relevant email content type and metadata columns. This content type and these columns can easily be added to a new or existing document library using the right-click > Provision command that is available for MacroView DMS.

MacroView DMS can be custom-configured to record other email attributes, and the metadata columns can have whatever names you like. This is handy if your libraries already have metadata columns with non-MacroView names – e.g. as a result of initially using a competitor product.

A well-designed SharePoint email store will also automatically record metadata such as Client Code, Client Name, Project Number, Project Name, Project Type, Project Start Date, etc..

As we will see below, this automatically recorded metadata is useful when finding an email.

10. Use metadata to help me find emails in SharePoint

MacroView DMS makes it easy to filter and sort the files in a SharePoint Online library based on values of their metadata attributes (and using the content of the emails). This includes the metadata attributes recorded automatically (see the previous heading). This ‘slicing and dicing’ is a great way to zoom in and find a wanted email within a document library, document set or folder.

The Search mode of MacroView DMS enables finding emails and documents in any SharePoint area for which you have permission. Both these products ship with an Email Search, which allows the finding of emails based on their metadata and content. As with the slice and dice technique mentioned above, this metadata includes the automatically recorded attributes of the emails (e.g. To, From, Subject, Received Time). You can click a search result to see a formatted preview of that email. If you right-click a search result, you can choose Open File Location, which automatically navigates you to the SharePoint area wherein the search result is stored. This is a great way to see the other documents and emails saved for the Client, Project, Case or Matter.

MacroView DMS send queries to the SharePoint Search Engine – you do not need to create additional search indexes or perform special crawls.

The list of Search types available in the MacroView Search mode can be extended – e.g. so that there is a Search Type that lets you search for emails and documents based on custom metadata attributes – like Client Name, Project Number, Project Type, Project Start Date, etc. As mentioned under the previous heading, these metadata attributes can also be recorded automatically as emails and attachments are saved to SharePoint.

11. Prevent duplicates

A real advantage of MacroView Mail and DMS is that they prevent duplicate copies of an email in any area of the SharePoint email and document store. The MacroView products achieve this by automatically naming the EML or MSG files they create to store the saved emails. If multiple recipients attempt to save the same email to the area for a Project, only one copy of the email will be stored. Still, all recipients will see the yellow Saved to SharePoint category on the email in their inbox.

12. Save emails in bulk, in the background

MacroView DMS lets you select multiple emails in an Outlook folder and drag and drop them to save them all to a SharePoint area. This bulk save is performed in the background, so you can go on working in Outlook while the save proceeds. This saves a lot of time when filing your emails at the end of a busy week or project.

13. Save emails and retain their attachments

The default configuration of MacroView DMS causes the complete email message to be saved to SharePoint – ‘complete’ meaning that any attachments to that email in Outlook are embedded in the saved email in SharePoint. These embedded attachments are visible at the top of the formatted previews of emails (see Familiar view of emails already saved above). They will also be present in the email when that email is retrieved from SharePoint by double-clicking.

The Email Search command of MacroView DMS (see 10. Use metadata to help me find emails in SharePoint) will find an email in SharePoint based on text contained in either its body or in its attachments (provided those attachments have searchable text).




14. Save attachments separately and rename them

Sometimes you need to save an email’s attachment(s) separately to the email – e.g. because you will want to edit that attachment or attach it to another new email. MacroView Mail and DMS let you save attachments separately. You can save one or multiple attachments. The MacroView software will examine the metadata definition of the destination area for the save and prompt for metadata accordingly. MacroView supports all types of metadata that you can have in SharePoint.

If you are saving multiple attachments, you can check a box and have standard metadata applied to numerous attachments. As with bulk-saving emails, bulk-saving attachments are performed in the background, so you can work in Outlook while the save proceeds.

As you save attachments, file system attributes (such as Created Date, Last Modified Date and Author) can also be recorded automatically. This overcomes one of the frustrations reported by folks who move their File Shares to SharePoint: the Created date becomes the date you loaded the file to SharePoint, and the original Created date in the file system is lost.

Suppose an attachment’s file name contains characters that are illegal in SharePoint. They are automatically trimmed out with no confusing error message from SharePoint. If the destination library contains the appropriate metadata column, the original unstripped file name, complete with its illegal characters, is automatically recorded and will subsequently be re-instated when the file is later retrieved from SharePoint and inserted as an attachment to an outgoing email. That way, a customer is unaware that the illegal characters had to be removed to store the attachment in SharePoint.

You can also rename an attachment as you are saving it to SharePoint. This is particularly relevant when you are saving the PDF containing a scanned image sent to you by a smart copier – the incoming attachment name will be a number (or date plus number) and not be that useful.

As you save an attachment to a version-enabled area in SharePoint, you can arrange for that attachment to be saved as the next version of an existing document, even if the incoming attachment has a name different from that of the current file in SharePoint.

15. Emails saved to SharePoint automatically

Being able to drag and drop to save emails to SharePoint is good, but it’s even better if emails can be saved to SharePoint automatically! MacroView provides several ways to automate the saving of emails to SharePoint:

  • Personal email filing rules
    Each MacroView user can define their own rules for filing the emails they send and receive. These personal email filing rules are similar to Outlook’s own filing rules. E.g. if the From address of an incoming email contains ‘@MacroView365’, the incoming email is saved to the SharePoint area corresponding to MacroView.
  • Predictive email filing
    An optional module available for MacroView DMS when deployed with an on-premises SharePoint Server. Predictive email filing can suggest filing locations for an incoming email based on its From address and an outgoing (i.e. Sent) email based on its first To address. A filing tag corresponding to the save location is added to the subject of the saved email, which will automate the saving of subsequent emails containing that tag.
  • Corporate email filing
    Supports the same types of filing as personal filing rules and inserts and recognises filing tags similar to predictive email filing. The key difference is that it does NOT require the implementation and maintenance of a custom database.

16. Save an email by sending it to an email address

Users of Public Folders like the way they can save an email to a Public Folder by sending it to the address of that Folder. MacroView can provide a solution based on corporate email filing (see the previous heading) which automatically saves an email to a SharePoint Online or Teams areas when that email is sent to the email address that corresponds to that area. The effect is like email-enabling the area in SharePoint Online or Teams.

17. Save emails from Shared mailboxes

Many users have one or more secondary mailboxes in their Outlook Mail environment. These secondary mailboxes might be for a colleague (e.g. the Executive that a Personal Assistant is supporting) or Shared Mailboxes (e.g. A MacroView DMS user can drag and drop emails in these secondary mailboxes to save them to SharePoint.

MacroView DMS can monitor one or more secondary mailboxes and the user’s (primary) mailbox. This enables the automatic filing of emails as they arrive in the Inbox or Sent Items folders of a secondary mailbox.

Monitored Mailboxes

MacroView monitoring the Inbox and Sent Items folders for a colleague’s mailbox and a Shared mailbox.

18. Prevent saving of certain types of email

You don’t want some messages saved in your SharePoint store. A good example is emails that have already been archived by a tool such as Enterprise Vault – what is left in your inbox is a stub that points to the archived message somewhere in the Vault. If you attempt to save a stubbed email, MacroView DMS can display a warning or, if you prefer, prevent the save.

19. Save emails to SharePoint without volume limitations

When saving an email, you don’t want to worry whether this email will cause a volume problem in your email store. Earlier versions of SharePoint did have significant limitations with volume. With the latest releases of SharePoint Online and MacroView, these limitations have largely been eliminated. Each site collection in SharePoint Online can be up to 25TB. MacroView DMS will let you page through all the items in a SharePoint Online library, even when your view contains more than the List View Threshold number of items.

MacroView DMS is designed to provide consistently good performance and efficient resource utilisation when saving to and navigating SharePoint document stores, including those with large, deeply-nested Site Collection / Site / Library / Folder trees and huge document volumes.

MacroView can advise on the optimal design of a SharePoint document store so that it can store large volumes and still be easy to navigate and use.

For more information, see this MacroView blog post: Implementing great designs for SharePoint and Teams.

20. SharePoint to replace Private and Public folders

The limitations of Public Folders in SharePoint Online are causing organisations to look for an alternative way to store their emails. Many organisations are using a combination of SharePoint Online and MacroView to replace their on-premises and online Public Folders. MacroView provides a familiar user experience for saving emails and allows the user to take advantage of the additional capabilities of SharePoint around metadata and search. The Search Site Tree feature of MacroView DMS (see above) makes it much easier to find and navigate to a particular area in SharePoint than with Public Folders.

MacroView can assist with your migration from Public Folders to SharePoint Online. MacroView Provisioner can create and provision the areas in a new SharePoint Online email store, and MacroView Standardiser bulk processes migrated emails so that their naming and metadata are consistent with new emails saved with MacroView Mail and DMS. MacroView Migrator makes the migration from Public Folders, private folders and file shares even easier.

For more information, see this MacroView blog post: Migrating from Public Folders to SharePoint Online or Teams.

Next Steps

Contact MacroView for more information about our solutions for document management, email management, document drafting and automated document assembly.