Rules can be bad! IT Support Episode 47

Email rules can be great to make things flow better in your inbox, but they can be bad when not implemented very well.  When you use email rules for sorting, filing, forwarding and deleting they can be a real help to keep on top of your email, but if you’re not careful with the ‘conditions’ as they are called, it can go very, very wrong!

So watch the latest vlog from Captain Christian to learn how to avoid a mistake a colleague made when he wasn’t specific enough with those conditions, and got a result he wasn’t expecting.

Harvey the boxer dog sending emails.

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For those who don’t want to watch, here is the story this week…

Episode 47: Rules can be bad!

Hi, I’m Christian from “Northstar IT” and this week I’m covering email rules. So this week I’m picking on a member of my own team.

We’ve got a software help desk just like any other IT company and our system works probably just like most others, you get an email notification when a ticket is assigned to you. We also get email updates when a ticket has been updated as well so on a bad day it can seem like those emails just come flooding in, just like I talked about in the last episode.

However one of my colleagues had thought – I know, I’m going to create an Outlook rule to file all of those into a folder. So if I need to refer to them I can go looking for them but at least they won’t clog up my inbox.

And then another colleague raised an issue, we’ve allocated a ticket to one of the team and he doesn’t seem to be dealing with it. So I spoke to that member of the team, obviously very carefully, trying to inquire what was going on. Was he ignoring a job? Was he ducking a job? When I asked him he turned and said – “I don’t know what you’re talking about, I haven’t seen any of those emails!”

So we went looking for that particular email that had the ticket allocated to him on and then we found it buried in that folder along with all the other ticket updates – “Oh”, – he said, – “now that’ll make sense why I haven’t also seen several other ticket allocations I’ve been told about.”

So do remember as wonderful as Outlook rules can be or in any other email client. Don’t get carried away!

Always try and make sure that the rules are very specific and not generic.  In this case the rule just involved the word “Help desk”, so every single email that came from the help desk or involved the word “help desk” got filed in that folder.

Now that was one hell of a Boo-Boo!  So next time: stop, think, do and do remember it can happen to the best of us.

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