Mail rules enable you to deal with incoming emails automatically, but Google, Microsoft and Apple phone apps don’t support them. Yahoo does! Let’s create rules in Yahoo Mail to sort emails.
It can be useful to apply flags or labels to email messages, or to move them to folders if your email service allows them. It is an organizational feature and all your emails from a certain company, such as your place of work, a client or customer, can have the same label or be kept together in a folder.
This can be done manually, but it is slow and time consuming when you receive a lot of email each day. You can boost productivity by automating the task. Rules in an email app enable incoming messages to be dealt with automatically. Junk can be deleted, important messages flagged, labelled or moved to a specific folder. You don’t need to do anything.
There are two ways this can be done and Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and Apple Mail do it on the server. You must use a desktop computer and a web browser to create, edit and delete rules.
However, these days people use their phone for many things and Google, Microsoft and Apple mail mobile apps do not let you create rules. Yahoo Mail does. If you are away from your computer and need to create a rule to deal with incoming emails, you can do it and there is no need to wait until you get back to the office or home.
I will use the Android version of Yahoo Mail for the screenshots, but there is an iPhone app too. Both apps are free and I use the free version of Yahoo Mail here, you don’t need a paid account.
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1: Open the menu
Open the Yahoo Mail app on your phone and tap your account icon in the top left corner of the screen. This opens a menu from the left side of the app. About half way down is Settings. Press it.
2: Go to Filters in Settings
Among all the settings, in the GENERAL category is Filters. This is where email rules are created that can perform actions. Find it and press it.
3: Select an email account
I have three email accounts in the Yahoo Mail app, one Yahoo account and two external email accounts. The app only lets you create filters (email rules) for Yahoo Mail accounts, not for other email accounts. That is a slightly irritating limitation, but there is nothing you can do about it. Press the Yahoo Mail account.
4: View and create rules in Yahoo Mail
This screen lists the rules that have been created. The first time you visit here, the screen will be empty of course. Let’s create a new rule, or filter as Yahoo Mail calls them. Press the plus button in the top right corner.
5: Name the filter
A form appears on the screen and at the top is a place for you to enter the filter name. Tap it and enter something short, but descriptive. I am going to create a rule to move guest post enquiries, so I have named this filter ‘Guest post’, but you call yours whatever is best for you.
6: Define the trigger
What condition will trigger this email rule? There needs to be something and it could be a specific sender, a word or phrase in the subject or the message body. I will look for ‘guest post’ in the body of the email, but your filter should look for whatever you want. Fill in one of the fields.
7: Define the action
By default, the filter looks for words contained in the subject or body, but there are many other options. Press Contains and choose from Contains, Does not contain, Begins with or Ends with. There is also a checkbox to exactly match the case. Contains is usually best, with the Matched case checkbox clear.
Down at the bottom of the form is the action: MOVE THIS MESSAGE TO. The Inbox is selected by default, but all messages appear in the inbox, so you will want to change this. Press the down arrow next to Inbox.
8: Create a new folder
An email that matches the condition you set, such as from a sender, or a word in the subject or body, can be moved to an existing folder or you can create a new one. If you get junk mail, you could create a rule to move it to the Spam or Trash folders for example. Let’s create a new folder. Press the option at the bottom.
9: Name the folder
Enter a name for the folder. It will be used to hold the emails that your filter rule triggers, so give it a name that is short, but descriptive. I will call mine Guest posts, because it will hold emails about guest posts. Well, I meant to name it ‘Guest posts’ but a typing slip made it ‘Gust posts’.
10: Select a folder to move mail to
Select the folder you just created; it will be used to store emails that are triggered by the filter rule you created. I will select the ‘Gust post’ folder. A folder can be renamed, but then you would need to edit the filter to move emails to the new folder.
11: View, edit, create filters
In step 4, this screen had nothing on it. Now it has an email rule or filter as Yahoo calls them. Press the left arrow at the top if you are finished. Press the plus at the top right to create another email rule in Yahoo Mail. You can have multiple rules, which deal with different types of email. Press the rule to edit it.
We are done, so press the left arrow.
12: The Inbox view
The Inbox is shown when an email account is selected, but you can view other folders by pressing the Inbox icon in the toolbar at the bottom of the screen.
13: Select a folder to view
A list of folders is displayed. If you do not see the one you created, pull up the screen to show them all. Tap a folder to view it. I sent a test email from another account to see if the rule worked. Here you can see that there is an email in the folder.
(Press and hold on a folder here to access a menu that enables you to delete a folder, rename it, or create a subfolder. If you rename it or delete it, you must change the rule and select a new folder to move emails to. I’ll leave it as ‘Gust post’.)
14: View emails in a folder
No, I’m not interested in dating Yahoo, stop putting ads in my inbox. If you use the free version of Yahoo, you will see an ad or two in your email list. Look for the ‘Ad’ in the title.
My test email about guest posting arrived and was automatically put into the right folder. Now these emails are all in one place where I can easily find them and they no longer clog up my inbox.
Create rules in Yahoo Mail like this to sort more incoming messages. It keeps your inbox cleaner and organizes your email better.