Using an Outlook Rule to Archive Transaction Emails

Create a folder in Outlook for the transaction

Many real estate brokerages us the format "BuyerName to SellerName" for transaction identification. In our example, we'll use "Kimmons to Jones". Use whatever you want, but name the folder for the transaction.

Steps for doing this are:

1. From the email window, right-click on Personal Folders.

2. Click on New Folder

3. Name the folder, in this case we're using "Kimmons to Jones".

4. Once you click OK, the folder is created.

Make a rule for filing emails that you receive from your client or others.

Now that we have a folder to put them in, we can begin to make rules that will file copies of our emails for us automatically. We'll first make a rule that will file our client's incoming emails. We have an email from our client and will use it to create the rule.

Steps are outlined below.

1. Right-click on the email from the client.

2. Select "Create Rule" from the menu that drops down.

3. The next box offers you some choices on how to decide to use the rule. We will select the one for the "From Jim Kimmons". It will offer you this option at the top and it will be the client's name that's in the email.

4. Click the box next to the client's name and click on Advanced Options button. The next box will show you that the condition is set and checked. Click on Next.

5. We're now going to check the box to tell the rule to file a copy of the email in a specified folder. Click on the specified folder link in the bottom box and choose the transaction folder. Click OK

6. The next box is one we're not using, so just click Next.

7. The next box defaults to a rule name of that of the client. Then we have two check boxes. Both the "Run this rule now..." and the "Turn on this rule" boxes should be checked. Once we click on Finish, the rule is set and the current emails from the client that are in the Inbox will be filed in the transaction folder. In the future, all emails from this client will be filed automatically.

Create a rule to file our outgoing emails for this transaction

Jingle Mail keys and mailbox.
Jingle Mail. iStockPhoto
We've taken care of incoming emails from the client or participants, now we'll build a rule to file our outgoing emails related to the transaction. We will only need one rule for this if we hold to a practice that's good to follow anyway. In any transaction related email, name the transaction (Smith to Jones, etc.). It's good practice for precluding confusion and for our filing purposes.

Below are the steps for this process.

1. Click on Tools > Rules & Alerts > New Rule.

2. Click "Start from a Blank Rule" and "Check messages after sending" and then click Next.

3. Select the option "with specific words in the subject or body." Click on "specific words" link in the bottom box and enter the transaction name. Example: "Smith to Jones". Click Add > OK > Next.

4. Select "move a copy to the specified folder" and then click on the "specified" link in the bottom window.

5. Choose the transaction folder, then click OK > Next.

6. We're not using the next box, so click Next again.

7. Here we name the rule and make sure that "Turn on this rule" is checked. Click Finish and we're done.

Create rules as new participants email you about the transaction.

Call Routing & Voicemail
Call Routing & Voicemail. ┬ęCanStockPhoto

If you get emails from other involved in the transaction, and you think there will be enough future emails to justify a rule, then use their first incoming email and follow the procedure in Step 2 above.

By the way, though the steps may be similar with other versions, these are based on Outlook 2003. There are other features in this version that make it much better than previous ones.