Organizing & Time Management
by: Janice Simon
I am passing along this information to you on how to create Rules and Alerts in Outlook. This will help you create a leaner and meaner inbox by eliminating the junk mail you receive on a daily basis. By establishing a Rule, you can decrease the size of your inbox because those e-mails from drug companies and journals you are not interested in will go directly to Deleted Items. I’ve helped several faculty do this for their inboxes, and I thought I would pass along this information. It’s all about working smarter, not harder – something we all need now.
For the visual learners, I created a PDF document I made with pictures.
- Right click on the closed e-mail.
- Scroll down to "Create Rule."
- When the dialogue box appears, select either From or Subject, depending on what you want. For most junk e-mails, I select From. For things like a newsletter, I select Subject and then delete the date, leaving only the newsletter name. This way, I can still get e-mails from the sender, but the newsletter goes away.
- At the bottom of the dialogue box, select "Move Item to Folder." Sometimes this brings up your folder list. If it doesn’t, choose "Select Folder."
- Scroll on the folder list to the folder you want. Most of the time, you will want Deleted Items. Hit OK once you select the folder. This will close the folder dialogue box.
- Hit OK on the original dialogue box.
- Another box will pop up and ask to run the rule now. Check (click on) the tiny white box. All the e-mails from that person/vendor will go away. If you have quite a few in your inbox, it will take a couple of minutes for it to chug away.
- Congratulations ! You have a rule!!! These e-mails will now bypass your inbox and go directly into Deleted Items. You won’t have to see them again, and your inbox becomes leaner and meaner.
- If you make a mistake on a rule using the short version (there is a point of no return after you hit OK on the last box), select Tools and scroll down to "Rules and Alerts." When the box pops up, you will see the last rule you created at the top. Highlight the rule and select Delete. That rule will go away. You can find the deleted e-mails in your Deleted Items Folder.
Other helpful tips:
- Make all of your online journals go into a journal or reading folder. The blue number in parentheses next to the folder is the number of new e-mails in that folder. Then you can "bulk read" at your leisure.
- You can make all of the e-mails for a particular project go into a project folder as well. This may require more details. If you select "Advanced Options" on the dialogue box, it will take you to the longer version of creating a rule.
- To do the "long" version from the get go, select Tools and scroll down to "Rules and Alerts." When the box pops up, select "create rule" and follow the directions. There are about FOUR screens to go through. You can create exceptions to every rule, select certain e-mails to be color-coded, flagged, make noise to alert you, or go into a particular folder. In the long version, you can also choose different ways to identify the e-mails you want to create a rule or alert for by using certain subject words, etc. For example, I can add words such as "organizing," "time management" and "productivity," and any subject line with those words will go into the folder I select or come into the inbox as color-coded, depending on what I choose.
- Other examples of using rules and alerts to help you:
- I created a rule that any e-mail with "out of office" in the subject line is sent to Deleted Items. When I send out Faculty Development e-mails, I usually received a couple hundred of those. Now, they all go into Deleted Items and I never see them. If I want to see who is out, I can go into Deleted Items and check. We did the same rule for my director, but we made an exception so she knows when our senior VP is out of the office.
- You can receive an alert when you receive a high priority e-mail from your boss.
- E-mails from family members can go into a "family" folder to clear them out of your inbox. You can make an exception that if the e-mail is marked high priority, it will go into your inbox or alert you.
- If you use color-coding, you can decide certain e-mails are color coded when they hit your inbox. This will help you identify them faster.
- To do a demonstration for your department, contact Eric Pena in IT. He did one for me during Get Organized Month in January.
by: Janice Simon
For the faculty, I compiled a list of keyboard shortcuts for Word. I also have included a list for Blackberry Shortcuts, Outlook shortcuts, Mac users and other Microsoft Resources.
Apple (Mac) Shortcuts
Mac OS X keyboard shortcuts
Blackberry Shortcut Keys (pdf)
Organizing & Time Management
Overwhelmed? Buried in clutter and e-mails? Organizing expert Janice Marie Simon can help!
- Organizing & Time Management
- June Organizing E-Newsletter (pdf)
- Archives of Organizing E-Newsletter
- Got Clutter Expo 2012 Tips
To schedule a presentation or a one-on-one appointment, call 713-792-8061 or e-mail Janice Simon.