Microsoft Outlook can be a tremendously helpful productivity tool when you are prioritizing your time spent on email. But if you don’t know about Outlook’s many functions you may not be using it to its greatest potential. This article is part of a series of articles that will guide you as begin organizing your Microsoft Outlook.

Use email as a tool to assist you in managing and processing important projects in your life and work. Unfortunately we receive hundreds or even thousands of emails that flood into your mailbox. With this volume it’s difficult at times to successfully use and process email. Microsoft Outlook Rules Wizard helps you manage your incoming emails. You can use Rules to automatically sort, prioritize, and reduce the flow of your email.

Why you should use rules when organizing Microsoft Outlook

If you have a ton of email to go through using Rules Wizard is like having a personal assistant helping you organize Microsoft Outlook. Rules Wizard can be used in a number of different ways. Rules can be used to sort emails into different folders based on a variety of things. For example who sent the email, the type of message or subject line, even whether you are CC’d or the primary recipient on the email. Use it to flag messages that you receive from specific people or have an alarm set for when someone specific emails you. You can even plan ahead with a rule that will delay the sending of a message.

This is the super helpful way I suggest using Rules. Direct all of the e-newsletters you receive into a folder to be read. Start by creating an Action folder titled “.Read” and then use the instructions below to develop your rule that will direct your multiple e-newsletters there. Reduce the flow of email in your inbox with this handy rule. The next important step is to schedule a time slot every week to sort through this folder and read what is there. Use this folder to help you organize your time and inbox. Don’t use it to create a hiding place for emails to collect cyber dust! Are you receiving an e-newsletter that you don’t read week after week? Consider unsubscribing. Be honest with yourself about what email is important to you and what isn’t it will help you while organizing Microsoft Outlook. If you are glancing at and then deleting a reoccurring email every week or month that isn’t pertinent you are wasting time!

How to use Microsoft Outlook rules

Creating a rule:
You will be directing your email into a specific folder so before you begin create the folder, or confirm that it already exists in outlook.
1. Select Tools, then Rules and Alerts, followed by New Rule
2. Choose Start From a Blank Rule
3. Highlight, Check Messages after Sending, and click Next
4. Check off with specific words in the subject. Next click on specific words and decide on a distinct keyword for your rule, for example “newsletter”. Click Add, OK, Next.’’
5. Uncheck move a copy to the specified folder. Then click on specified folder and choose from the list. Click Finish.

A short tip

Too much of a good thing is a real problem. Don’t overuse the Rule Wizard. If you over do it with the Wizard by creating a massive number of folders this tool will become an impediment. It becomes a time waster instead of being your helpful personal assistant!

Organizing Microsoft Outlook by using rules to more effectively sort and filter your email now means you will waste less time, energy, and money later!

Author's Bio: 

Sherry Borsheim has been creating business organizing systems to help businesses and individuals get organized for over 23 years. She specializes in organizing Microsoft Outlook, and streamlining paper, email, time and space workflow issues. She recognizes that each client’s situation is unique and works with them to create custom, effective organizing systems. Get your free e-kit "7 Ways to Organize Your Workspace" by visiting now.