Wow, people’s mailboxes are a mess. Who has time to read and sort the thousands of mostly irrelevant messages that have built up in there over the years? We can’t just delete the stuff because as soon as you commit to saying good-bye the laws of corporate Karma will cause an executive to ask for one of the messages you just dumped. 

What’s a busy person supposed to do? I get Outlook to put all my mail into folders by year, only leaving the current year’s mail sitting in my inbox. It’s easy to setup and really helps. 

1. Open Outlook.

2. Create folders for each year under your Inbox. I personally create a folder named Archive and then folders for each year under it.

3. In the Outlook Ribbon click on Rules -> Manage Rules and Alerts.

4. Click the New Rule button.

5. Choose “Apply rule on messages I receive”.

6. Select the box next to “received in a specific date range”.

7. In the Step 2 window (lower); click on the underlined words “in a specific date span”. 

8. Use the pop up to enter the start date (Jan 1st of the year you are building the rule for) and the after date (Dec 31 of the same year).  

9. Click Next and select the check box for “Move it to the specified folder”. 

10. Click the word specified and browse to the year’s folder to select it. 


11. Click Next to add any exceptions. 

12. Click Next again and check the “Run this rule now…..” check box. 

Repeat the process to create rules for each year. Your inbox will be cleaner, your Outlook will respond quicker, and your email administrator will get off your back.