Breaking the rules?

I love rules – I love processes, guidelines, instructions: they keep me on the straight and narrow (most of the time – those redirection arrows on roads just seem to run out before I’ve reached my destination!) but do you see them as a challenge; like a red rag to a bull, there to be broken? Let’s take a look at Microsoft Outlook.

Outlook allows you to set rules for your emails – interested? Keeping your inbox clear for new customers so you can react in a timely manner sounds fab to me.

Setting Rules

So set some rules for your communications; be it Twitter notifications, Newsletters and those regular clients and when you open your inbox it will be full of new contacts, new clients or old colleagues getting in touch to work together. (Unfortunately, there are always bits and pieces that are of little or no use but at least you can spot them quickly and delete before they cloud your focus.)

Hover your mouse over the email you want to “set a rule for” and Right Click. Click on the option “Rules” and you have a few choices.

1. Always move messages from xxx – this will enable you to direct incoming mail straight to a folder and create that folder too – this will then be applied to all mail at that time in your inbox.

2. Create a Rule – choose the Subject field as a filing point (for any special projects or secret party), play a sound and/or move to a designated folder. The Advanced Options allow you to select specific words in either the body, header, to and from fields for additional filtering options.

3. Manage Rules & Alerts – this is where you can see all your rules and you can create, change, delete or organise them as you see fit.

You can also do Number 1 from your Sent box too, so reducing your filing once you have sent an email out, good eh?

Try to set a few and see how easy it is to do.

Where are my emails?

I hear you now asking where are my emails if not in my Inbox? They are in your “Unread” emails all filed away so really easy to see and decide which to action – or flag for later. Remember all flagged items appear in your Tasks – but that’s another area of Outlook to help you with your organisation.

Good luck with setting some Rules; a little bit of organisation to your world if rules are not normally for you. Now have a piece of chocolate as a reward; being good can start tomorrow! (A rule that gets broken quite frequently in my world.)


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