[Libs-Or] Tech-Talk: EMAIL – Find Important Emails Quickly by Adding Color

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Mon Apr 22 08:25:29 PDT 2019

Greetings and welcome to this week’s edition of Tech-Talk!


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 This Week's Topic: EMAIL
1. VIDEO ... Find Important Emails Quickly by Adding Color
2. ARTICLE ... Find Important Emails Quickly by Adding Color
3. COMMUNICATING ... "Would you be willing ..."

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EMAIL -- Find Important Emails Quickly by Adding Color

[too much email]

I get a ton of emails every day. I'm sure you do too. Some are junk, most are not time-sensitive, but there are important ones that I need to act on immediately… and I don't want them to get lost in the depths of my Inbox.

Well, I found a way to make sure important emails jump right off the screen -- so that I can't miss them. It's using color flagging options -- available both in Outlook and Gmail.

For example, we want to make sure that we get back to Tech-Talk subscribers who submit questions right away. So, I can make these emails that land in my Inbox a bright red color so they literally jump off the screen.

Let's look at ways in both Outlook and Gmail to "color code" important emails.

Outlook: Conditional Formatting to Add Color to Email Notes

DESKTOP OUTLOOK 2019, 2016 & 2010

To add color (or other formatting) to individual received emails:

·     From your Inbox, go to the View tab and click on View Settings.



·     In the Advanced View Settings box, click on Conditional Formatting.

·     In this window, click the Add button and give this "rule" a name. For example, we want to color any emails sent to Support at Tech-Talk.com<mailto:Support at Tech-Talk.com> RED, so we named the rule Support at Tech-Talk.


·     Then click the Font button to open those options.

·     Here you can use any of the styles to change the look of the text of the email when it lands in your Inbox -- the font type, style (like bold), size and color. In the image below, we changed the style to Bold and the color to red.

·     Then click OK (once) to go back to the Conditional Formatting box.

[Email coloring]

Next, you need to tell Outlook what email address to apply this rule to.

·     Click the Condition button. Select the condition(s) under which you want the coloring or font style to apply.

In our example, we want all emails "Sent to" support at tech-talk.com<mailto:support at tech-talk.com> to be colored red when they are viewed in the Inbox .

TIP: There are other ways to filter emails -- by keywords, who they are from and other options in the More Choices and Advanced tabs.

[set filters]

·     Click OK, then OK two more times to close all three open windows. The changes will be applied to email currently in your Inbox, as well as new, incoming ones.

GMAIL -- How to Create Coloring with Labels & Filters

This is a two-step process in Gmail. First, we're going to set up colored Labels (otherwise known as Folders), then associate them with Filters.

Step 1 -- Create and Color the Label

[Gmail labels]

·     From your Gmail account (not the mobile app), go to the gear icon and select Settings from the drop-down menu.

·     Go to the Labels tab and click the Create new label button (mid-way down the page) in the Labels section.

·     Enter a name for your label so that you can identify it if you want to change or delete it and click Create.

·     Go to the list of other labels (folders) in the left side of your Gmail window. Find the new label and click the 3 dots to the right of it. Choose Label color from the list and select a color from the grid.

[color the label]

Step 2 – Set up the Filter

·     Return to the gear icon in the upper right and again, click on Settings.

·     Select the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab and click on the Create a new filter option.

[add filter]

·     Enter the filter conditions for the email… like who the message is "From," "To," or specific words in the subject line or email. In this example, we're adding "Google Alerts" in the has the words field.

·     Click Create filter.

[create filter]

[apply label]

·     In the next window, check the Apply the label box to activate it, and choose the label/folder to apply to the filtered message.

·     To apply the label to messages already in your Inbox, click the Also apply filter to matching messages check box.

·     Then click the Create filter button to complete the process.

Now the email messages that you have identified to be "labeled" in step 1, will appear in your Inbox with that colored label that you created in step 2.

These important emails will be much easier to pick out of the list now!

[colored email]


Communication: Talking & Writing
Would you be willing ... ?

You want someone to do something for you, right? It happens, almost every day!

How can you ask them in a way that will be more likely to yield a "yes" answer? Wouldn't that be a nice trick to have?

The answer is to remember one word: willing.

When you ask, "Are you willing to..." or "Would you be willing to..." you open up conversation and dialogue.

You're asking (or maybe even indirectly telling) someone to do something. And using the word "willing" softens the request and shows more respect. You have a greater chance of gaining concurrence.

So rather than saying something like ...

·     "Will you please take on this task?"
·     "I'd like you to please re-think your position on this project."
·     "You need to handle the next step, please."

Try saying...

·     "Would you be willing to take on this task?"
·     "Would you be willing to re-think your position on this project?"
·     "Would you be willing to handle the next step?"

Yes, saying "please" is always good, but look at the elevated respect you show someone by saying "Would you be willing to" instead of just "please".

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