Get Control Of Your O365 Outlook Mailbox

  Introduction: Nearly everyone on the planet has access to email. It's easy. It's fast. It's reliable, It's cheap, etc. Because of this the amount of email flowing across the internet is huge. One monitoring site reported 348 billion email messages flowing across the internet daily! That is a staggering statistic. And, when you look at your own mailbox, it can sometimes feel like you are on the receiving end of a big chunk of that daily mail.

If you're feeling like your O365 Outlook mailbox is out of control, overflowing with messages from legitimate senders, spammers, family, friends, business offers, get-rich-quick schemes, super-power inducing supplement, etc, this quick article is going to help you get that under control quickly. Nearly everyone with an email account suffers from this feeling of overwhelm. Below are 3 quick fixes that you'll notice right away.

2 Features Built Into O365 That Put You Back In Control

  SearchThe search feature is like panning for gold. When used properly it sifts through junk email and leaves you with a screen full of important messages. When you use the search feature, only the email items that meet the selection criteria are displayed. If for example, you are an accounts payable person, you can search your inbox for messages from a specific sender. Then, sort this group by date. The result will be a date-ordered listing of messsages that can be quickly reviewed. The same technique can be done with messages that have attachments or messages with a certain text string, etc.

  Tip! Another handy use for search is to remove junk from your inbox. If you've got many messages from a sender and want to get rid of them quickly, search for a unique string of text in the messages. Then add the string to search. Once the list is visible, use the checkbox to select all of the entries. Once selected, right-click the group and move all the items to the deleted folder.

  Level 2 Tip! Use the Junk Removal steps to create folders by subject. To do this, create a destination folder first. An example might be "Recruiting". Right-click the folder inbox folder in the navigation pane. Then create a folder called "Recruiting". Then, go back to the search feature and grab all the mail messages that have keywords and phrases about recruiting. Select all of these, right-click the group, and move it to the "Recruiting" folder. Once this is done, you have now removed items from your inbox and put them in a meaningful category.

  Rules - Take your search to the next level by automating it. The Rules feature in O365 Outlook takes the search function to another level. It can take time and effort to go through and search for items to put into your category folders. But, Microsoft has built an automatic sorting and filtering feature that is always looking for mail messages that meet specific criteria. Once it finds those messages it uses a "Rule" to handle the message.

  An Example Let's say there is a daily message coming in from a field rep and it always contains details about tasks completed for the day. O365 Outlook will let you set up a rule to move that message from the inbox to a specific folder. Using this feature for sorting messages with a common theme will have an immediate impact on the volume of mail you've got to look through daily. Once you've set a rule, it works in the background and doesn't stop until you disable or turn it off.

  Tip! Setting up a rule is easy. In O365 Outlook it is a simple point-and-click exercise. If for example, you want all mail from a vendor to go to a folder with the vendor's name, then immediately respond to the vendor with a canned message, like "Thank You for your message. I will review the <> and process it with the next check run.", it is a matter of checking a few boxes in the rules feature of Outlook.

  Caution! Another great feature and a possible "Gotcha" is that any new rule can be applied to existing messages. This is a handy feature if you're trying to get your mailbox under control. The rule will go back and move messages to folders, mark them read/unread, etc. The "Gotcha" is when you have an autoresponse. You'll be sending messages for each of the historical messages that meet your filtering criteria. The other possible "Gotcha" is if you've already categorized older messages, then you run a new rule against them, they could be moved between folders. A safety feature Microsoft has built into O365 Outlook is that you can limit the rule to the inbox only.

  Who should use these features - Anyone who gets lots of mail, users who need to get through mail quickly, users who want to get control over their mailbox, and especially users who like to have a "clean" inbox.

PC Service Center - Business provides professional computer consulting services. For more info, or a quote, please contact us at
(925) 609-8287 or Contact Us