Hidden Pages

Email tip #8b - How to create a 'cc' rule in Outlook 2003/07  


You’re going to love this! 

If you receive a large volume of ‘cc’ e-mail (most people report nearly one in three of all messages are like this), you might wish to set up a rule that automatically transfers these messages to a specific ‘cc’ folder where they can be stored for you to review at a later and more appropriate date and time.  

This is a better option than allowing these non-time critical messages to interrupt you while you’re doing important work. By definition, ‘cc’ e-mails should not require you to either take any action or respond to them (and they are certainly not urgent), so they can wait till a more appropriate time for you to deal with them.  

Here’s how create a ‘cc’ rule in Outlook 2003/07 

  • Open up your In-box
  • Select Tools from the menu bar at top of page and then click Rules & Alerts
  • Click the New tab
  • Go to the third sub-section called Start From a Blank Rule and click the Check messages when they arrive option
  • Click the Next > button
  • Check the box beside where my name is in the Cc box from amongst choices in upper window (Step 1: select conditions)
  • Click the Next > button
  • Check the box beside move it to the specified folder from amongst choices in upper window (Step 1: select action).
  • In the rule description window (Step 2: ), click the underlined specified link - the entire folder list will now be displayed
  • Click on Inbox to highlight it (so that the Cc folder becomes a sub folder of the In-box)
  • Click New button
  • Type CC Folder and click OK and then OK again
  • Click the Next > button
  • Check except if sent from people or distribution list if you wish to make any exceptions (eg: if message is from the CEO, the priority is ‘high’ or the word ‘urgent’ is in the subject line)
  • Click the Next > button
  • In the Please specify a name for this rule, type CC Rule and then make sure the Turn on this rule box is checked
  • Finally, double check the rule description window pane and then click Finish and then OK 

From now on, the rule will automatically process any ‘cc’ messages you receive and place them in the ‘cc’ folder for you to review at a later time. The folder name will become bold and blue brackets will indicate the number of new unread messages that have arrived. 

You can also set a rule for these ‘cc’ messages that will send a reply to say “I have received your cc message and will get to it later – if you require a prompt response, please contact me directly”. You might use this rule for a short time until others learn to use NOT use ‘cc’ when they actually require you to take an action or respond. However, don’t leave it on too long or you will clutter up their in-boxes with lots of automatic replies, which they will not appreciate! 

Alternatively, you could simply add a message such as this to your auto-signature;  

Please note: I have created a rule that automatically re-directs messages I have received as CC to a CC folder which I will get to it later – if you require any action or a prompt response from me, please contact me directly.

All the best!

Steuart Snooks