Tech Tips: Why You Need Filters or Rules

Do you get bombarded by press releases that have no bearing on your practice? Do vendors pester you to try their products? Would you like to keep all e-newsletters messages from a particular sender grouped together so you can read them at your leisure?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, perhaps setting up some filters is in order. Almost all email systems allow you to use filters (sometimes called rules) to help better manage your inbox.

  • If it’s spam you’re after, you can set up a rule to have all messages containing certain keywords go directly into your junk or trash folder. You can also filter based on a sender’s email address, or words in the subject line.
  • If you want to group e-newsletter messages together to read them later, you can set up a filter that will move these messages into a “To Read” folder.
  • When we get back to traveling, and you want to keep up-to-date on an important matter while you are out of the office, you can set up a rule so that emails on that matter or from a particular person are sent as a text message to your phone.
  • If certain tasks or processes such as meeting invitations, are always handled by your administrative assistant, set up a filter to forward such emails to him or her.
  • If you want to prioritize messages from your section chief or department head, you can set up a rule for a special chime to play when that person’s email is received.

To start the process in Outlook, right click on your inbox and then scroll down to Rules >Create Rules. Outlook will then open a Rules Wizard. Follow the prompts and you will be on your way to a more manageable inbox.

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