Simple Email (work) filters and rules
I would like to setup a simple but effective work-email filter and looking for recommendations and best practices. This is for work email and the mail client is Outlook 2003.
At the moment, I have too many rules setup - some for individual persons, some for a group of people. I bump into email management problem whenever I work on any kind of projects and I'm not sure if I should put that email on the project's folder or the person's folder or both.
I got recommended a really simple rule;
- everything comes to inbox
- if I get Cc'd to something it goes to Inbox - CC (as an FYI)
- Inbox external - for people outside my organization
- Bosses - 3 up
Would anyone have any suggestions?
Don't use rules to try to take the thinking out of the fundamental thinking process!
I only use e-mail rules and alerts to either automatically trash e-mails that I know I will never want to see or read (e.g. regular mass-mails that don't pertain to me) or e-mail alerts (e.g. automated e-mails from monitoring tools that may indicate a serious problem with an application that I support).
I do not use e-mail rules to file e-mails for me automatically. Doing so mixes stuff that I've not processed yet into my action and reference folders. I need to trust that my inbox is the only place that I have unprocessed stuff or I'll go numb to the whole system and won't trust it.
The only exception to that rule is filing sent messages with *wf* in the body to my @Waiting For folder (a D.A. Outlook trick).
Color emails directly sent to me
I personally run Outlook with as few rules as possible, I think I have three at the moment and one is an Outlook 2010 default rule. I also try to use a few folders as possible - in the past I had my emails separated out Departments and then even in some cases by individuals.
Right now I'm running with only four folders (@Archive, @Follow Up, @Hold, Reference) and find it much easier to manage.
One trick I did want to share is something I've found pretty useful and that's making emails sent directly to me a different color than other emails.
My belief is if the email was sent directly to be, it's "likely" more important than emails that was sent to me because I was in a mailing list, they also more likely require some kind of action. To do this, do the following:
1. Click View (tab) > View Settings > Conditional Formatting
2. Click Add and then name it "Email to me" and then click Condition
3. Check the box next to "Where I am" and select "The only person on the To Line" from the drop down menu.
4. Click the Font button and set Outlook to highlight the emails sent only to you using whatever formatting you like - for me I have Outlook make the email Blue.
The above works for Outlook 2010. I would assume it works the same or somewhat the same for other versions of Outlook.