Custom Outlook Alerts for Important Emails

Email is a lifeblood for any business. But as we rely more and more on email to communicate internally and with clients, the sheer amount of email that you get on a daily basis may be overwhelming. The standard Outlook new email alert can just become background noise if you get a bunch of email on a daily basis. But what if you’re an Outlook user and need to make sure you don’t miss emails from a particular client or about a particular project? Create a custom alert in Outlook that will grab your attention.

Note: This will only work on the Outlook desktop app, so if you’re using the web app, you’re out of luck.

Open up Microsoft Outlook on your computer, and then click on Home > Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts:

Click on “New Rule”:

Select the “Apply Rule on Messages I Receive” checkbox, and then click “Next.”

At this point, you can set the conditions you want (Outlook rules are powerful, but digging into those is topic for another article). In this case, we’re going to setup an alert for emails from a specific email address. So check the “From People or Public Group” checkbox, and then click on the “People or Public Group”

Up will pop-up your address book. You can either click on a contact, or put their email address in the field below:

Hit OK once you’ve selected your contacts, and now click “Next” on the rules wizard window.

Scroll through and select the “Display a Specific Message in the New Item Alert Window” checkbox. Then, click “A Specific Message” in the bottom box.

In the window that pops up, type in the message you want on your alert (use Windows’ Emoji picker for extra characters). Click OK when finished.

Click “Finish” on the rules wizard window:

You’ll get a quick confirmation dialog that this rule will only run when Outlook is running:

Click OK on that dialog, and then “OK” on the final dialog that pops up:

This rule will apply whenever an email from that email address you typed arrives in your inbox. It will display an alert, even if you’ve turned off regular Outlook desktop alerts. That alert will remain visible until you close it. If an email arrives while you’re away, you’ll still see it when you return to your machine.

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