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Taming the MailBox Monster

By Gail Hornback
Posted Wednesday, November 24, 2004

If you use Outlook Express to manage all of your email accounts, be sure that you are taking advantage of using its ability to sort your mail for you!

Using the Folders and Message Rule options can be a great way to save you time and confusion when going through your mountains of Email.

First of all, decide the categories you need for your Folders. Of course, if you receive emails from various domains and locations, this would be an obvious choice for some of your categories. You're the boss! There are all kinds of ways to sort!

To set up folders:

1.Click File/Folder/New

(You should see the outline of existing folders in front of you.)

2. Highlight the folder under which you would like your new category. You will probably want to start out placing new ones under "Local Folders". This way you will see them when you are working in OE.

3. Type in your chosen Folder Name, and click OK.

After you have created all of your folders, you are now ready to assign message rules to your incoming mail.

The easiest way to create them is by using existing mail to create the rules from. For example, I participate in a number of Get Paid to REad Email programs. I set up a folder which I call GPTREM. It is easiest to click through them if they are all in one folder, and I do it one day a week. But it is tedious to look through daily mail, and move them to that folder as they come in one at a time. Go through the process below one time, and they will go there automatically from then on.

If you have numerous emails that come from the same place, and would like them automatically collected into a folder to be read at a later date, this is a great time saver.

1. The next time you get one of these emails, highlight it.

2. Click Message/Create Rule from Message

3. You'll see a screen with check boxes beside assorted instructions for you to choose from. As you check these boxes, you will see the rule being created in the lower box. Since you are creating a rule from an existing message, the first box will already be checked, and the information inserted, highlighted in blue.

4. In the second box down, click where you want the message to go. This will place a blue highlighted word in the rule box. Click on that highlighted word, and select the destination.

5. VERY IMPORTANT! Name your rule at the bottom of the page. (#4) If you do not name the rule, it will not be saved. ( I was doing this for a long time, and couldn't figure out why it wasn't working.)

6. After you have named and saved your rule, you can apply the rule to existing messages.

Click Tools/Message Rules/Mail.

7. Highlight the rule you want to apply, and Click Apply Now, over to the right.

8. Click Browse, and choose the area or folders you would like to apply the rule to.

9. Click Apply, and watch your mail sort itself.

10. Next time a message comes in from that location, it will automatically be placed in that folder.

You are on your way to a much more organized daily mailbox experience!!

If you have any questions, please feel free to write:

Happy Mailing!

About the Author
Gail Hornback is owner of, ( and partners with Michael Smith in Coyote Marketing, (CM/YMTC), where you can get Your Own 4-page customizeable E-Business Website For Pocket Change. Learn HOW to Launch Your Own E-Business, NOT someone else's mirror site! (


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