Manage Email Like A Pro Using iCloud Rules

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Using rules in Apple’s Mail.app client on your Mac is a great way to take charge of your email, but what about those same rules for email on your iPhone? When you create rules in Apple Mail the rules only work there. This means you won’t benefit from these email rules on your phone and the web as rules in Mail.app only work on the client side of the email process. What you need are rules working in the cloud for everything to work in sync.

With Apple’s iCloud email service, you have the ability to set up rules for email that work across all devices. As long as you have an Apple ID you have an iCloud account.

Here are the steps to managing email like a pro using iCloud rules.

1. iCloud Email Account

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The first step is to make sure you’re using iCloud for your email. This is generally the same as your Apple ID. Head over to iCloud.com to log in, and if you need to create an iCloud account check out this iCloud FAQ from Apple.

Everything else you will be doing in this post involves using an iCloud email account.

2. New Mailbox

Once you’re logged in to iCloud.com, click on the Mail icon and create a new folder by clicking the + sign next to the Folder header.

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Enter a name for the folder like “Work” or “Vacation” and click somewhere else in the window to save. This step isn’t necessary, but it’s useful to make sure you have a folder to move your new rule-processed messages.

3. Add A Rule

With the new folder selected, click the Gear icon in the bottom left corner of the iCloud window and select Rules.

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The Rules window will appear and unless you’ve created rules in the past, will be empty.

Click Add a Rule to start with your first rule.

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An easy rule to set up is to move a message from a specific person to a folder. If you have someone who’s email is a priority, you can make a new Priority folder and move all emails from him or her into the folder.

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Now, whenever you receive an email from this person, it will be sent to the Priority folder. This will happen on the iCloud website, Mail.app, and even your iPhone.

Now that you know how to set up rules, these suggested rule ideas will help you take control of your email.

Other Uses For iCloud Rules

CC’d Emails – If you are constantly CC’d on emails just so you have it in your records, you can make your life a lot easier by just automatically archiving those emails. Click the Add a Rule link and enter the following, with your own email address entered:

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“Mom Emails” – What about all those “this is 100% true” emails you get from your mom? You want to get the rest of her emails but all those emails using Snopes.com as a source needs to go. Try this rule to save you from them:

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Email Archive – Keeping all your eggs in one basket is a bad idea, yet most of us leave all of our email in one place with one email address. If you ever need to switch to your iCloud account from another address, you can make sure your emails are all already moved over by using a 2-step process.

  • Forward a copy of your emails to your iCloud account.
  • Use this rule to archive all emails addressed or CC’d to your email address.

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Now, when you want to make the jump to your iCloud email address, all your important emails are there.

Wrap-Up

While iCloud rules are nowhere near as robust as those found in desktop email clients like Outlook or Mail.app, setting up a few basic rules on iCloud can ensure junk mail stays away and important emails always come through to the top.

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