Friday, January 25, 2013

Connect 2013 Tips #5 Mail Rules, Get to Know Them

Sorry this got posted earlier than Friday. Oh well. Enjoy.

You probably are like me and get more email than you wish. The problem is some of it is just useless, like backup reports from the tape drives. Yes I want to know about them, but no, I do not want to see them, unless there is a problem.

I bet you feel the same about many of them.We see often enough that mail rules are not used by everyone. Which is a shame because it is one of the best ways to help you get to the semi-mythical inbox zero. GTD, Getting Things Done people will and rightly argue there is a better way but for the average person, mail rules can mean a big difference.

I want to provide another example, aside from the backup notices above.

If you are part of ANY internal distribution list, raise your hand. As I suspected, almost everyone.
And hoiw often do those really involve you or have any meaning? If never is your answer, GET OFF THE LIST! Like Linkedin groups that sends you updates you never read and then you get a nice email saying they have changed you to digest or weekly, if you never read them, why do you get them. Otherwise keep reading.

You can create a quick rule, but I prefer the full details. Let me show you why. Sorry forgot to tell you how to find the mail rules. One way is to click on the More drop down menu option and click on Quick Rules or Mail Rules. The other way is to click on Tools form your Left column and then Rules.

You can pick any sender, domain or subject, fine by me for step 1. Pick either choice in step 2. But it is step 3 which leaves me wanting more. yes, one can change importance or not accept the message (i.e. delete it) or move to a folder. Now the problem with moving it to a folder is, you guessed it, you will not have seen the message! Not what one wants usually, unless it is the tape backup saying success, in that case, this works.


Now if you are NOT a manager, this next part can be skipped. But I know you will read it anyway.

As a manager of multiple international projects I am on a few distribution lists which although MOST of the emails serve no purpose for me, I get them anyway. BUT the few that are for my teams, I need to see and do something with them. Here is where the full mail rules kick in.

Once at the Mail Rules window, click New Rule and you will see this screen. you can see orm the snapshot I entered support in the blank field and changed the default sender to to or cc contains. This normally would be the group address name of your distribution list. Then the drop down for Specify Actions has copy to folder and I created one called supportmails and then click Add Action and click OK.

NOTE: If you leave the default as Sender you will only get copies of anything with support as the TO field.

That's it. Now I have a copy of the support emails, should anyone ask if I got one and if I mistakenly delete one from my inbox via my phone and do not realize before my soft delete limit is hit, I am good. I do not always have the reply

See you Sunday at Connect 2013! No more tips after this, just one more post about where I will be and how to find me.


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