How to Create a Rule in Outlook 2007

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Outlook 2007 offers a rules engine that is both powerful and easy to use. Rules can be established in numerous criteria such as senders, recipients and subjects, and you can perform a number of tasks such as deleting messages, moving them to specific folders and creating alerts. Through rules, Outlook 2007 can make email management an efficient process.

  • Evaluate your messages. Open Outlook 2007. Identify messages that fit particular criteria, such as common senders, subjects and email groups. Think of any other patterns of emails that you might receive in the future. You will create rules based on this evaluation.

  • Open the Rules dialog box. Make sure you are in the folder to which you want the rule to apply. From the menu, select "Tools," then "Rules and Alerts." You will see either an empty box, if you have never created a rule, or a list of rules in the order that they will be run. Active rules will be checked.

  • Select a template. In the "E-mail Rules" tab, click on "New Rule." Under "Step 1: Select a template," select the task that you want Outlook 2007 to apply to the relevant messages. Options include moving messages to folders based on various criteria, deleting messages, flagging messages for follow-up and alerting you when specific messages are received. You can also use a blank template to create your own customized rule.

  • Pick the appropriate conditions. Choose which conditions you want to apply under "Step 1: Select condition(s)." In "Step 2: Edit the rule condition (click an underlined value)," select the appropriate highlighted value and provide the required information. For example, to select a sender, select from the Contacts list or enter an email address in the field next to "From ->," then click "Ok." Select "Next >" to continue.

  • Choose the appropriate actions. Under "Step 1: Select action(s)," click on the actions that you want Outlook 2007 to run on relevant messages. Under "Step 2: Edit the rule description (click an underlined value)," select the appropriate highlighted value and enter the required information. For example, to select a folder, select from the list. To create a new folder, click "New...," enter the folder name, select its location, then hit "Ok." Click "Ok" at the actions dialog, then "Next >."

  • Identify any exceptions. Under "Step 1: Select exception(s) (if necessary)" choose any exceptions that you want Outlook 2007 to. Under "Step 2: Edit the rule description (click an underline value)," select the appropriate highlighted value and enter the required information. Click "Ok" to close the dialog, and then click "Next >."

  • Finish the rule. In "Step 1: Specify a name for this rule," enter an appropriate name. Under "Step 2: Setup rule options," decide whether to run the rule immediately on the indicated folder, whether to turn the rule on and whether to create the rule for all accounts. The latter option will be grayed out if you do not have more than one active Outlook profile. Hit "Finish." At the "Rules and Alert" dialog, click "Ok." Your rule will run on new messages that arrive in the assigned folder.

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