Organize Outlook Emails

This tutorial is written assuming you are using Microsoft’s Outlook (not Outlook Express) as your email program. The instructions for Outlook Express are available at Organize Outlook Express Email. If you are using another email program you should be able to figure out your specific program after you read this tutorial.

The tutorial is also available for some other email programs. Check the Email archives.

This turned into a long tutorial. Wanted to cover as many bases as possible for you. If I missed something please let me know.

Note: This tutorial was originally written for the students of SEO Techniques therefore some of the suggested naming conventions are specific to that class but you can change them.

A. Make Folders

  1. Open Outlook and make sure you are in the Inbox View. (click Inbox in the left column if you are not).
  2. You will also need to see the Folder List.

    Click View in the top menu bar then select Folder List.

  3. Right click Inbox in the Folder List column and select New Folder.
  4. In the top box type SEO Techniques, select Inbox in the bottom box then click OK.
  5. A message will appear asking if you wish to add to the Outlook Bar.

    Click Yes or No, which ever you prefer or tick the Don’t prompt me again about this box if you don’t intend to add to the Outlook bar.

    Now you have a folder under Inbox called SEO Techniques.

  6. Right click SEO Techniques in the Folder List column and select New Folder.
  7. In the top box type SEO Techniques Main Group, select SEO Techniques in the bottom box then click OK.

    Now you have a folder under SEO Techniques called SEO Techniques Main Group.

  8. Right click SEO Techniques in the Folder List column again and select New Folder.
  9. In the top box type SEO Techniques Marketing Group, select SEO Techniques in the bottom box then click OK.

So, so far we have created a folder in our Inbox called SEO Techniques and it has 2 sub folders SEO Techniques Main Group and SEO Techniques Marketing Group.

Now let’s get even more organized.

  1. Right click SEO Techniques and select New Folder.
  2. Type SEO Website Development Training in the top box, select SEO Techniques in the bottom box and then click OK.
  3. Right click SEO Website Development Training and select New Folder.
  4. Type SEO CSS Tutorials in the top box, select SEO Website Development in the bottom box and then click OK.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to create the following sub folders in the SEO Website Development folder:
    • SEO CSS Tutorials
    • SEO HTML Tutorials

Now try it on your own. Create some sub folders in the SEO Main Group folder. You might want to organize them as follows:

  • SEO Main Group Guidelines
  • SEO Main Group Lesson Plan and Preparation
  • One folder for each Lesson if you are keeping them all.

    If you do this one you can sort other people’s questions and answers to specific lessons into the appropriate folder.

Ok, you have all these folders, now what?

Assuming you have not setup any rules yet in Outlook and all your emails are just going to your Inbox:

B. Make Email Rules

When you receive an email from the SEO Techniques Main Group (subject will have [SEO CLASS] within it) the To email address will be SEO_Techniques@yahoogroups.com:

Setting Rule:

  1. Click the Organize button in the toolbars at the top.

    The screen will split. The top box will have the title Ways to Organize Inbox.

  2. Select Using Folders if not already selected.
  3. Beside Create a rule to move a new message select sent to from the dropdown list.
  4. In the box beside the dropdown list type SEO_Techniques@yahoogroups.com
  5. From the dropdown list in the next line select SEO Techniques Main Group.
  6. Click Create.

    A message box will appear telling you that the rule will be applied to all new messages. It also asks if you wish to apply the rule now. Click Yes if you already have some messages for the rule.

  7. All of your messages from the Main Group should now be in the SEO Techniques folder.

Now try it on your own. Create a rule for the Marketing Group (successful-website-marketing@yahoogroups.com) and Website Development Group (website_development_training@yahoogroups.com).

So far you have created folders and rules for the SEO Techniques Mail groups.

How do you know you have mail from the group?

If you have new mail from the Main Group in the Folders List the SEO Techniques Main Group Folder name will be black and a number in brackets will appear to the right of the folder name. The same thing happens when you get mail from the Marketing and Web Development groups.

But what about the subfolders you had me create? How do the messages get sorted into these folders?

Well there’s 2 ways:

  1. You can get fancy and create more rules that select messages with [WDT CLASS] and Basic HTML 4.01 Tutorials in the subject (for example) and move them into the SEO HTML Tutorials folder using the Rules Wizard.
  2. You can drag and drop the messages into their appropriate folder.
    • Expose all subfolders in the Group folder
    • Click on the message and while keeping your finger on the mouse, drag it over to the folder you want to file it in then let go of the mouse button
    • Click the folder you dragged the message to and it should be there.

      If it’s not then you let go of the mouse when the pointer was over another folder and you are going to have to look for it and try again.

I took the fancy route and it’s not working!

What you have to understand about email rules:

  • When your email program picks up your mail it first processes the rules in place. If none of the rules apply, the mail is filed in your Inbox.
  • When the criteria of a rule (conditions) are met the rule is applied (mail is moved to the folder you told it to move it to). That’s how the mail gets sorted into the folders.
  • If you look at your rules list, the mail program starts at the top of the list and checks the message against each rule IN THE ORDER THAT THEY ARE LISTED. So if you have a rule “If the subject contains [WDT CLASS] move it to Website Development” before one like “If the subject contains [WDT CLASS] and Basic HTML 4.01 Tutorials then move it to SEO HTML Tutorials” the email is going to be moved to the Website Development folder because that is the first rule that the conditions were met.

If any of you have questions please ask. This will save you time and make life less confusing if implemented.

This tutorial was originally created for the Successful Website Marketing Class

Revised: May 1, 2006

What's next?: Get Updates via RSS | Read our latest posts or share on your favourite social network:

One Response to “ Organize Outlook Emails ”

  1. [...] create rules to filter the emails into the folders. e.g. Organize Outlook Emails [...]

Have some thoughts on this article? We would like to hear them. Use the form below.