Outlook Express, tell me you're good for something...
April 8, 2008 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Calling all Outlook Express Gurus: How do I create a rule so that when I put messages in a particular folder, they automatically get a response specific to that folder?

Did that make sense? We got a LOT of email at my office and I need to be able to stick a message into Folder A and have Folder A Response sent back to that person.

Then I need to stick a different category message into Folder B and have Folder B Response sent back to that person.


Alternatively, it would be OK if we could send all 100 Folder A messages a Folder A Response at the same time at the end of each day or week (mass mailing, or BCC).

Please tell me there is hope for this kind of setup - and hold my hand as you walk me through it??

Thank you <3
posted by infinityjinx to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What is your criteria for moving a message to a specific folder? If it's something constant, you can set up a rule to run on every incoming message:

Where [your criteria]
Move it to [the specified folder]
and [Reply with message]
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:23 AM on April 8, 2008

Response by poster: Hi, I want to be able to move the messages to specific folders by hand.

After that, I want all the messages I move into Folder A to get the same response.
posted by infinityjinx at 8:30 AM on April 8, 2008

So you humanly-eyeball each message to determine which folder it belongs in? If that's true, obviously my rule suggestion won't work for you.

I have to scoot for a bit, but I will revisit this when I get back (in about an hour), and try to help if you haven't already gotten an answer by then.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:39 AM on April 8, 2008

Response by poster: The [Reply with message] part is what I'm really trying to figure out how to do! Once I manually place an email in the right folder, I would like Outlook to reply to that person with a specific message. It would be the same message for everyone in that folder.
posted by infinityjinx at 8:43 AM on April 8, 2008

I could be wrong, but I don't think outlook can trigger a rule when you manually drop an email into a folder. I think rules are only really triggered when the email is received.

Someone else may want to weigh in on this, but I think you'll find this to be the case.

At least not without some third party program..but I'm not sure of any that would accomplish this.
posted by AltReality at 8:54 AM on April 8, 2008

Real quick;

Allocate a catagory on a per item basis to your incoming mail as you see fit;

Email arrives; call it 'A', allocate catagory 'A' (Leave it in the inbox)
Email arrives; call it 'B' etc etc repeat for your two/however many cats. you need

Set up a rule to run on the catagory ;

If mail =/belongs to 'X' catagory, (Can't recall exact wording I'm afraid)
then move to folder 'X'
and reply with 'z'

At the end of every day, go run the appropriate rule(s) on your inbox.

Bit rough, but you should get the drift with the suggestions above as well hopefully!
posted by DrtyBlvd at 9:02 AM on April 8, 2008

Err...Sorry should have said right click on the message & choose category and then follow your nose to get the process started;)

Also - might want to consider setting up different email addresses if that would make things easier - x@y.com would receive such and such a reply and z@y.com a different one...
posted by DrtyBlvd at 9:05 AM on April 8, 2008

AltReality has it - you can't set up a rule that will trigger based on actions on a folder in Outlook Express. OE triggers rules two ways: 1) automatically on receipt, or 2) manually when you run a rule on a folder. (Is switching to Outlook a possibility? Outlook gives you a lot more flexibility, because you can use VBA.)

You can do something like DrtyBlvd's suggestion:

1) Manually move messages to their appropriate folders as they arrive.
2) Set up a rule to send the folder-specific reply to all messages in that folder.
3) At whatever interval of your choosing, manually run the rule you created in step 2. Make sure it runs only on that folder.

You will have to clear out messages from these special folders after the rule runs (append another action to the rule in step 2 that moves them to a folder called "Responses Sent") or you will send duplicate messages to the people who sent you emails last week.

If you can figure out some sort of criteria by which mails can be automatically allocated to certain folders, then you can easily set up a rule as in my first response in this thread.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 10:18 AM on April 8, 2008

Is there a program other than Outlook where you can do exactly what infinityjinx is asking? This sounds like an extremely good idea.
posted by Eringatang at 1:08 PM on April 8, 2008

Folders structure : when backing up Outlook Express , be sure to keep the file Folder.dbx, that's where your folder/sub folder structure resides. Just spent three days searching for this answer. With a hundred rules and ~10 years of archives I hated the thought of reinventing wheel. ( sorry to butt in post, but I've seen several Meta discussions of OE and none seemde to address this issue ) Yes, maybe it's time to move to T-bird...
posted by Agamenticus at 10:45 AM on April 20, 2008

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