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Email management tip – Use email filters to manage emails efficiently


It has always been an issue in a big mailing group as to what the topic of the email/discussion should be. This is partly because different people have different perspectives and different tolerance level to various things. Some people don’t like to be annoyed with some computer sales or job opportunities email(s) in the group but still want to be in the mailing list to receive other important news and updates. At the same time, someone in that group can actually be benefited from that opportunity related email(s). In this article I have tried to explain how ‘email filter’ can be used to minimize all the endless discussions of what should not be the topic of the mail in the group. This will also help an individual save valuable time by not having to go through a high number of emails that he/she is not interested in everyday just to find the important emails.

What is an E-mail Filter?

Email filtering in the context of this article refers to a utility within an e-mail program that screens incoming mail and sorts the mail into folders or directories based on the content.

Email filter usage examples

The admin or moderators of the group will eventually have to make the decision and set out rules of how many ‘filter words’ or ‘filter categories’ or what keywords they want the group to use for different types of emails but below are few examples.

Example 1

Most commonly used email filter word is [spam]. The way it works it that everyone in the group use the keyword [spam] in the subject of the email when sending ‘off topic’ emails to the group. Any group member who does not want to receive ‘off topic’ emails to his inbox can set up an email filter rule that automatically deletes the email that contains the keyword [spam] or moves it to a specific folder.

Example 2

Groups can introduce multiple keyword usage rules that uses “email filter keywords” like [Job opportunities], [Well wishing], [For sale] etc. This allows more granularity. Individual group member may be interested in receiving ‘Job opportunities’ related emails and not others. So he/she can just set up email filter to filter out all the other categories of group email(s).

Example 3

If an individual is a member of several email groups and there are common “email filter keywords” used by more than one email group then the sender address can be used in conjunction with filter keywords to be more efficient. For example, if someone does not want to receive any spam emails from ‘group1@yahoo.com’ but wants to receive spam emails from ‘group2@yahoo.com’ then using email filter on the sender’s address (group1@yahoo.com) in conjunction with the keyword [spam] will achieve the goal.

Various fancy things can be done with email filtering like automatically delete those emails or move it to a specific folder or to the junk folder etc. It is really easy to setup email filtering in Yahoo mail, Gmail, Outlook etc too. The simple message is that the usage of email filters in group emails can greatly help the management of emails and significantly reduce the time a person has to spend sorting out his/her inbox, especially if that person gets a high number of emails.

Read the How to setup email filter post to learn more about setting up an email filter.

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