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:
- Click "New Rule…", select "Apply rule on messages I receive" and click "Next."
- In Step 1, the list of conditions, tick “uses the form name form.”
- In Step 2, click “form name.”
- In the "Choose Forms" dialogue box, choose "Application Forms" from the list.
- Add the "Accept Meeting Response" and "Tentative Meeting Response" forms and click close.
- In the Rules Wizard, click Next.
- In Step 1, select an action (e.g. “delete it” or “move it to the specified folder”).
- If necessary, in Step 2, choose the folder, and click "Next."
- Unless you want to specify exceptions*, click "Next."
- 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:
- On the exceptions page, in Step 1, use the exception called “Unless the body contains specified words.”
- In Step 2, click the words “Specified words."
- 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.
- 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.