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Organize Your Mail

If all your mail is going to your Inbox, it can soon become unmanageable.

Organization starts with the following:

  • Setting categories in your address book
  • Creating rules with the MLM, Rules and Junk Mail filters.
  • Address book categories: Add a category to each of your address entries. Examples: family, work, buddies, talk lists, newsletters. Now when you create a rule, you can use category rather than entering each address. See Rules for more information and examples.

The advantage of categories is you don't have to enter each individual address as long as you assign a category in the address book. Now when you get an email from your friends just use the shortcut (command =) to add them to the address book and assign category Buddy. It's easier to remember the + key for add.

Create Rules: The Mailing List Manager (MLM), Rules and Junk Mail Filter are used to organize your mail. Essentially the MLM is a user friendly approach to Rules and is used for lists. Rules can take care of the remainder of your mail. In Entourage 2001 and Entourage X, the Junk Mail Filter will mark it as junk, but you need to create a rule to actually move the mail. In Entourage 2004, the JMF will move junk mail to the 'Junk E-Mail' folder. See Junk Mail Rule.

To set up the MLM, just open a message from the list you wish to use. The MLM will automatically fill in list info. Select options you wish to use. If you plan on using rules on list messages, uncheck "Do not apply rules to list messages" under the Advanced tab. When you set up a MLM it ask you to add to your address book. Be sure to do this and assign a category.

The order of execution on Rules:

  • Mailing List Manager
  • Junk Mail Filter
  • Rules

When you select "Apply Rules" it includes the MLM, Junk Mail Filter and your own rules. Tip: Control click on a group of messages and select "all rules" or individual rule.

See Rules for more info.

Create new folders for your mail.

When you create a rule, you need to create a folder for that mail. For example, you are subscribed to the Entourage talk list. You create a MLM rule for the list that sorts all list mail in your entourage talk folder. You need to create that folder.

File-> New-> Folder

Tip: Any subfolders you make will have the same column set-up as its parent. For example, set up your Inbox how you want it, then when you create new folders, it will inherit the settings. More Info

Tip: Folders can be dragged. If you have a main folder that you later want to make a subfolder, just drag it onto the root folder. Rules automatically update to the correct folder.

Tip: Make folders as subfolders under the Inbox to easily collapse. screenshot

Tip: Create root folders to help organize your folders. Examples:

  • Talk Lists
  • Newsletters
  • Family
  • Buddies