Add a Sent Items Rule in Outlook 2007

This is something I haven’t been able to figure out for a while, and had resorted to manually running a rule once in a while on my sent items folder. With a lot of googling and going through various websites, finally figured out a way to separate my official and personal mails into two separate folders.

I’ll list them out here as a problem statement and the steps through which I could do the same. Applying some logic to the order in which the ruled are and the settings, this can be extended for all Sent Items rules.

Objective: Move unofficial mails to a separate folder and maintain official mails in the Sent Items folder.

Step 01: Disable Sent Items Auto Save
Go to Tools > Options > E-mail Options
Uncheck “Save copies of messages in Sent Items folder”

Step 02: Set a rule to move official mails to Sent Items
Start with a blank rule and select a sent items rule as below
Sent Items Rule

Set the following:
With in the recipient’s address
Move copy to folder Sent Items
Be sure to check “stop processing more rules
Stop Processing More Rules

Step 03: Set a rule to move ALL sent mails to Unofficial folder
Start with a blank sent items rule as above
Set the following:
Sent from account Microsoft Exchange Server
Move copy to folder Unofficial
Through Specified Account

Since you have stopped further rule processing after the rule set under Step 02, such mails (i.e. official ones in my example) will not hit Step 03 rule. For this to work, make sure Step 03 rule is below the Step 02 rule.

Now, all mails except the ones to will be delivered to Unofficial folder whereas the ones to will remain in Sent Items.

5 thoughts on “Add a Sent Items Rule in Outlook 2007

  1. There is a VBA solution to this that I managed to piece together from a number of discussion boards, as follows…

    To move sent emails sent through the “ABC” mail account to the “Sent Items” folder of the “ABCFolders” file, use the following code (the body of the ‘ItemSend’ routine that gets called after any email has been sent).

    Private Sub Application_ItemSend(ByVal Item As Object, _
    Cancel As Boolean)
    Dim objNS As NameSpace, objFolder As MAPIFolder
    On Error Resume Next
    Set objNS = Application.GetNamespace(“MAPI”)
    If Item.SendUsingAccount = “ABC” Then
    Set objFolder = objNS.Folders.Item(“ABCFolders”)
    Set objFolder = objFolder.Folders.Item(“Sent Items”)
    Set Item.SaveSentMessageFolder = objFolder
    End If

    ‘ Other account users can have similar entries here.

    Set objFolder = Nothing
    Set objNS = Nothing
    On Error GoTo 0
    End Sub

    The code assumes that the “Sent Items” folder is at the top level. If the required destination folder is at a lower level, repeat the “Set objFolder = objFolder.Folders.Item(“”)” for each extra level.

    It works very well, but the downside to this of course is that if you change the email account or send items folder names, you’ll need to update the code to match.

    You’ll also probably have to enable VBA macros each time you load Outlook – a small price to pay.

    1. @Simon,
      Thank you for the input. Looks like we’re talking about slightly different stuff. Am trying to move based on “to” address and you’re doing based on “from”, but in both cases we are attempting a sent items rule. Your example can be easily changed for the purpose here, of course.

      While I would still prefer the rules way compared to macros, thanks a lot for pointing out an alternative :)

  2. The downside to the rules solution is that the sent copies are marked as unread and will cause the folder which they are moved into to be displayed in bold and with a number next to it. For me this is annoying.

    1. Plus, the sent email is moved to the specified forlder even BEFORE it is actually sent. I have disabled the “send immediately” option so that my e-mails do not get sent immediately when I write the e-mail and click Send, but they get moved to Outbox first and are sent next time I click the Send/Receive button. But a copy of it is moved to the specified folder immediately after I click Send after editing it. You can imagine the potential confusion this may cause in certain situations.

      1. Yes, the observation about the items appearing as unread is true. It is annoying too.

        The solution here is a trade-off. Depends on how badly you want to avoid writign macros :)

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