Track your unread items/total items count in Outlook on startup.

I added this to my Outlook macros [started with code for displaying all unread messages].

After selecting Alt-F11 and ThisOutlookSession [on the left sidebar], I selected "Application" and "Startup" [which is where this code is added.]

It append to a .csv file that can be opened in Excel. This is nice if you're attempting to get your inbox under control and want to track your progress.

Private Sub Application_Startup()
    On Error GoTo itfailed:
    ' I want to be able to catch up by reading all my unread messages
    Dim ns As Outlook.NameSpace
    Dim folder As MAPIFolder
    Dim item As Object
    Dim msg As MailItem
    Dim myfolder
 
    ' Open the inbox folder
    Set ns = Session.Application.GetNamespace("MAPI")
    Set folder = ns.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderInbox)
 
 
    myfolder = Environ$("USERPROFILE") & "my documents"
 
    myfile = "outlookunread.csv"
    Open myfolder & myfile For Append As 1
    Print #1, Strings.Format(Now, "Short Date") + " " + Strings.Format(Now, "Long Time") + "," + CStr(folder.UnReadItemCount) + "," + CStr(folder.Items.Count)
    Close 1
    Exit Sub
itfailed:
    MsgBox Err.Description, vbCritical, Err.Number
 
End Sub

Message rules to filter automated messages and subscriptions

My word/phrase list:

  • unsubscribe
  • to stop receiving
  • subscription preferences
  • as a web page
  • this message has been sent to
  • like to opt out
  • online privacy policy
  • do not want to receive
  • you no longer wish
  • prefer not to receive
  • to opt out
  • this email was sent to

Advice:

The space allowed for rules is VERY limited. You can have roughly 40 rules active at a time [sometimes far fewer]. It's best to lump all the sorting of one specific type into the same rule, because the search terms do not seem to take up as much space as the rules themselves do.

While you can right-click and "Create Rule..." on every message type you want to filter, you will run out of rules space very quickly. Maybe in minutes.

Step-by-step:

I worked through some rules that helped greatly reduce the amount of newsletters, etc., that show up in my in my main inbox.

I started by creating a new rule [Tools->Rules and Alerts->New Rule...]

I started from a blank rule...

Select a blank rule

Next, I needed to match messages "with specific words in the subject or body". [Really just the message body]

Look for messages with specific words in the subject or body

Click on the "specific words" text to bring up a pop-up where you can specify the words.

Pop-up to specify search text

Type words in an click "add" until you've added all the phrases to search for:

Finished search list

Next, check "move it to the specified folder" and click the word "specified" in the bottom part to tell Outlook where to send the messages.

Move to specified folder

Optionally, you can specify exceptions [such as internal e-mails].

Exceptions step

Be sure to check the rule's checkbox in the "Rules and Alerts" window to enable it.

If you want to run your newly created rule on existing messages, click [Apply] then [Run Rules Now...] and check the rule to run.

Calendar functionality on a smartphone?

It seems that calendars should respond to time zone changes more gracefully.

I don't have another smartphone for reference, just an iPhone, but the combination of automatic time zone updating and calendar appointments should be handled more gracefully.

Now, I know there's a time zone support option on the iPhone, but not all appointment sources are created equal.

Outlook Sync with iphone seems to not handle timezones well. I'm sitting in Las Vegas getting my 4 PM EST meeting invite reminders at 4 PM PST.

Meanwhile, I wouldn't necessarily want my 5:30 AM EST to necessarily translate to 2:30 AM PST.

Given those two cases, I don't think a global device setting is necessarily the ideal method to solve the timezone issue.

Maybe there should be switch on each appointment that indicates whether the time or the timezone stays fixed for a given appointment.