Outlook 2010 Advanced – Lesson 15 – Organising the Inbox with Rules

Creating a Basic Rule

Rules are a tool in Outlook used to set up an automatic action for e-mail messages and meeting requests that meet certain conditions. The Junk Mail filter is one rule, but you can create your own customized filters as well.

Rules fall into two general categories:

  • Notification rules provide some type of alert when the rule is invoked by a message that arrives in your Inbox.
  • Organization rules perform a set of actions on a message, such as moving it to a certain folder. Organization rules can also automatically apply categories or flag a message for follow up. We’ll talk more about these two organization tools later in this module.

There is a quick tool for creating a rule to move messages based on the sender of a currently selected message.

After you create a rule, Microsoft Outlook applies the rule when a message arrives in your Inbox or when you send a message. You can manually run rules to selectively apply them to messages already in your Inbox (or another folder).

View the Rules tool on the Ribbon.

The Always Move Messages From option is only visible if you have a message selected first.

Use the following procedure to create a new rule.

  1. Select Create Rule from the Rules tool on the Ribbon or from the Create Rule option on the right-click context menu.

Outlook opens the Create Rule dialog box.

  1. Check the boxes in the first area to indicate the conditions for when to invoke the rule. The conditions that are available are based on the message you have highlighted in the Inbox before selecting the Create Rule command.
  • The first option is based on the sender.
  • The second option is based on the subject text. You can enter different text, if desired.
  • The third option is based on the recipient. If the message was sent to you as part of a group, you can select yourself or the group.
  1. Check the boxes in the second area to indicate what to do when the messages that meet the above conditions arrive.
  • The first option displays the message sender, subject, and date in a New Item Alert window. From the New Item Alert window, you can open the item or edit the rule.
  • The second option allows you to select a sound to play.
  • The third option allows you to move the message to a selected folder.
  1. Select OK to save your rule.

Creating an Advanced Rule

The Rules and Alerts dialog box lists any rules created for your computer. You can use the Rules Wizard to create advanced rules that involve many other actions to your messages. You can also set up exceptions to the rule.

Use the following procedure to open the Rules and Alerts window and use the New Rules wizard to create an advanced rule..

  1. Select Manage Rules and Alerts from the Rules tool on the Ribbon.

Outlook opens the Rules and Alerts window.

  1. Select New Rule from the top of the E-mail Rules tab.

Outlook displays the Rules Wizard.

  1. Select which rule template to use from either the Stay Organized, Stay Up to Date, or Start from a blank rule sections (top section of window).
  2. Click the highlighted section(s) to edit the rule details (bottom section of window). For example, using the rule selected in the above illustration, you would:
    1. First select the people or distribution list link.
    2. Outlook opens the Rule Address window, which lists your contacts.

    1. Highlight a contact and select From.
    2. Select OK.
    3. Then select the specified link from the bottom section of the Rules Wizard window.
    4. Outlook opens the Rules and Alerts Choose a Folder window.

    1. Highlight the folder and select OK.
  1. When you have selected all of the details for the rule, select Next.

  1. Indicate the conditions for when to invoke the rule. Edit the descriptions by clicking the link next to the condition in the Wizard. When you have finished, select Next.

  1. Indicate the actions to apply to messages that meet the conditions of the rule. Edit the descriptions by clicking the link next to the action in the Wizard. When you have finished, select Next.

  1. Indicate the exceptions for when to invoke the rule. Edit the descriptions by clicking the link next to the exception in the Wizard. When you have finished, select Next.

  1. On the Finish Rule Setup screen, enter a name for the rule.

  1. Select the Setup rule options. Turn on this rule is checked by default. To run the rule on any messages in your Inbox, check the box next to Run this rule now on messages already in “Inbox.” Make sure the rule description is correct.
  2. Select Finish.

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