My new job sticks me with Outlook as a mail client again. I can hear your groaning and know your tears are flowing copiously all around.
We also get boat loads of e-mail every day. So, my buddy here helps me set up all these rules in Outlook to help manage this crazy tide of messages. The only problem is that with all of these rules running I am seeing many duplicated messages–essentially messages created in response to the different rules where more than one rule might apply to a single message.
He hadn’t noticed it was happening (since most of what is filtered out is filtered out as non-important). When I pointed this out to him, his solution was to create a host of exceptions for each rule which excluded the other rules. This was too much for me. I went to my other buddy: Google.
I found this wonderful gem which expounded an elegant and simple solution. I like simple, and elegant ain’t so bad.
Essentially, when you create any rule you will want to consider including among the actions that rule takes “stop processing more rules”. I don’t have any rules I want processed alongside other rules so I added this action to all of my rules—and I put them in the order I want them processed. You may have rules which are intended to act in conjunction with one another. Those rules ought not to include this action.
I am of the opinion that the default for all rules should be “stop processing more rules” so that you would have to manually tell a rule to allow further processing, but that’s just me.