Filtering Email

Tue Jun 16 02:07:24 1981
Apollo: Digest format

If we must have this haphazard, non-digest format, could you folks PLEASE put the word “Apollo” or the phrase “Personal Workstations” in your subject fields. Those of us with the facilities can then use subject fields for weeding messages of immediate need from those which can wait.

— Larry —

You can configure most email applications to automatically filter incoming email based on selected keywords in the message and take various useful actions. On most applications you can find this function under a menu item named “Filters”, and on Microsoft Outlook under “Inbox assistant”.

One of the most common use of filters is automatic transfer of incoming email into individual mailboxes so they won’t clutter up your Inbox and are filed away where you can browse them at your leisure. For example, you might collect all messages from family members into a special folder, filter mailing lists into individual mailboxes for convenient reading, or set up your own set of rules to create an application level spam blocker. Different applications have different ranges of available actions, but most of them can perform certain powerful basic functions such as an automatic reply or forward.

You configure a filter by setting two attributes:

  • Criteria. Set the matching keywords the filter uses to identify the email to be filtered. The most common filtering criteria are based on the “To”, “From”, and “Subject” fields. Some typical filter criteria are listed below:

Subject contains “stamps-mailing-list”

From equals “”

  • Action. Set what the program should do with each email meeting the filter criteria, such as move the email into a specific folder, auto-reply with a specified message, delete the email, or take some other action.