If the thought of opening and updating dozens of daily messages is overwhelming, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s an easier way. You can save time and effort by creating rules to automatically process messages that appear in your Inbox. Processing rules automatically updates your Project file. And, if you’re already familiar with the Outlook Rules Wizard, you’ll be thrilled to learn that Project Central’s rules are even easier to set up
You can get to the Rules features with a single click on the Rules link in the Messages section of the Home Page. (Or, if you’re in the Inbox, you can follow the Rules link there.) In either case, the Rules page shown in Figure 16.4 appears.
The Rules process requires three steps, the last of which is optional. First, you create one or more rules. Then, when it’s time to use the rule(s), you run them. As an optional step, you can set up the Auto Delete options to automatically clean up messages remaining in the Inbox. Rules have to be run (but not created) each time you receive new messages in your Inbox.
Click the New Rule link on the Rules page shown in Figure 16.4. This opens Step 1 of the Rules Wizard, as follows
1. You’re given five options for selecting the type(s) of message(s) to process automatically. The instructions on this page can be a bit confusing at first because the terms “process” and “accept” are used synony mously here. Also, the first option (All Of The Below Message Types) really only refers to the three message types listed below that option. Select among the following:
All Of The Below Message Types
If you want all work group messages to be processed by Project Central and updated in your Project file. This means that all Task Delegation requests will be approved and all New Task Requests will be granted.
Only Task Updates and TeamStatus Replies That Meet the Following Criteria If you want to create a filter that allows for the automatic process.ng of some messages but not others. To create a filter, choose a Field and an Operator, and then enter a Value or select a field for the Value by clicking the list button to the right of the Value field (it looks like a gray square with a dot on it.) If you need a bit of help here, Chapter 17, “Using Views to Evaluate Data,” contains detailed information about filtering data
2. Click Next to go to Step 2 of the Wizard.
3. At this- step of the Wizard, choose whether you want the rule applicable in All Current and Future Projects or Only The Projects Specified Below. If you choose the second option, enable the Including All Future Projects checkbox if you want the rule applied to projects you post in the future. Then, choose the projects you want to select for the rule. Click the one you want from the list on the left and click the Add button to move it to the list on the right. Repeat as necessary. Remove a project from the list on the right by-clicking it and then clicking Remove. Click Next when you’re ready to proceed.
4. Step 3 of the Wizard offers the same choices as Step 2, but the choices apply to resources, not projects. Choose the resources that you will automatically accept messages from. Click Next.
5. If you chose All Of The Below Message Types or All Task Delegation Requests in Step 1, you’re given a fourth step, where you must choose resources to whom tasks may be delegated. Proceed as you did in Step 3 arid click Finish when you’re through.
You’ll see a dialog box, confirming the creation of the new rule and any constraints on applying it to messages already in your Inbox. Note the constraints (if any) and click OK to return to the Rules page, where the banner shows the total number of rules you have created.
If you want to create a rule that is very Similar to an existing rule, select the rule (click the gray rectangle that precedes the rule’s name), and click Copy Rule to launch the Wizard and retain all the settings of the selected. rule. Proceed through the Wizard, making changes as desired, and then click Finish. The new rule is sequentially numbered and displayed with the others.
Modify an existing rule by selecting and clicking Modify Rule and making changes at appropriate steps of the Wizard. Remove a rule by selecting it and clicking Delete Rule.
If you have unopened messages, click Run Rules Now to apply the newly created rule, and process existing messages for all projects. The Run Rules Now button appears on the Home Page and on the Rules Page in Project Central. It is disabled when you have no new messages
It’s possible to run some but not all of the rules when you click Run Rules Now. And it’s possible to run certain rules on certain projects. The default is to run all rules 0!l all projects. To choose a particular project on which to run rules, select it from the Apply Message Rules To drop-down list. If you want to run only one particular rule, disable the other rules by clearing the checkbox ‘in the Enable field of each one. After you configure the project and rules you want to run, click Run Rules Now
If you’re using rules to process messages automatically, It’s usually because you don’t need to see each Individual message. You didn’t want to take the time to open and read each one, or you wouldn’t have used a rule in the first place. So, It makes sense to remove these messages from your Inbox after they’re processed. That’s where AutoDelete is helpful. It allows you to choose which message types·are automatically. deleted after processing. From the Rules page, click AutoDelete to open the AutoDelete dialog box.
Choose an option for deleting messages. All Of The Below Message Types deletes all four types of messages listed here as checkboxes. If you prefer to have some; but not all, messages types automatlcally deleted, enable the Messages By Type option and click the message types you do wat AutoDeleted. Click OK when you’re finished. You can change these settings anytime by clicking the AutoDelete button on the Rules page .