Outlook Perspectives

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Outlook Favorites is probably the most useful feature I’ve found in Outlook especially if you have multiple accounts and a lot of rules. And I mean A LOT of rules. I have so many rules I don’t know how many, don’t know how to count them, and don’t care. Mainly because of my use of Search folders, also critical for my email survival, if you will.

The nice thing is that you can add/delete them pretty easily. I’ll address how to add them later in this post but for now, here’s how you delete Favorites in Outlook:

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Clicking on Remove from Favorites takes it off the Favorites sub-pane but you’ll still have the folder. So it’s just a place for shortcuts, basically.

The last rule, I just recently created, is one called Important Mail, shown here:

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***IMPORTANT***: Do NOT use outlook.exe /cleanrules until you export your rules. I’m not sure if the 2013 version of Outlook handles any kind of auto-backup of rules but from my experience it’s important. Especially when it’s a common troubleshooting step used in your organization. Basically, if you use Outlook at work, back ‘em up! But it’s good to backup rules anytime, for obvious (backup) reasons (backup).

Click on the Manage Rules & Alerts… command found under the Rules sub-menu under the Home tab

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In the Rules and Alerts dialog box click Options:

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Click Export Rules…

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Name it the default, just for a test run:

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Save in the default location

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Now that the rules are backed up, put that feather in your cap for when someone asks you to do /cleanrules. Just in case you forget to back them up, you should have that there for risk management purposes.

Now that Rules backup is out of the way, it’s pretty simple to create the Search folder I added to Favorites:

Under the Folder tab click New Search Folder:

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Click on Important Mail and click the OK button

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You should now have it under Search Folders in the left pane:

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Drag that up into the Favorites section of the left navigation pane by clicking on Important Mail and dragging it up to the Favorites area until you get it in between [the folders] where you need it to go:

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Once you have it there then release the left mouse button (primary button for you lefties out there).

For more information on Outlook favorites, rules, and search folders look it up in Outlook Help by pressing F1 or clicking on the question mark in the upper right:

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