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Email Management: Trim the Fat

Email comes from so many sources: campus and departmental announcements, student-faculty exchanges, timesheet notifications to supervisors, discussion list subscriptions, document attachments from colleagues, and the seemingly endless junk mail (or spam).

Each type can be handled in a way that will assist you in management and reduce the burden on the server. The instructions below are intentionally brief. If you need additional assistance, call or email the Help Desk (413.559.5418 or to request assistance or schedule an appointment with a computer support specialist.

Spam --We’ll begin with the easiest to tackle. Hampshire maintains a server-wide spam filter. See the Spam Filter page for details about setting up and configuring it for your account. If the filter doesn’t catch everything, one of Thunderbird’s handy features is “Junk Mail Controls”. This email client can be taught to know what you consider to be junk, if it gets through the spam filter. Please see page 3 of the Using Thunderbird handout for information on junk mail controls.

Using Folders --Mail can be manually moved out of the Inbox and into its own folder, either on the server (so you can see it from multiple computers) or on your own computer if you always use the same one.

  • Thunderbird : Instructions for creating local folders in Thunderbird are on Page 1 of the Using Thunderbird handout.
  • Webmail : Click on the “Folders” link to create a new folder. Then, check the box next to a message you want to move and choose the folder you created from the “Messages to” dropdown box. Click “Move”.

Message Rules or Filters --For mail that you receive in volume from the same sources on a regular basis (e.g. discussion lists, faculty/staff announcements, etc.) you can create rules to move messages automatically to folders either on the server or on your computer.

  • Thunderbird : Select “Message Filters” from the Tools menu. Click on the “New…” button. Give the filter a name (e.g. Faculty Digest). Fill in the Match criteria in the middle section, and tell Thunderbird what to do with the message if it matches in the “Perform these actions” section. Click OK to save the filter. You can test whether you got it just right by selecting the filter from the list and click on the “Run Now” button. Messages in your mailbox should move to the folder you specified.
  • Webmail : Click on the Options link. In the Mail Management section, select “Filters”. Click on the “Edit your filter rules” link on the page that includes options for when the rules will apply, and whether you will by notified. In the “Rule Definition” section on the next page, fill in the rules you want to apply to messages and click the “Create” button. Lastly, click “Apply All Rules”.

Contact Us

Information Technology
Harold F. Johnson Library Center
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Fax 413.559.5419

© 2014 Hampshire College 893 West Street Amherst, MA 01002 . 413.549.4600