THURSDAY THOUGHTS! - E-Mail - Highlight Messages Sent Directly To You - Lesson 4

Posted by | August 09, 2012 | Thursday Thoughts | No Comments

So last week was a toughie wasn’t it?  How are you coping with putting 3 lessons together so far?  Try to keep up with these lessons and definitely keep persevering as it really is very well worth it.

This week, we turn to:

Empty your in box – everything should have its own place, and the inbox is not it!

Decreasing  your response time – The One Minute Rule

Crafting effective messages

  • Highlight Messages sent directly to you
  • Use disposable e-mail addresses
  • Master message search
  • Future-proof your e-mail address
  • Consolidate multiple e-mail addresses
  • Script and automate repetitive replies
  • Filter low priority messages

So “how do you filter and highlight messages sent directly to you?”

This is both easy and lesson 4 is still totally free.  What more could you ask for?

We get CC’d into a whole host of things and when you are pressed for time, those messages are perfect candidates for parking and reading later.  So those messages sent direct to you, and you alone are clearly more important than the rest of the world stuff right?  They are more likely to have been sent because they directly relate to your area of responsibility; they are more likely to require action/response; and if you don’t reply then nobody else can!  Here follows two fantastic filter methods to set this up:

Outlook 2010:

1. Click view/view settings/condiational formatting

2. Click add/name it Messages to Me/condition

3. tick check box next to “where am I” and select The Only Person on the To Line from the drop down menu/then ok

4. click Font button set Outlook to highlight e-mails sent only to you using whatever formatting you prefer

Tra-la!  Now only messages sent to you will be a different colour than all the others.  During your e-mail processing periods you’ll do well to deal with these ones first.  Of course you can use the same method to filter messages sent from people as well as to you so if you have key stakeholders you want to respond more promptly to, use a different colour for them.

Other e-mail programmes:

Most other mail programmes have similar rules you can set up and apply:

  • G-mail can indicate messages sent only to your address with the right angle quotation mark >> which points to the message subject
  • mac accounts use a similar colour coding system so check it out if you are a mac user fast.


Set up one rule (more if you want but at least one rule) by the end of this weekend and see the instant difference it makes to your sorting and sifting time!!!



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Sharon Davidson
Organisational development professional specialising in personal, team and whole organisation improvement. Full range of OD tools and techniques available including: Belbin team role analysis; learning style inventories; 360 degree feedback; cultural assessments; personality psychometrics; strategic planning and workshop facilitation. (This list is not exhaustive!)

Improvement is everyone's concern: +44 1550 720902 will start that process today.

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  • Alison Crawford says:

    After Lesson 3 and finding my inbox nice and clear, this has scared me! Now I’ve siphoned off the general mail, most things left are just for me. I think I need to change the formatting from red to green to make it seem less scary. But it has helped me prioritise, so definitely worth doing!

  • Aresko says:

    Green is good too 🙂 go for it Alison!

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