I’ve been scheduling (and rescheduling) a lot of meetings in Microsoft Outlook lately and I’ve grown tired of continually moving everyone’s responses to the meeting request (Accepted, Rejected, Tentative) from my inbox. I’ve also found that if I’m too diligent with removing those response, I miss something important someone added to the body of the their response. Instead of continuing to sort through these responses manually, I chose to set up a Microsoft Outlook rule to do the heavy lifting for me. The rule sorts through all my incoming messages as they arrive and looks for tell tale signatures of a meeting request response. Specifically, it looks for whether my name is on the “To” line, it was sent only to me, and it has “Accepted”, “Declined”, or “Tentative” in the subject line. When the rule finds a message that matches those criteria and has nothing written in the body of the message, it immediately moves it out of my inbox to an Archive folder.
How to Set Up the Microsoft Outlook Rule (for those familiar with the process)
For those of you familiar with Rules in Outlook, the rule I created is as follows. You will note that the rule only looks for vowels in the body as an exception to the rule. As I have yet to receive any important emails containing all consonants as a response, this works like a dream.
How to Set Up the Microsoft Outlook Rule (for those not familiar with the process)
For those of you not familiar with Rules in Outlook, follow the procedure below.
- Click on the File Menu in Outlook
- Click on Manage Rules & Alerts in the graphic below.
- Click on New Rule in the graphic below.
- Make the following selection in the Rules Wizard.
- Click on the specific words text in blue and enter the terms in the resulting window.
- Click on the specified text in blue to specify which folder to move the messages to. Note that it can be any folder you specify. I chose my “@Archive” folder.
- Click Next and make the following selections.
- Click Next two more times and make the following selections
- Click on the specified words text in blue and add the following terms
- Click OK
- Click Next. You may then choose to name your rule
- Once you click Finish all your meeting responses (that don’t have any text in the message body) will be moved to the folder you specified.
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