Outlook Rules for Better Email Management

Outlook Rules for Better Email Management

If your inbox is a cluttered mess and it’s getting difficult to have eyes on the important emails, you can use Outlook rules to create filters and labels for better organization and management. Outlook rules can be a great time saver and help you stay on top of all your essential tasks. Here is how to set up Outlook rules for better email management:

What are Outlook Rules

Outlook rules allow you to automate the actions you would normally do manually. The rules are essentially actions that are performed based on specific criteria you have set. Suppose you juggle multiple businesses, or you receive many different vendor emails. In that case, you can easily automate the organization by creating outlook rules to send the emails to their specific folders.

Setting Up a Basic Outlook Rule

Outlook lets you set up various rules ranging from basic to more complex, depending on your needs. To begin with, let’s first take a look at how you can set up a basic Outlook rule. Let’s say that you regularly receive emails from your boss, and you want to keep them in a separate folder. From now on, you no longer have to manually drag the emails to a designated folder. You can set up a basic Outlook rule to automatically send the emails from your boss directly to the folder. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Right-click one of the particular emails.
  2. Click on “Rules”. (Alternatively, you can click on “Rules” from the “Home” tab).
  3. Select “Always Move Messages From.”
  4. Choose the folder you want the emails from the particular sender to be moved to. If you don’t have a specific folder set up, you can select “New” and create the folder.
  5. Click OK to save the rule.

Setting Up a More Advanced Outlook Rule

The above one is one of the simplest ways to set up Outlook rules, but there are other more advanced rules that you can create. Let’s assume that you receive a daily email from your boss that shows an inventory quality report with the email subject that mainly reflects the same – “Inventory Quality Report.” At the same time your boss sends you many different types of emails too. So, you want to separate the inventory quality report emails from the other emails. In this scenario, the above basic Outlook rule will not suffice because you want to separate specific email types, not all emails, from the particular sender.

Here’s how to separate specific types of emails:

  1. Right Click on the email for which you want to set the rule,
  2. Select “Create Rule.”
  3. In the dialog box, select the “Subject contains” checkbox and type in the subject matter of the particular email; in our scenario, this would be “Inventory Quality Report.”
  4. If you want to be notified when you receive this email, select “Display in the New Item Alert window.”
  5. To move this type of email to a specific folder, select the “Move the item to folder” checkbox and choose the appropriate folder.
  6. Click “OK” to save the rule.

How to Auto Delete emails using Outlook Rules

Let’s assume that you receive frequent companywide birthday announcements from your human resources team. Let’s also assume that these emails are not be relevant to you. The chances are that you would prefer to delete these announcement emails automatically; however, you still might want to receive other types of emails from human resources. Here is how to set up an auto-delete rule:

  1. Select “Rules” from the “Home” tab.
  2. Select “Create Rule.”
  3. Click on “Advanced Options.”
  4. The dialog box will show a list of checkboxes with different conditions. For the current scenario, we can select the “From [the particular sender]” checkbox.
  5. Select “Next.”
  6. The dialog box will now ask what do you want to do with the message. For our scenario, select the “Delete it” checkbox. You can also select multiple checkboxes, if relevant.
  7. Select “Next.”
  8. Now, the dialog box is asking if there are any exceptions. In our scenario, we only want to delete the birthday announcements but wish to receive other emails. So, select “except if my name is in the To or Cc box.” It’s because when a companywide email is sent, it is sent to everyone. So, this rule will allow other emails from the same sender while deleting the birthday announcement ones. Again, you can check multiple exception boxes, depending on what’s relevant to you.
  9. Click “Finish” to save the rule.

Managing Outlook Rules

Once you have set up your Outlook rules, it is easy to check and manage them:

  1. From the “Home” tab, select “Rules.”
  2. Select “Manage Rules & Alters.” In the dialog box, you will see all the rules you have created.
  3. If you click on any of the rules, you can see more information in the “Rule description” field.
  4. From here, you can change or update the folders or the settings of your rule.

Deactivating Outlook Rules

If the rules are no longer relevant, you can easily deactivate them:

  1. Select “Rules” from the “Home” tab
  2. Select “Manage Rules & Alerts.”
  3. Clear the checkbox for the rule you want to deactivate.
  4. Once done, click “OK.”

Wrapping Up

By utilizing the rules, you can save yourself time and remove a lot of irrelevant and unnecessary work from your inbox. Remember that Outlook rules can be as basic or complex as you want them to be. They are easy to set up and adaptable. Don’t let your inbox become an unmanageable cluttered mess. If you don’t know where to start, or if you need help, reach out to Millennium Group’s tech team (970) 663-1200