Using Rules to process Newsletter Emails in Outlook

By standss Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Last week we discussed why you should NOT use rules to process the majority of your work emails. This week I’d like to show you why it makes perfect sense to use Rules to process your newsletter emails.

Do you subscribe to any email newsletters, mailing lists or groups?

I often mind myself going to check my email and 30 minutes later all I have done is read through “interesting” articles instead of doing any real work.

Microsoft’s built-in Rules feature provides a solution.

What are Rules in Outlook?
According to Outlook 2007 Help … A rule is an action that Microsoft Office Outlook takes automatically on an arriving or sent message that meets the conditions that you specify in the rule.

For example … you can set a Rule to automatically move emails from a particular email address out of the Inbox to another folder.

Normally I don’t use Rules much because …
My Inbox is my To-Do list.

I don’t want anything automatically moved out of it. Even Outlook automatically moving items after they are read is NOT acceptable because I sometimes leave stuff in there to deal with later.

I want to move emails out myself after I have finished with them – I need to stay in control of my Inbox.

I use QuickFile 4Outlook to simplify email filing out of my Inbox (and Sent Items).

But in this situation it makes sense …

I want the newsletter emails moved out of my Inbox and into a folder dedicated to newsletters.

These emails are not part of my daily to-do-list and I prefer to go through them when I take a break from real work.

How to create a Rule
BEFORE creating the Rule, create a folder inside Outlook where you want the newsletter emails to be moved to. Then …

  • Go to your Inbox.
  • Click Tools.
  • Click Rules & Alerts.
  • Click New Rule to display the Rules Wizard.

“Move Messages from someone to a folder” will already be highlighted. (This example assumes that the newsletters come from the same email address – otherwise you can use one of the other predefined Rule Templates)

Click “people or distribution list” to display the Rule Address screen.

Choose a name from the list or type in the name in the From field and then click OK.

Click the hyperlinked word “specified” to bring up the Choose Folder dialog. Select the desired folder from the list and then click OK.

Now that the Rule is created, any emails coming from the list will automatically be moved to the chosen folder.

You can also apply it to any emails that are already in the folder by going back to the Rules and Alerts screen and clicking the “Run Rules Now” button.

Use Rules in this way to move emails that you know are NOT part of your REAL WORK.

This keeps your Inbox clean and focussed on things that need your attention.

OPTIONAL RELATED OUTLOOK ADDIN: I recommend that you don’t use Rules to shift work related emails. Instead use QuickFile for Outlook addin to move emails AFTER you have finished with them.

QuickFile PRO for Outlook also has a special Newsletters feature which moves emails to a dedicated folder AND also reminds you once a day (at time of your choice) to look at newsletters.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips

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