In most modern email programs, you can automate the handling of your email by setting up rules (sometimes rules are called “filters”) that are applied you open your mail. For example, you can set up a rule to automatically shunt all email from your supervisor into a special folder/mailbox. Or suppose you want all email from your favorite email distribution list to be color-coded automatically. Rules/filters can do that automatically for you!
To set up a rule in Apple Mail:
- In Apple Mail, on the Mail menu, click Preferences.
- Click Rules.
- Click Add Rule
- In the Description field, enter a name for the rule.
- Define the conditions for the rule (e.g., if the email matches my supervisor’s email).
- Define the actions for the rule (e.g., move message to a mailbox I’ve set up to hold my supervisor’s email).
- Click OK.
To set up a rule in Outlook:
- In Outlook 2003 and 2007, on the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts. In Outlook 2010, click the File tab, and then click Manage Rules and Alerts.
- Click New Rule.
- In the section Start from a blank rule, select Check messages when they arrive. Then, click Next.
- In Step 1, check the desired condition (e.g., Move messages from someone to a folder).
- In Step 2, click the blue, underlined links and provide the appropriate information (e.g., if the blue link is “people or public group”, I might enter my supervisor’s email address; if the blue link is “specified folder”, I might select the folder I’ve set up to hold my supervisor’s email).
- Click Next.
- Select any desired exceptions and then click Next again.
- Check the Run this rule now on messages already in “Inbox” and Turn on this rule boxes.
- Click Finish, and then click OK.
To set up a filter in Stanford Email (Webmail):
- Click the Preferences tab.
- Click the Mail Filters tab, and then click New Filter.
- In the Filter Name field, enter a name for the filter.
- In the first pull-down menu, select the desired header for the filter (e.g., From).
- In the second pull-down menu, select the desired condition (e.g., contains).
- In the text field, enter the desired condition (e.g., my supervisor’s email address).
- In the Perform the following actions area, in the pull-down menu, select the desired action (e.g., File into folder, and then select the folder I’ve set up to hold my supervisor’s email).
- Click OK.
- Click the Mail button to return to your Inbox.