Microsoft Outlook: Processing Email With Rules

Rules can turn Outlook into a personal assistant. Many of the things you do with Outlook can be done automatically using Rules.

Microsoft Outlook: Processing Email With Rules

Rules can turn Outlook into a personal assistant. Many of the things you do with Outlook can be done automatically using Rules. You can use Rules to manage a number of simple tasks, making it much easier to manage your inbox and control the emails you need to send.

What can Rules accomplish? Take a look at these key features. By setting Rules, you can:

  • Move a specific type of message to a predetermined folder
  • Assign a specific category to a message
  • Delete messages that you know you won’t have any interest in reading later
  • Forward messages that you know need to go to a specific category or individual as soon as possible.

Ready to start making the most of Rules for Outlook?

1. Make it easy by highlighting a message that has the elements you want to target.

You might want to highlight messages from a specific sender or messages related to a specific topic. If you prefer, however, you can access Rules directly from the menu, allowing you to organize your inbox even if you don’t have specific messages from the senders to whom those Rules will eventually apply.

2. Right click and choose “Rules.”

Then, select “Create Rule.” Rules can also be found under the Home tab. Select the specific actions you want your emails to take when they fit those key criteria. Then, save it–and you’re good to go! Your inbox will then organize itself in the future to fit the rules you’ve specified. Later, when you want to look at specific emails related to a given topic, you can simply go to the folder that you’ve assigned them to. This is a great way to move newsletters to your preferred location or keep all the communications from a specific client in one place.

3. Use advanced options, if you need them.

You may, for example, have messages for a specific customer, client, or contact that will go to a specific place. You could set a rule based on a specific domain, rather than an individual email address. You might want to do a variety of things with your emails. You might want to move it to a specific folder, which offers the easiest type of Rule, or you might want to

You may want to build in exceptions to your rules. For example, while you may want to move most of the emails from one domain or company to a specific folder, you may want emails from one specific sender to go to a different folder. You might want to delete all the information from a company that refuses to remove you from its mailing list, but you may want to let through emails from a specific sender at the company. By putting in exceptions to your existing rules, you can fully customize your email inbox and organize it in a way that makes sense to you.

4. Run the Rule on your existing inbox.

Often, you may discover that you need to institute a Rule based on the specific emails already sitting in your inbox. The good news is, you can go ahead and run a new Rule on your current inbox. Once you select “run,” you can allow the rule to take over, and your emails will automatically get sent to the places they need to be in your inbox.

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