How to set rules for an employee in a large company that uses outlook?

As I work at Microsoft, I receive thousands of emails every day. Usually including:

  • Advertisement and news.
  • Daily updates.
  • Topics about the project I'm working on.
  • My crew working discussion
  • Robots notification (like GitHub notification)
  • Incident alerts.
  • Oncall requests from other teams.
  • Updates from my organization.
  • Questions to my group.
  • Personal email.
  • Other emails

It's extremely hard for a new person to organize all those complicated emails. So how can we set up rules for outlook?

Our propose is:

  • Never miss email you should concern.
    • Emails to you.
    • Email to the project you are working on.
    • Emails from your boss or team.
  • Focus on the group mailbox when you are oncall.
    • Incidents alerts.
    • Oncall requests from other teams.
    • Questions to my group.
  • Group emails by their usage in different folders automatically.

Before talking about specific rules, you need to learn how to use outlook app to manage rules. Learn it here first: How to set a rule where my name is not in To or Cc field in Outlook? (

Based on what you learned, I have my personal configuration that able to share with you.

When you are creating rules, make sure your rules are in this order:

1. Clean some useless content.
	Usually those content are from specific email. Usually useless content.
	Always move to a specific folder. Even if they at you.
        You might need to create multiple rules for those. Stop processing other rules after moving.
        Sample: GitHub notification, Cortana, Bing news, Teams emails, etc

            1.1 If from [News A] move to [News A]
            1.2 If from [News B] move to [News B]
            1.3 If from [News C] move to [News C]

2. Alert focused content. Usually your project.
	If email contains specific content like the project name you are working on, move it to inbox to create a notification.
        You might need to create multiple rules for those. Stop processing other rules after moving.
        Order them by priority. First process the project you concern most.

        2.1 If contains [important project], move to [Inbox]
        2.2 If contains [non-important project], move to [Inbox]

3. Alert me for personal contact.
        Usually those emails are asking me personal questions or personal requests. You can detect it by if my email is in the to or cc box.
        Move to inbox to create a notification.
        You only need one rule. Stop processing further rules.
        3.1 To me, move to [Inbox]

4. Move emails for my group. From important to non-important.
        Usually those emails are discussion not related with me or my project.
        Detect them by sent to specific mail box.
        If you have oncall schedule, consider creating an independent mailbox for oncall questions and incidents.
        Stop processing more rules.

         4.1 To [Incidents], move to [Incidents]
         4.2 To [Oncall questions], move to [Oncall questions]
         4.3 To [My important groups], move to [Important groups]
         4.4 To [My non-important groups], move to [Non-important groups.]

5. Move un-classified email to others folder.

        For all emails processing this rule, move to [Others]

After setup, sample: