When you receive hundreds of emails a day, it’s not hard for an important email to get lost somewhere in the shuffle. By utilizing Outlook rules, however, you can prioritize your email so that you see the most important emails first.

There are a few conditions you may want to use to figure out how you want to prioritize your mail. The most common include:

  • Sent from
  • By subject
  • Sent to
  • Sent only to me
  • Where my name is in the To box
  • Marked as importance
  • Marked as sensitivity
  • Flagged for action
  • Where my name is in the CC box
  • Where my name is not in the To box
  • With specific words in the body
  • With specific words in the message header
  • With specific words in the sender’s address
  • Received in a specific date span

Once you’ve decided want criteria you want to use to prioritize your emails, you’ll then add an action to the rule. Some common actions may include:

  • Move it to the specified folder
  • Assign it to the _________ category
  • Move a copy to the specified folder
  • Have server reply using specific message
  • Reply using a specific template
  • Flag message for follow up at this time
  • Mark it as importance
  • Play a sound
  • Display a specific message in the New Item Alert window
  • Display a Desktop alert
  • Apply retention policy

Depending on how you want to treat your prioritized emails, you can use flags, notifications, or even unique sounds to ensure that the most important emails are the first to receive your attention. Setting up these rules may take some time at the beginning, but will save time and ensure that urgent matters are taken care of.

To further optimize your email, you may want to consider filtering unwanted emails, automating some of your forwarded emails and replies, and/or organizing emails you want to keep. If you have a unique situation, you may want to consider some of these lesser-known applications.

 

We like to give credit where credit is due. Featured photo from William Iven.

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