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Creating email rules or filters

From: Time Management Fundamentals

Video: Creating email rules or filters

Before I walk you through how to process email, I need to take a moment and show you how to set up email rules-- sometimes referred to also as filters. Email rules, or filters, are automatic rules on how to deal with certain emails when they come in. The most basic example of this is a coupon email from your favorite business. Many people are afraid to sign up for coupons because they're worried that it's going to clog up their email inbox. I'll show you what I do and why I sign up for every coupon site for vendors that I frequent regularly, and why it doesn't affect my inbox at all.

Creating email rules or filters

Before I walk you through how to process email, I need to take a moment and show you how to set up email rules-- sometimes referred to also as filters. Email rules, or filters, are automatic rules on how to deal with certain emails when they come in. The most basic example of this is a coupon email from your favorite business. Many people are afraid to sign up for coupons because they're worried that it's going to clog up their email inbox. I'll show you what I do and why I sign up for every coupon site for vendors that I frequent regularly, and why it doesn't affect my inbox at all.

Here we have a coupon from a local pizza place. I like to order pizza from them, and I'd like to be able to get coupons that I use regularly. So what I'll do on this email is I'll right-click on the email, and then you'll see an option that says create a rule. I can also create rules at Home, the Move section, the Rules button, and clicking on Manage Rules and Alerts, and set them up manually, but it's easiest to do with an existing email. So I'm going to right-click, go to Create Rule.

You'll see this window where you can create a wide variety of different rules for an email. If I get an email from a certain email address, if it has certain words in the subject, is sent to certain email accounts, and so on. There are more advanced options too, but really all we need is the most simple kind of rule: what email address did it come from? I'll select the rule if I get an email from this pizza place and I'm going to automatically move the item to a folder. Now it asks me to select a folder.

Remember that Resource folder that I had you create? Here it's okay to create a new folder under Resource. I can do this for one reason; this is automatic filing. It requires no future effort on my part. Also, using a separate presorted folder saves time by making it easy for me to find these rule-based emails when I need them again. So I'm going to create a folder called Coupons, and then I click OK. Then I'll make sure that I check the mark where it says Apply to all emails in this folder, and then click OK.

Now you'll notice that it searches the email inbox and throws the email into the Coupons folder I created. This makes it very, very easy for me in the future if I ever need to buy something. I can just go to the Coupons folder, or I can search for the email and find it very quickly to get the discounts or the best deals. You can apply these same kinds of rules for all sorts of informational emails that you get, such as newsletters and software updates. I once worked with a mortgage company that would get rate updates multiple times through the day, and then we put them all into that folder.

That way it didn't clog up the inbox, but they could still access it at any time once they needed the newest information. Now an important caution: avoid setting a rule for an email where you may have to process it manually. Doing so would create more than one email gathering point. The only place you should even need to check email is your inbox. Let me give you an example. Let's say your favorite aunt has the habit of sending you funny pictures and stories a lot.

Be careful about creating a rule for her because if she does send you something it does have critical information, then you may miss out on it. Remember, when you set a rule for an email you're telling the computer to automatically answer all of the "what, when, where: processing questions for you. What's the next step? Store the email. When will it be done? Right now. Where is its home? The folder. It handles all of that automatically for you, so make sure that you don't set a rule for any email account where you might have to check the email and process it.

Rules and filters, when used properly, can save you valuable time and make processing even easier.

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This video is part of

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Time Management Fundamentals

52 video lessons · 62574 viewers

Dave Crenshaw
Author

 
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  1. 3m 31s
    1. Welcome
      51s
    2. Getting the most from this course
      2m 4s
    3. Using the handouts and exercise files
      36s
  2. 3m 35s
    1. Making a lasting change
      1m 44s
    2. Finding your personal motivation
      1m 51s
  3. 6m 16s
    1. Addressing the myth of multitasking
      3m 12s
    2. Understanding the consequences of multitasking
      3m 4s
  4. 7m 48s
    1. Understanding principle 1: Space
      2m 46s
    2. Understanding principle 2: Mind
      1m 47s
    3. Understanding principle 3: Time
      3m 15s
  5. 26m 17s
    1. Taking inventory of your gathering points
      2m 37s
    2. Narrowing your gathering points
      3m 46s
    3. Setting up an inbox gathering point
      2m 23s
    4. Working with a portable inbox
      2m 49s
    5. Getting the most from a notepad
      2m 35s
    6. Consolidating multiple email accounts
      2m 34s
    7. Consolidating multiple voicemail accounts
      2m 56s
    8. Establishing a wild card gathering point
      2m 47s
    9. Separating work and personal gathering points
      2m 21s
    10. Taking the next step toward controlling your space
      1m 29s
  6. 11m 24s
    1. Selecting your mind clearing options
      5m 13s
    2. Clearing your mind using mental triggers
      3m 23s
    3. Setting a mind-clearing schedule
      1m 54s
    4. Taking the next step toward keeping your mind clear
      54s
  7. 14m 2s
    1. Choosing the right calendar for you
      4m 4s
    2. Using your calendar effectively
      3m 55s
    3. Saying no to others
      3m 5s
    4. Saying no to yourself
      2m 58s
  8. 4m 21s
    1. Preparing for action
      4m 21s
  9. 14m 12s
    1. Preparing to gather
      2m 40s
    2. Gathering to your inbox: At your desk
      6m 30s
    3. Gathering to your inbox: Elsewhere
      3m 49s
    4. Dealing with full inboxes
      1m 13s
  10. 31m 2s
    1. Mastering the "what, when, where" processing system
      3m 11s
    2. Processing question 1: What is the next step?
      3m 22s
    3. Processing question 2: When will it be done?
      4m 33s
    4. Processing question 3: Where is its home?
      3m 49s
    5. Filing made simple
      4m 4s
    6. Processing your first inbox
      7m 27s
    7. Setting your processing schedule
      4m 36s
  11. 18m 31s
    1. Applying "what, when, where" processing to email
      1m 53s
    2. Setting up an email resource folder
      2m 58s
    3. Creating email rules or filters
      4m 14s
    4. Processing email
      5m 8s
    5. Processing email vs. checking email
      4m 18s
  12. 18m 1s
    1. Understanding "you time" vs. "work time"
      4m 9s
    2. Establishing "most valuable activities"
      2m 44s
    3. Identifying your most valuable activities
      3m 39s
    4. Budgeting time for your most valuable activities
      4m 11s
    5. Using your time budgeter
      3m 18s
  13. 1m 38s
    1. Maintaining your productivity gains
      1m 38s
  14. 3m 0s
    1. Dave Crenshaw on getting himself organized
      3m 0s

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