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How To Create Outlook Rules and Manage Your Inbox

Key Points:

  • Outlook’s advanced Rule utility can drastically redefine how you and your team use email.
  • The rules allow your business to automate several processes, giving you more control over sorting and filing your inbox.
  • The utility allows you to automatically flag, respond, and move emails to separate folders.

Microsoft Outlook is a versatile program for various tasks such as managing your email and scheduling appointments. One great feature of Outlook is that it allows you to set up rules that can automate many tasks.

You can execute functions such as:

  • Moving, flagging, and responding to email messages automatically
  • Moving messages to a separate folder
  • Display new item alert

The most common function you can execute with the Rules utility is moving an item from a certain sender or specific words in the subject folder to another folder.

How to Create a Rule That Moves Emails from a Certain Sender to Another Folder

Moving an email from a specific sender to another folder is easy.

  1. Right-click the email in your Outlook inbox or any other folder. A menu will open.
  2. Select Rules.
  3. Select one of the options. The application will suggest that you create rules based on the sender and the recipient.
  4. To access more options, select Create Rule. A dialog box will open.
  5. The Create Rule window will present you with several options. Check one or more of the first three checkboxes.
  6. Navigate through the Do the following section.
  7. Select the Move item to folder option if you want the rule to move a message to a specific folder.
  8. Pick a folder from the Select Folder option. A dialog will pop up with folders to choose from.
  9. Select the folder to which you want to move the email and select OK at the top right to save the rule.

How To Move Email With Certain Subject to Another Folder

You can organize your email inbox to stay decluttered by moving emails with specific subject lines to a specific folder. Here’s how to move email with certain subjects to another folder:

  1. Right-click on a message on your Outlook to open a long menu.
  2. Select on Rules.
  3. Click Create Rule to access more options.
  4. Choose the “Subject contains” option.
  5. Select the Move the item to folder option.
  6. Select a folder or create a new folder.
  7. Hit OK.
  8. If you want to use the rule immediately, find the Run this new rule now on messages already in the current folder and select it.
  9. Click OK to see the messages in that folder.

How to Create a Rule from A Template

Apart from creating a rule from a message, you can set a rule from a template. Third-party developers can write custom action rules in the format of dynamic link libraries (.dll files). You need to install the add-in first on your computer.

Microsoft won’t provide custom action add-ins. When you have the add-ins, proceed as follows:

  1. Find and click the File tab.
  2. Select the Manage Rules & Alerts option in the right pane.
  3. Navigate the Email Rules tab in the Rules and Alerts box. Choose New Rule.
  4. Find the Start from a blank rule option and select Apply rule on messages I receive or Apply rule on messages I send.
  5. Hit the Next button at the bottom of the window.
  6. Step one — Select condition(s) dialog box will open. Choose the conditions that you want to apply to the email message.
  7. Click Next to proceed to Step 2.
  8. Step 2: Edit the rule description dialog box will open. Select an underlined value for the condition you selected in step one, specify the value, and hit the Next button.
  9. Go back to Step 1: Select action(s), and click on perform a custom action.
  10. Go back to Step 2: Edit the rule description, find Choose an action to perform option, and check the custom action box.

The add-in you install from the third party will appear. If it doesn’t, the add-in didn’t install correctly for users by your Outlook version. Contact your add-in developer for more information.

If the add-in appears, proceed as follows:

  1. Click Change to customize the default action.
  2. Hit OK. Outlook will return you to the Rules wizard.
  3. Select Next.
  4. Step 1: Select exceptions dialog box will open. Choose the exceptions to the rule and hit the Next button.
  5. A Step 2: Edit the rule description window will open. Select an underlined value for the exceptions you added, specify the value, and hit the Next button.
  6. Head back to Step 1: Specify a name for this rule and key in the name of the rule.
  7. A Step 2: Setup rule options will open. Select the options you want.
  • To run the rule on messages in your inbox, select Run this rule now on messages already in “Inbox.”
  • To turn off the rule — the new automatically turns on — uncheck the Turn on this rule box.
  • To apply your new rule to all email accounts in your Outlook app, check this rule on all accounts.

8. After setting up the rule, hit the Finish button to complete the setup.

Types of Rules You Can Create Using the Rules Wizard

Using the Rules Wizard, you can create three types of rules.

  • Stay organized rules: The rules help you follow up, filter, and file messages.
  • Stay up-to-date rules: The rules notify you when you receive a message that fits a specific set of criteria.
  • Custom rules: You can create custom rules without templates.

All the rules are infinitely customizable. Using the Rules Wizard, you can define many rules for each type of rule.

Palindrome Consulting Can Save You The Headache of Creating Rules in Outlook

Your business can set infinite options from each type of Outlook rule using the Rules Wizard. However, it takes time and skill to set the proper rules. If you don’t have time to understand Outlook Rule Wizard, it’s nearly impossible to leverage the utility.

At Palindrome Consulting, we understand that your business can leverage the power of Outlook Rule Wizard. Instead of struggling with the setup, you can lean on our skills. Contact us today to boost your team’s productivity by leveraging Outlook rules.

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