Rules helps you to organize your mail by filing messages in appropriate folders, sending out canned responses and deleting message that you’re not interested in seeing and in so doing, reduces the amount of clutter that you have to sift through in your Inbox. For instance, I receive several e-mail newsletters on a regular basis but typically, only sit down to read them on specified days during the week. So I have set up newsletters folder so that any newsletter that I receive bypasses my Inbox and goes straight to the Newsletters folder.
Likewise, you can use rules to notify you if you receive a message from someone important, such as your boss. In such a case, you might want the e-mail icon in your Dock to bounce or your system to play a sound whenever you get an email from your boss. I have a friend who has set up his system to play a cash register sound every time he gets a message from PayPal informing him that he has received an order. Ka-ching!
Quick Guide: To Create E-mail Rules
- From within the Mail app, choose Mail > Preferences from the menu.
- Click the Rules icon.
- Click the Add Rule button.
- Click in the Description box and provide a name for your rule, such as “Boss” or “Book Project”.
- Click the drop-down list on the Criteria line and select how the Mail app should selected messages to process. For instance, you should set “From” and then “Contains” so that any message from Mr. Slate is processed.
- In the same lines, type in the names or e-mail addresses that Mail is to watch for. Using our above example, I might set the first line to read; From > Contains > firstname.lastname@example.org
- On the bottom line of the dialog box, you choose what you want to happen to messages that meet your criteria. Some options include: move the message to another mailbox (folder), forward the message, copy the message, play a sound and more. From the first drop-down list, choose what to do with the message – in the second drop-down list choose any parameters (the name of the mailbox, the person to whom you’re forwarding the message.
- When finished, click OK.