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I've never liked repeating the same task, so I'm glad Outlook has extensive support for rules which deal with the emails I receive. A rule is something that is applied to incoming emails and if they match a specific criteria a set of actions are carried out. Here I'll give you three examples of rules that I use and how to create each one. The three rules will automatically move a newsletter to a folder, pop-up an alert when I get an email from someone important, and set the category of an email based on the sender. Rule number one, the Newsletter folder. Here is an email newsletter I subscribed to.
I don't want it to clutter up my Inbox. So I'll tell Outlook to automatically move these newsletters to their own folder. When I right-click the email and choose Create Rule, the Create Rule dialog box appears. This is the simple way to create rule. I'll specify email from the amateur- digital-photographers@googlegroups. This means that any email that's from the amateur-digital-photographers@googlegroups, will automatically be considered for this rule. The action that I want this rule to take is to move it to a folder.
In the Do the following section, I'll choose Move the item to a folder. Outlook prompts me for which folde, I'd like to move the item to and since I don't yet have a folder for newsletters, I'll click New and create a new Newsletters folder. The folder is automatically selected. I'll choose OK. It confirms that it's going to move those messages to the Newsletters folder, and I'll click OK again. Now with the rule created, Outlook prompts me if I'd like to run this rule on existing messages already in my Inbox.
And since the idea is to clean up my Inbox, I'm going to say yes, please do that. Hit OK. And now, you can see that all the old messages that I had that are a part of the googlegroup are now moved to my Newsletters folder. My second rule will be to pop-up an alert when I get an email from my boss, Judith. Just like before, I'm going to select her email and right-click on it, choosing Create Rule. The criteria that I want is all email From Judith Neville. I'll select that and then down below I'll choose to Display a New Item Alert window.
Clicking OK creates the rule. I'll click OK again, and now I'll wait to see if Judith will send me an email. And there is the pop-up from Judith, telling me about the TPS Reports that obviously I was forgot to fill out or forgot the cover page on. Notice that when this pop-up appears, I can open the email that Judith sent me or just close the alert. Rule number three, assigning a category. My third rule will automatically set emails that contain the word picnic with the picnic category.
To start this, I'm going to pull down the Tools menu and choose Rules and Alerts. Notice that this window shows me rules that I've already created. To create a new one from here, I'll click New. In the Rules Wizard, that appears I'm going to skip this and choose to Start a blank rule when messages arrive. I'll click Next and now I can specify the condition to check for when the rule will be applied. To identify all messages with the word picnic in the body, I'm going to choose this one, with specific words in the subject or body.
I'll click specific words and type picnic. I'll add the word to the list and I can add more words, if I want to. I'll click OK and then move onto step 2. This asks me what I want to do with the message. I want to assign it to a specific category. I'll click category and choose my Picnic category. In step three, I can specify any exceptions to the rule and since there are none, I'll move onto step 4, which is to finish the step by giving it a name. I can Run the rules now and hit Finish.
Notice that Outlook reminds me that this is a client-only rule, so it's not going to run on the server. In other words, when Outlook is closed. Clicking OK returns me to my Inbox, and any messages that contain the word picnic are automatically colored with the picnic category. As you can see, the flexibility and ease of the Rules feature makes it one of Outlook's most powerful and useful features. With it, you can automate quite a bit. Our next video shows how to create a very specific type of rule, one that replies automatically using a pre-written message.
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