Tip of the week # 551
19 September 2019

Manage interruptions by setting up specific notifications only (Microsoft Outlook) *

Are you one of those people who cannot stop themselves from checking their email every time one of those notifications appears in the bottom right of the screen? Perhaps you resist temptation by turning off all notifications? (See tip_402.php if you didn't know that was possible.) But did you know you can create a rule to get notifications from certain people or about certain subjects only?

Here's how:

  1. Switch off all notifications. (See tip_402.php.)
  2. Right-click a message from a person or about a certain topic you want to set a notification for.
  3. Select Rules, Create Rule.
  4. Tick the check box of the person and/or subject.
  5. Tick the Display in the New Item Alert window and/or tick the Play a selected sound check box.
  6. Press ENTER or click OK twice.

In future, when new mail arrives and you ticked the Display in the New Item Alert window check box in step 5, you will get a dialog box listing all the relevant mail messages. The window remains open even if you've read the email by clicking on Open Item. Press ESC (or click on Close) to close it.

To change the notification click on the Edit Rule button in the New Mail Alerts dialog box. Alternatively, click on the Rules button on the Home tab and select Manage Rules & Alerts.

Related tips:

  1. Tip # 546: 5 tips to prevent email overload upon your return from holiday ( tip_546.php )
  2. Tip # 496: Automatically move low-priority emails from your inbox ( tip_496.php )
  3. Tip # 424: Organise your inbox using colour ( tip_424.php )
  4. Tip # 402: Managing interruptions ( tip_402.php )


* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.