Reduce those pesky meeting request response messages in Outlook

 Apr 21, 2015

If you regularly send out meeting requests in Microsoft Outlook, perhaps on behalf of a number of people, you are probably fed up with the volume of responses that you receive. By creating a rule, you can have many of those responses bypass your inbox. They could be either shunted into a folder or simply deleted.

There are three types of responses: Accepted, Tentative and Declined. The Accepted and Tentative ones can be deleted and the Declined ones let through to the inbox.

To start creating the rule, you can either:

  • Click Rules in the Home tab of the Ribbon, Manage Rules & Alerts, or
  • Click File, Info, Manage Rules & Alerts

In the Rules and Alerts dialogue box:

  1. Click "New Rule…", select "Apply rule on messages I receive" and click "Next."
  2. In Step 1, the list of conditions, tick “uses the form name form.”
  3. In Step 2, click “form name.”
  4. In the "Choose Forms" dialogue box, choose "Application Forms" from the list.
  5. Add the "Accept Meeting Response" and "Tentative Meeting Response" forms and click close.
  6. In the Rules Wizard, click Next.
  7. In Step 1, select an action (e.g. “delete it” or “move it to the specified folder”).
  8. If necessary, in Step 2, choose the folder, and click "Next."
  9. Unless you want to specify exceptions*, click "Next."
  10. Specify a name for the rule and click "Finish."

*In the event that the person responding adds a comment, it would not be desirable to delete the response so you could create an exception that ignores the rule if there is a comment:

  1. On the exceptions page, in Step 1, use the exception called “Unless the body contains specified words.”
  2. In Step 2, click the words “Specified words."
  3. In the "Search Text" dialog box, type a space with quotation marks around it (“ “) so that it looks for a space in the body area rather than actual words.
  4. Click "Add" and then OK.

Rules in Outlook can be a huge benefit in reducing clutter and streamlining the way you work. For more tips on rules and Outlook in general, see New Horizons’ Outlook training programs.

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About the Author:

Ben Kirk  

With over 16 years of experience working as a Desktop Applications specialist for a number of large education services providers, Ben is one of New Horizons most skilled and dynamic instructors. With his Advanced Diploma of Business Skills alongside his practical experience and expertise, Ben is able to provide insight and guidance to students at all skill levels across the entire Microsoft Office suite.

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