After using Microsoft Outlook 2007 for one year, I realized the need for staying more organized and up to date in managing my emails better. This need was dominant because i was handling 300 plus mails daily, out of which many were with regard to daily sales track coming from colleagues.
I started learning and exploring rules and alerts and its now been a while I have been using this function with ease.
I realize that out of many outlook users only a few use rules and alerts to organize their emailing better and smarter. To start with its important to know that rules work on unread emails only.
During my sales job days, I received daily sales report from each team member. I used the rules and alerts template to identify a mail coming from my colleagues with the word sales in the subject line to be flagged for sales, put in the sales category and move to a folder called “daily sales track”
Generally rules fall either in the ‘Organization category’ or ‘Notification category’
Step by step guide on how to use Rules and alerts in Outlook 2007
- Go to Tools in the menu bar and select Rules and alert. To see the pre defined popular templates click on new rules button. You will see a rule wizar window with popular rules and alerts.
- Select a template based on your requirement from “Stay organized and Stay up to date”.For the purpose of this tutorial I have checked the first two boxes
- Under step 2 of the same window, Underlined value you can locate ‘people and distribution list’, if you click on this address box appears.
- Select and double click the email id on which you want to apply the rule and click on ok to move forward. You will see name of the person on the step2 box – Edit the rule description.
- After clicking on next, Rule wizard will open for checking the conditions to the rule. I want to put sales in the subject search, for which I click on specific word and enter sales and add it, so it moves to search the list box, then I click on ok.
- From edit the rule description box, click on specified folder to select the folder where you want the rule to move the mails apply.After clicking next you will automatically move to exceptions window.
- Exception options – For the purpose of this test, I have checked the box – that contains ‘except if the subject or body contains specific words’
- Click on specific words and enter that word, I have put urgent, which I need to add by clicking on the add button in the window that opens. This means that a mail with the subject sales will go to a specific folder which is test but if it has urgent in the body of the mail, then this rule will not apply. To move forward with this exception click on next.
- A window opens where you can give a name to the rule, like I have mentioned – Daily sales report. You can check and uncheck the respective boxes basis requirement, example – if you want to run the messages which are already in inbox, you can check the respective box. Now you are done and click on finish.
- You will see the rules and alert window with the order form. It has the daily sales report (name of the rule set by me) with rule description
- Final step is to click on Apply and then Ok. If by mistake you skip the apply button, rules will not apply.
Now if I send mail from my other email id to my outlook with sales in the subject,it will automatically go to test folder and if I mention – urgent in the body of the mail, it will come to my inbox. Mails on which exceptions apply need to be moved manually to respective folders.
By now you would be comfortable in creating rules from scratch in Outlook 2007. You may want to learn another simple and easier method.
How to create a rule from a message in the inbox?
For obvious reasons, you may want to apply rule directly from a mail message in your inbox, follow the easy to follow steps
- Click right on the message and choose the option – ‘create rule’
- A create rule box will open, Fill the rules that you want to apply for that email and click ok. To follow the same example, I have mentioned sales in the subject line and moved the mail to test folder.
- You may want to check some conditions to the rule, for which you need to go to advanced option and check on respective box.Click on Next and be sure that your chosen options are added in the value box of the window. Once your finish this your rules are set.
Process for selecting the rule from message works exactly in the same manner as creating a new rule but for the 1st and 2nd point mentioned above.
Tip – While you may want to run a test to check the rule functionality, Click on send and receive button below the menu bar. Aside to this on the last page of the rules and alert wizard, check the box ‘Run this rule now on messages already in the folder’.
Once you are done you must check the application to be sure that correct mails are moved to the right folder by following the right orders and exceptions.
Run rules occasionally not all the time
You may want to turn off a rule for a while and then apply it again later, simple actions can make that happen.
- From the tools menu go to rules and alert.
- You will see all the rules that are prevalent, uncheck the rule that you don’t want to run and click on apply than ok. You are done, that particular rule will not apply on your emails.
Above tutorial works for client only rule, meaning it works on individual’s computer. If you have a Microsoft exchange account, the server can apply rules even when outlook is not working () you can run rules on server if they are set to be run for server. Example –if the message says that it can be printed only, then you can’t run this rule on server. In such a scenario, if a rule cannot be applied on server, it can be applied to outlook when you start your computer.
Caution – Pl. check and ensure that you are not using rule to move mails to non mail folders like calendar or delete folder, by taking such action – your response will not be tracked by the original item.
Note: If you work for a organization that uses Microsoft exchange by default than the messages you forward outside your organization will not be forwarded using rules, This setting is used to control leakage of corporate data and is controlled by exchange admininstrator.