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Managing email rules

From: Outlook 2010: Effective Email Management

Video: Managing email rules

Managing e-mail rules in Outlook means editing rules that already exist, deleting rules, and most importantly, sequencing the rules that you've created. To manage our rules, we'll choose Rules on the Home tab of the Ribbon and choose Manage Rules & Alerts. This opens the Rules and Alerts dialog box. Here, you see the four rules that we've created previously in this title: OilFest 2010 and Move Vendor Info Requests, which we've created in the last video, and the rules that move messages from Arthur Lot and messages from LinkedIn, which we created earlier.

Managing email rules

Managing e-mail rules in Outlook means editing rules that already exist, deleting rules, and most importantly, sequencing the rules that you've created. To manage our rules, we'll choose Rules on the Home tab of the Ribbon and choose Manage Rules & Alerts. This opens the Rules and Alerts dialog box. Here, you see the four rules that we've created previously in this title: OilFest 2010 and Move Vendor Info Requests, which we've created in the last video, and the rules that move messages from Arthur Lot and messages from LinkedIn, which we created earlier.

These rules will be applied, as you note, in the order shown. So, OilFest 2010, when a message comes in, Outlook will grab and say does it meet the criteria listed in OilFest 2010? If so, it will take action. If not, then it moves down the list, and it says, well, does this meet the criteria listed in the rule called Move Vendor Info Requests? If so, I have some work to do, and it not, it goes on to see if it's from Arthur Lot or from LinkedIn. If none of those apply, then no rule is applied to this message, and it goes to the Inbox, where it would go normally.

We have a little problem here, and the problem is between these first two rules, the ones we've created in the previous video, The first rule here says, take a look at the subject or the body of the message. If you see OilFest or Oil Fest in the subject or the body, then immediately scoop it up and move it over to the OilFest2010 folder, right here, put a category on it, and we are done. The problem is that our second rule also includes the words "OilFest" but includes the word "Vendor" as well. So, this second rule actually won't be seen because the message is going to come into the Inbox. The first rule is going to say oh! It's got OilFest, and there is nothing that says wait, wait, wait, but it says Vendor 2.

All of the OilFest Vendor e-mails will also be sent to the OilFest2010 folder. So, what we need to do is we need to instruct Outlook to look for Vendor Request before it looks for the more generic OilFest 2010 messages. That's easy to do; all we have to do is move this up by choosing Move Vendor Info Requests and clicking the Move Up button. Now, when a message comes in, the first thing Outlook will do is say is this a vendor request? If so, it will move it to this folder. If not, it will find out if it has anything to do with OilFest, and it will move it to the OilFest 2010 folder.

Then it will process the following two rules about messages from Arthur Lot and from LinkedIn. After OilFest is over, we might not want to use this Arthur Lot rule any longer. Either we are not receiving any e-mail from Arthur, in which case it's a waste of time for every single message to be examined to see if it's from him. If we think that we will work with him again in the future we can simply leave this rule and place and turn it off. Now, Outlook knows that it doesn't need to run this rule. If we want to delete the rule, we simply select it and click Delete.

We'll be prompted to delete the rule and we say Yes. As long as we click Ok or Apply before we leave, that rule actually will be deleted. If you just close the dialog box, it will pop back up the next time you run Outlook. It won't go away. If I want to edit or change a rule, I can simply select the rule. For example, let's say we start receiving a lot of Vendor Info Requests that simply say Vendor Request. They don't say OilFest Vendor Request. We just are getting them. Maybe some information was put out that's incorrect, and we want to change this rule.

We have choices. We can edit the Rule Settings, or Rename the Rule. We can add to the rule to play a sound if we weren't previously. But we can edit the rule, and it will open the Rules Wizard again so that we could actually go in and add say, that's another one that we are getting. We are getting this vendor request, and we can add that and modify our rule in that way. Click Finish, and the rule will be changed. So, we have a lot of flexibility here, in terms of how we changes our rules to edit them, how we delete our rules.

We can copy a rule ands then changes it to create a new rule, or we can create a new rule from scratch right here in the Rules and Alerts dialog box. As you work with rules, they'll start to pile up here. Remember occasionally to go back in to manage, and rules that aren't being used any more because the messages that you created them for are no longer being received should always be turned off or deleted, so that you can keep your Outlook Inbox and your Rule and Alert Manager crisp and clean.

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Outlook 2010: Effective Email Management

25 video lessons · 13492 viewers

Gini Courter
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