If you’re trying to accomplish something a little unusual in Outlook, the standard rule options may not be able to do what you need. Before you try to create a solution tailored specifically to what you want to do, make sure there aren’t any conditions and/or actions that will accomplish what you need.
If the standard conditions and/or actions can’t do what you want, Outlook offers the option to “run a script,” which refers to macros created in the Visual Basic developer. To see this window, you need to make sure the Developer tab is visible (if not, go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon and in the right hand box check the Developer tab on). Select the Developer tab and click on Visual Basic to open the window.
Unless you’re familiar with VBA coding, it’s probably easiest to do a Google search to figure out the code you’ll need to accomplish what you want to do. Even if the code doesn’t exist, you can usually find pieces of the code and piece them together.
In order to add the code into Outlook, you’ll click on “Insert” within the Visual Basic window and then choose Module. This is like a container for related macros.
In order to create the macro itself, you’ll need to have “Sub ‘YourName’” at the beginning and “End Sub” after all of your code. Below is a sample format of a macro. The code in this macro simply sends an email from a template. To do this, you would select the conditions you want and then choose the “run a script” action and select this macro.
Using VBA can allow you to maximize your efficiency with Outlook in ways beyond the standard preset options.
To further optimize your email, you may want to consider organizing emails you want to keep, automating some of your forwarded emails and replies, prioritizing your emails, and/or filtering unwanted emails.
We like to give credit where credit is due. Featured photo from Team UI8.