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How to automatically sort your incoming mail

You can easily set up your email system to automatically sort your incoming mail.

We have directions for Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird, and Apple Mail.

This is the easiest way to use any email distribution list, online forum, or newsletter subscription. (Or just to send every note on a certain subject or from a certain person to a special folder.)

All the messages from the list, forum, or newsletter are automatically placed in one folder so that you can deal with them together:

  • You can quickly scan the new messages by subject line or author and delete the ones you are not interested in.

  • Since they are individual messages rather than lumped into a giant single daily digest you can easily participate by replying to either the message author or to the entire group.

Once you take a couple of minutes to set up your email to automatically sort major topics out of your incoming mail, you will never go back to having one overwhelming random inbox!

How to do it:

1. Create a folder in your email program. (If you name the folder with an exclamation point or hyphen as the first character for example, ! alumni or -alumni it will be first in the alphabetical list of folders.)

2. Make a filter that sends all incoming messages with "HPAA" in the subject line to the ! alumni folder. Note: If you want the job posts in a separate folder, use HPAA Jobs, not [HPAA Jobs] some email systems don't recognize punctuation characters.

  • Yahoo Mail: "Options" / "Mail Options" / "Filters", then "Create or edit filters." Enter HPAA in the "subject" field and leave the other three criteria boxes blank. (For up to 200 filters and no ads, pay $20 per year for Yahoo Mail Plus.)

  • Gmail: "Settings" icon (a gear) / select "Settings" / then the "Filters" tab.

  • Hotmail Full Version: "Options" / "More Options" / "Automatically sort e-mail into folders"

  • Hotmail Classic Version: "Options" / "Automatically sort e-mail into folders"

  • Outlook.com: icon (a gear) / "Options" / "Mail" / "Automatic processing" / "Inbox and sweep rules"

  • Outlook 2003, 2007: "Tools" / "Rules and Alerts"

  • Outlook 2010: "Rules" in the Move group of the Home top menu

  • Outlook Express 5 or 6: "Tools" / "Message Rules" / "Mail"

  • Outlook Express 4: "Tools" / "Inbox Assistant" / "Add"

  • Eudora: "Filters"

  • Thunderbird: "Tools" / "Message Filters". Select account and folder in the dropdown menus. "New". Name the filter. You can have multiple filter criteria and multiple actions. Select when it is to be run.

  • EarthLink Web Mail: No filtering capability; move emails manually to folder and read later.

  • Apple Mail: "Mail" / "Preferences" / "Rules" (For additional email processing capabilities, one member recommends two Mail add-ons: MailTags and Act-On from Indev Software.)

  • AOL: Members report that AOL's very old mail reader doesn't provide this capability.

3. If you have email distribution lists or online forums set to digest mode, change them to send individual emails. (To quickly change the settings for your Yahoo Groups subscriptions such as HPAA lists and forums go to your "Edit My Groups" page on Yahoo Groups 

 

Please send us comments or corrections for this page: Contact the HPAA

 


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