This article is part 13 of a series of thirteen articles that explain how to use Outlook 2000 to communicate through e-mail. To view the other articles in this series, please see the "Additional Resources" section later in this article.
If your correspondence falls into identifiable categories that you usually want to handle in specific ways, you can enlist the help of the Rules Wizard in automating the organization of your e-mail. As a simple example, let's set up a rule that tells Outlook to move all messages concerning Al Pine into the Clients folder. Follow these steps:
Picture of the Rules Wizard button
Click the Rules Wizard button on the Advanced toolbar, or choose Rules Wizard from the Tools menu. Then in the Rules Wizard dialog box, click New to start the wizard.
Select Move Messages Based On Content and click Next:
Leave With Specific Words In The Subject Or Body selected, select Where My Name Is In The To Or Cc Box, and click specific words in the box below to display this dialog box:
Type Al Pine in the Add New edit box, click Add, and then click OK. Back in the wizard's dialog box, click the word specified in the Rule Description box, display the two Inbox subfolders in the folder list by clicking the plus sign, and double-click Clients. Then click Next to show this dialog box:
Click Next to confirm that you want to move Al Pine messages to the Clients folder. When you see a dialog box where you can specify exceptions to the rule, click Next again.
Type Al Pine as the name for the rule, and with Turn On This Rule selected, click Finish to close the wizard. The rule is now listed in the Rules Wizard dialog box, as shown here:
Click the Run Now button to display the Run Rules Now dialog box. Select the Al Pine rule. If the Run In Folder setting is not Inbox, click the Browse button, click Inbox, and click OK. Then click Run Now. After Outlook moves the original message about the letter to Al Pine to the Clients folder, click Close and then OK to close the open dialog boxes.
Now let's test the rule:
Write a new message to yourself about a meeting with Al Pine, and then send it by clicking the Send button. If necessary, click the Send/Receive button to deliver the message to your Inbox. Outlook applies the Al Pine rule to the new message and automatically moves it to the Clients folder.
Display the contents of the Clients folder in the workspace so that you can confirm that the rule works. If you set up several rules like this one, you might find that having to check several folders for new messages instead of one decreases your efficiency rather than increases it. In that case, you can display the Rules Wizard dialog box, select a rule, click Options, and change the Update setting to Manually. Then after you have read new messages in the Inbox, you can click the Run Now button in the Rules Wizard dialog box to have Outlook organize the messages.
Well, that wraps up our discussion of the e-mail component of Outlook. Keeping your messages organized efficiently is bound to make you more productive, so we encourage you to experiment with the organization features discussed in this and the other chapters.
For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
307377 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 1: Using the Inbox
310484 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 2: Composing Messages
310485 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 3: Addressing Messages Quickly
310486 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 4: Attaching Files to Messages
310491 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 5: Sending and Retrieving Messages
310487 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 6: Replying to Messages
310488 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 7: Forwarding Messages
310489 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 8: Deleting Messages
307438 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 9: Organizing Messages
310580 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 11: Using Folders
310581 OL2000: Communicating with E-Mail: Part 12: Moving Messages
The information in this article is an excerpt from the Quick Course in Microsoft Outlook 2000 book, published by Microsoft Press.