Join Jess Stratton for an in-depth discussion in this video Using mail rules to process messages, part of Outlook for Mac 2016 Essential Training.
- Mail Rules are a set of filters that on act on your incoming email automatically based on a set of rules that you've specified. Let's create a rule now. To get started click Tools from the File Menu and select Rules. We're going to create a rule first on our Exchange Server, so I'll select My Lantonhotel account. As you can see we had no rules in there already, but we're going to change that and add one, by clicking the plus sign on the bottom left-hand side.
I'm going to create a Rule to act on all my 128 Main emails. I'm going to move them into the 128 Main folder. So the first thing I need to do when I give it a name, is give it something that's meaningful to me so that I can find it later. Now we have to decide what conditions that message has to meet to be processed. From the pull-down menu, I can select from all these choices. If I want my Rule, that is the action item to occur on every message that comes in, I can choose All Messages.
In this case, I want to search on the Subject or Body. I can put in my search term here. I'll click on Add Search Terms and then the Search List Dialogue. There's currently nothing in here. So I'll click the plus sign again to add a search term. I'm going to type in my query, and I'll click the blue OK button. Now, whenever a message comes in, in which the subject or body contains the words "128 Main," an action item will occur.
In fact, I can add more than one condition, by clicking the plus sign to the right of the query. I can continue to add more search terms. If I don't want a search term or if I've decided I might've narrowed it down a little too much, I can subtract that search term by clicking the minus sign. After we've got all our search queries in for that rule, I next need to decide what's going to happen. In this case, I'm going to move it to a folder.
Although you can see that there's a lot of choices I have. For example, I can forward the message to somebody else. I can delete it outright. I can mark it as read automatically. I can set it to a higher priority, and I can even categorize it. In this case, however, I'm going to move it to a folder. I need to choose the folder so I'll select Choose Folder. I'm going type my 128 Main folder, that I already have created. I'll select that folder and click the blue Choose button.
Just like when searching for message conditions, I can also add multiple actions by clicking the Add Action plus sign. For example, I can move it to a folder and automatically mark it as being read. If I decide I don't want anymore actions, I can click the minus sign to get rid of it. I can also add exceptions. For example, if a message comes in that contains 128 Main, I want to move it to the folder except if it's from Jonathan.
And always, I can subtract an exception by clicking the minus sign. I can also choose whether or not to apply these rules to any other messages that meet the same conditions or not. And finally, I do want this Message Rule enabled, so I'll leave that check box alone. I'll click the blue OK button. Here's my rule. I can see where's it's created and if I had more than one rule I can change the order in which they're executed. For example, if a rule comes in that meet multiple criteria of several rules, it's going to act on that messge in the order in which it's received in this list.
So I can move my rule priorities up and down by clicking on these arrows in the bottom right-hand side. I can also disable a rule at anytime by coming in here and unchecking the enabled box. This means that the rule will still be there. If I've spent a lot of time creating criteria and action items, I might not want to delete it, but I might not want that rule to work anymore. So I can come here and enable it and disable it whenever I want. If I really decide I don't want that rule at all, I can select it in this list and delete it by clicking the minus sign in the bottom left-hand side.
In this case, however, I'm going to close out of this list by clicking the red X in the top left-hand side and I'll click Save to save my rule. It's going to save it back up to the Server and now it will be acted on for any incoming messages. Let's do this one more time, because I want to show you that the rules are different for the different account types. I'll select Tools, Rules and this time let's choose our IMAP Server. This is going to create a rule for the Gmail account that we've set up.
I'll create a new rule by clicking the plus sign. Let's give our rule a name. This time I want to move a daily newsletter I get, into a folder. So I'll call my rule name Daily Skimm. That's the name of the newsletter. Well as you can see, for an IMAP account, the rule criteria is vastly different. In this criteria, I'm going to choose the From recipient. If the From contains "Daily Skimm," then let's move our message.
As you can see also, the actions for an IMAP email account, are much different. I'm going to move the message to my Gmail Newsletters Folder. I'll click the blue Choose button. I'm going to get rid of this set category criteria, and only leave the Newsletters folder. I'll click the blue Okay button, and here's my rule. I'll close out and now any messages that will come in, will be moved to this Newsletter folder.
So you can see creation of rules are a little different based on your account type, whether you're working with an Office 365 account or a Gmail IMAP account, however, they're just as powerful for both account types.
- Adding email accounts
- Reading mail
- Saving attachments
- Searching mail
- Organizing mail with folders, flags, and filters
- Creating mail rules
- Adding signatures
- Setting an out-of-office auto-responder
- Creating new contacts and groups
- Working with delegates
- Creating meetings
- Opening other calendars
- Creating tasks