Using Outlook Rules with Distribution Lists

WARNING: This post will not make sense to you if you do not create rules in Outlook.

A great question came up today from an attendee in my Outlook class. He gets reports from several people, and he wants to create a rule that sends messages from these senders into a special folder. The email subject lines are never consistent and can’t be made a part of the rule.

Instead of creating a rule for each person, he wants to create a distribution list with all these senders in it. Then he’d like to create a rule to “Move messages from someone to a folder.” The “someone” would be the distribution list.

This can be done, but a message will appear “ListNAME is a personal distibution list that may not be used with this feature. Would you like to use the individual members of the ListNAME instead?”

If you click OK, the individual names in the distribution list appear with OR in between each name. This means that any message coming from anyone in the distribution list will go into the specified folder. This could be a solution only if messages from these people are always one of the reports.

Now if I had his job, I’d create a special database form on the company’s Website that people would have to complete (instead of sending a regular email). When they click Submit, the database form would be set up to send the information to an email address. He could program the subject line so he’d have enough consistency in the incoming message to create a rule that would work. The mail command on the form would look like this: for Leagues

I created my Website in FrontPage so this is pretty easy to do. His Webmaster will know how to do this.

If you have a better solution, please add your comments. Thanks in advance.


Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert

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