How to optimize your Outlook Email with a simple trick

A business woman uses her phone and laptop to check her email in a home office.

Running a small business means sending, receiving and responding to a hefty amount of emails daily. Some days it seems impossible to get through every email! If you use Microsoft Outlook, you can actually create folders and have emails automatically sorted into those folders to help prioritize what you read first. The process for automatic sorting is referred to as Rules. There are a number of different rules you can create to alert you of specific emails so that the most important messages can be addressed immediately.


Use your mouse to right click ‘Inbox’ on the left side panel of Microsoft Outlook. Select ‘New Folder.’

Name the folder and press ‘Enter’ on your keyboard. For this example, we will name the folder “Invoices.”


Select an email you would like to have automatically sorted into this folder.

Along the Home ribbon is an icon of a folder with a letter in front labelled ‘Rules.’ In the drop down menu, select ‘Create Rule…’ 


The Microsoft Outlook Home ribbon. 'Rules' is circled.


A menu will appear with various options. 

  • ‘From (name/email address)’ will sort any email from this sender, past and future, to this folder. For example, if you want special alerts/sorting from e-mails sent to you from the CEO, this would be the option to choose.
  • ‘Subject contains (blank)’ will sort any message with a specific keyword or phrase in the subject line.
  • ‘Sent to (blank)’ will sort all messages sent only to you or to a group.

For this example, we will select ‘Subject contains’ and type in ‘invoice.’ 


The menu box for creating a rule in Microsoft Outlook.


Next, select the action. There are three options in the bottom half of the menu.

  • ‘Display in the New Item Alert Window’ will cause a box to pop up when you receive the specified e-mail that states ‘New Mail Alerts’ and will give you the option to edit the rule, open the e-mail, or close the pop up to ignore the alert.
  • ‘Play a selected sound’ will play a specific sound or alarm when you receive the specified e-mail.
  • ‘Move the item to folder’ will move the specified e-mail to a chosen folder.

For this, we are going to select the third option, ‘Move the item to folder: (blank).’ Use the ‘Select Folder’ button on the right side of the menu to select the new folder created in step 1 and 2.

Select ‘OK’ on the bottom of this window. Outlook may take a few moments to sort messages already received. If you do not see any change, you may need to restart the program.


Now any email whose title contains ‘invoice’ will automatically file in the Invoice folder instead of your inbox, and you can get to the rest of your emails more efficiently.


Want more tips and tricks?
Speak with a Digity technician today at (877) 907-4022 for help with your small business email or any other technical support.



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Kayla B

Kayla is the Public Relations Advisor and Head Content Creator for Digity. She loves helping users of all ages and walks of life understand and appreciate the computers, tablets and smartphones that keep our businesses, well, in business.

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