Posted by: evtechie | March 17, 2009

Email Rules in Outlook

training1A lot of my clients are anxious to filter out the emails that are important or usually get filed away. If you get an average of 20 emails a day from Dave in Accounting, and it is hard to pick them out from all the other emails you get from everyone else, then you may benefit from using RULES and FOLDERS.

FOLDERS are a huge organization tool. Creating folders in Outlook is easy. RIGHT click on your inbox –> choose NEW FOLDER–> Then Name it. The folder appears in the file tree in Outlook. One of the ways that I have sorted my folders is for the Web Design Business and our clients. Each client gets a folder (we have so many that I now have folders labeled “A-D, E-G, etc” into which I have filed each clients folder) All critical communications come out of my INBOX and get filed into the client folder. This allows me to quickly see a communication history, and mark important emails for future reference.

What is a rule? Using Rules is a great way to keep your life uncluttered. A Rule is a specific command you provide to Outlook on how to handle your emails based on several pieces of information like which email account it is coming from, who it is coming from, a specific subject, or even if it only arrives to you as a CC (Carbon Copy). There are so many ways to organize!

Some of the ways in which I use RULES on my Outlook are:

  1. Isolate emails from my business partner (and husband) from the plethora of emails that arrive daily. All his emails plop into a specific folder I have created under my Inbox – and CHIME to let me know they are there.
  2. Isolate emails marked as SPAM by my email provider and move them directly to a Junk folder
  3. Isolate Subscriptions that I have asked for – like my daily Wall Street Journal and Daily OHM – critical emails!
  4. Mark certain emails from critical clients with a color so they are easily identifiable within the masses of other emails.

How do you set up an email filter??  A rule usually has commands that look similar to this but are completely customizable Where the subject line contains the specific words: SPAM,, Move it/Delete it/Copy it to: (You indicate the folder or place).  When you apply a rule, all new messages will be filtered based on your rules.

  • In OUTLOOK-  Go to TOOLS -> Rules Wizard (you can also hit ORGANIZE and Outlook should walk you through setting up a junk filter)
    • Click NEW, then put checks into each of the specific steps it asks you about.
    • If an item is underlined, it means you can click it to modify the “terminology” you want to filter. This process is a bit advanced, BUT if you are brave, and like to teach yourself new tricks, give it a go!
  • In OUTLOOK EXPRESS – Go to TOOLS-> Message Rules -> Mail
    It will give you options for setting up a set of filter rules. Follow the above description.
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