Outlook rules – a good idea


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An Office-Watch.com reader with an excellent idea for Outlook rules and there’s a part workaround available now.

Larry D saw our article on limitations in Outlook Rules and came up with a great idea:

I think the most important function this feature could offer (which it doesn’t) would be, once you read a message and then “delete it” it would place in one or two folders, the “deleted items” and another or just another. In my opinion this would be very useful, because you could receive and read your mail, but the afterwards, when you hit the “delete” button, it would be saved in a customized way. I thing moving to another box/folder before you read it is risky, since now you must remember to another “in box.”

What Larry wants is another ‘event’ to trigger rules in Outlook. Currently there are only two events – when email arrives and when email is sent.

Microsoft could, if they chose to, add more events like Deletion of a message.

At the moment, the only way to do that is via some VBA code linked into the Delete function but even that might not work in all situations and would be more difficult to maintain.

There’s an existing workaround, sort of, for Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 users through Outlook Quick Steps. This is a very simple and limited type of automation that lets you combine multiple Outlook actions into a single ribbon button.

Here’s how a Quick Step for Larry would look:

Outlook - Rules example image from Outlook rules - a good idea at Office-Watch.com

The first action has to be a copy with the second or last action being a move. If you wanted a copy of the message in the Deleted Items folder as well, make the actions a copy to folder, another copy to folder and finally a delete action.

If you wish, you can create a shortcut key with a tooltip to appear on the ribbon.

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