Screening your mails

Posted Sep 26th 2011 07:22PM by the AOL Mail Team
Filters are usually associated with bad stuff.

You filter water to get rid of impurities, while your mailbox has spam filters to keep your inbox free of junk mail.

But filters can also be applied to good things, helping arrange and organize them to make life much easier.

For example, AOL Mail allows you to apply filters to your incoming messages, ensuring that you never miss what's really important amongst your inbox chatter.

Say you receive a daily newsletter from your favorite news source. You don't read it every day, but you will eventually find the time to catch up.

It doesn't appear to be a problem until one day it feels like your inbox has been overrun by unread mails from the same sender making it difficult to spot the really important messages.

A filter is a neat solution that allows you to automatically send all these newsletters to a separate folder, which you can access when you're ready.

To set up a filter, click the Settings link at the top right of your mailbox then select Filters and Alerts from the left-hand sidebar.

Hit the Create Filter button and give your filter a name.

Next, select the detail from your message that you want the filter to notice – in this case it'll be the From: address of the newsletter sender.

Finally select a folder where you would like any filtered mails to be collected. You can choose from your pre-existing folders or create a new one.

Then hit Create and you're ready for a clutter-free inbox.

You can also filter your messages by the To: or CC: addresses, the Subject, or even a word or phrase from the message body.

So if you're part of a 20-person email conversation about your friend's upcoming bachelor party, you could set up a filter so that any message with the subject Dave's Bachelor Party!!!!! is moved to a dedicated folder?

This leaves you free to see what else your inbox has to offer and when you're finally ready to weigh in on the lengthy debate about which Smurf costume the groom should wear, the entire conversation is waiting for you in one easy folder.

If you are waiting for a particularly important message, you can create a filter with an alert that will notify you via AIM or your mobile phone when the email arrives.

Any filter you create is listed on the Filter and Alerts page where you can edit or even drag and drop them to change the filter priority order. When you no longer need a filter, deleting it is as easy as clicking the X button.

Try applying filters to your incoming messages today and make sure you always see what's important in your inbox.


The AOL Mail team