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Author Topic: Organizing your PMs with Rules and Labels  (Read 2069 times)

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Offline CaeliTopic starter

Organizing your PMs with Rules and Labels
« on: April 27, 2011, 01:48:05 AM »
{ Organizing Your PMs }

For most of us, organizing our PMs isn't a thought that comes through our minds until we have way too many messages to make it an easy task. Unfortunately, organizing your inbox isn't easy - Elliquiy's forums don't have a very customizable system of rules and labels, and can sometimes be very clunky, especially since it's also not possible to alphabetize.

But, for those of you in dire need of organization, read on! I shall be instructing you on the process of creating and editing labels (which are synonymous in function as folders), creating and editing rules (which work like filters), and other related tips.



{ table of contents }

post o1. table of contents
post o2. on labels
post o3. on rules
post o4. on other miscellaneous things



This tutorial was created to answer general questions about the easiest (and currently only) way to organize your inbox short of deleting all of your messages.

Please send all errors or suggestions to Caeli.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Organizing Your PMs On Labels
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2011, 01:48:24 AM »
{ On Labels }

Everything in this tutorial is done within the Private Messages area of your account. To get there, find "My Messages" in your navigation menu and click on it, or "Read Your Messages"; for our purposes, either will work and will take you to the same place. We will be working strictly in the Preferences section, so familiarize yourself with it!

Labels work much like GMail's label system. They can be applied manually, or they can be automatically applied by using rules. Rules and labels do not necessarily have to be created together. You can also apply and remove labels selectively for individual PMs. Note that it is NOT possible at this time to alphabetize or re-arrange your labels without manually editing each one to replace each other in the list, so keep this in mind when creating labels.

Next, it will be helpful to make a list of categories you would like to organize your inbox by. I found it helpful to organize my inbox according to its sender (so I would create a list of members who I regularly corresponded with), to its function (including Templates, Mentoring-Related, Admin-Related, Newspaper-Related, etc.), and to its importance (Respond ASAP, Look at When Convenient). You should figure out a system that works for you, and stick to it; as mentioned previously, re-organizing is not only a huge pain, it's a pretty tedious undertaking.

After you have your list, it's time to create your labels. In your inbox, find the Preferences section, and click Manage Labels.



{ creating labels }

The first screen you'll see after entering the menu is this.



The top area is the description - self-explanatory. The second section will hold labels that you have already created. The third section at the bottom, Add New Labels, is where we'll be working.

To add a new label, type the name of your label into the text box, then click the "Add New Label" button to save. Your label will appear in the second section, Label Names.



Repeat this as many times as labels are needed. After you add a few, you should have something like this:



Your labels will also show up on the left menu, in the Labels section between Messages and Actions.



Read the remainder of this post to learn how to edit or remove labels; or, move onto the next post to learn how to create rules.



{ rename your labels }

If you want to rename your label, go to the area directly beneath Label Name. All of your labels will be in text boxes as you had added them; ignore the checkboxes to the right for now.

To rename, all you have to do is replace the old name by typing the new name in the text box, then hitting the Save button. You can do this to as many labels as you would like at one time - you don't have to save after renaming one label.

You do NOT need to click the checkboxes to save the name. Just make sure you click the save button!





{ delete your labels }

If you wish to remove a label, you can do this from the Manage Labels section as well.

Click the checkbox in the same row as the corresponding label. Do this for every label you wish to remove. (If you wish to delete all of your labels, you can click the checkbox in the blue section header to "click" all of the checkboxes at once.)

After filling in the checkboxes, hit the Remove Selected button.



Those labels will then disappear from both the side menu and your menu of labels.

Deleting your labels will NOT delete the messages that had that label applied to them.



{ alphabetizing your labels }

... is not possible. There IS a way to do this, but it's not so much "alphabetizing" your labels as it is renaming them in your menu until the labels are in alphabetical order. It's very tedious and it's not recommended, but if you want to try, feel free to PM me. I promise, you won't be troublesome or a bother at all. :)




After you create labels and rules, you can click on your labels from your inbox to filter your messages so that you will only view messages within that label.

Messages can also be affected by multiple labels.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 02:05:29 AM by Caeli »

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Organizing Your PMs On Rules
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2011, 01:49:07 AM »
{ On Rules }

Rules are filters that automatically send messages to specific "folders" (the labels" in your inbox. There are several different criteria that you can apply to sort and label your messages (listed below).

Sender Name
Sender's Group
Message Subject Contains...
Message Body Contains...
Sender is Buddy

You can optionally apply more than one criteria per rule. When you have multiple criteria, you can choose to meet any or all of the criteria before applying an action:

Label Message With...
Delete Message

For the purposes of this tutorial, we will not be using the "Delete Message" action. However, it does have its own uses in certain situations (e.g., you want to delete all PMs from a specific member), so it should not be dismissed as useless.



{ creating rules: the individual components }

The first screen you'll see after entering the menu is this.



The top area is the description - again, self-explanatory. The second section will hold rules that you have already created (in the image above, there is nothing because there are no rules in place yet). Click Add New Rule to reach this next screen:



There are several pieces here, so we'll go over them one by one.

Name
First, in the textbox across from Name, type the name of the rule. This is how it will show up in the previous page. I hope this doesn't need to be said, but you will probably have an easier time if you name your rules something more specific than "Rule 1", "Rule 2", and so on. :P

Criteria
Criteria are the variables that will decide whether or not your incoming messages will be labeled. Again, your options are the following (as shown below):



Sender Name
Sender's Group
Message Subject Contains...
Message Body Contains...
Sender is Buddy

When checking for criteria, you can choose to have Any criteria can be met or to have All criteria must be met. It's relatively self-explanatory, but this is only important if you have more than one criteria (explained in a later section).

Actions
For the purposes of this tutorial, we will only be using the Label message with action. From here, you will be prompted to select one of your existing labels from a drop-down menu.

Description
The description section can be found below the main body of the rule, and can be quite handy. As you select your criteria and actions, the description will change to describe which messages will be sorted, and how.





{ creating rules: sorting by criteria }

Creating new rules with any criteria will involve the same steps - you will name your rule, choose your criteria, type in the username/keyword/phrase (as applicable), select your action (label your message, mainly), choose your label, and then save your rule.



To Sort Messages By Sender...
To sort messages by sender, select the Sender Name criteria from the drop-down menu. In the blank field, type in the exact name (not a nickname) of the Elliquiy member here. Under 'Actions', choose Label message with from the drop-down menu and then select your label from the dropdown menu on the right. Click Save Rule.

To Sort Messages By Message Subject...
To sort messages by the PM's subject title, select the Message Subject Contains criteria from the drop-down menu. In the blank field, include some keyword or phrase that will trigger this rule. Under 'Actions', choose Label message with from the drop-down menu and then select your label from the dropdown menu on the right. Click Save Rule.

To Sort Messages By Message Body...
To sort messages by what's in the body of the PM, select the Message Body Contains criteria from the drop-down menu. In the blank field, include some keyword or phrase that will trigger this rule. Under 'Actions', choose Label message with from the drop-down menu and then select your label from the dropdown menu on the right. Click Save Rule.

To Sort Messages From Your Buddies Into One Folder...
To sort messages all messages from your buddies into one folder, select the Sender is Buddy criteria from the drop-down menu. Under 'Actions', choose Label message with from the drop-down menu and then select your label from the dropdown menu on the right. Click Save Rule.

To Sort Messages By Sender Group...
To sort messages by the membergroup of the sender (Lord, Champion, Mentor, Goddess, etc.) select the Sender's Group criteria from the drop-down menu. From the dropdown menu, choose which membergroup whose messages you wish to have sorted. Under 'Actions', choose Label message with from the drop-down menu and then select your label from the dropdown menu on the right. Click Save Rule.



{ creating rules: rules with multiple criteria }

To add more than one criteria per rule, click Add Criteria (underneath the drop-down). Another line will show up, and you will repeat the previous steps to choose what your criteria will be.

When you have multiple criteria, you can select which messages fitting your criteria will be labeled/filtered.

Choosing All criteria must be met means that every criteria listed in the rule must be met in order for the label to apply.

Choosing Any criteria can be met means that any one of the criteria you have listed in the rule can be met in order for the label to apply.

An application of this rule can be found in the example image below.





{ modifying rules }

To modify rules that already exist, click on the rule you wish to modify from the Manage Rules main page. This will take you back to a page that looks almost identical to the page you reached when you added a new rule, with the exception that your criteria and actions have already been selected.

Make any changes to the existing conditions for the rule, then click Save Rule.

Changing a rule will not affect how previous messages were sorted and labeled.

In order to apply this modified rule to your messages, you must use the Apply Rules Now link (described two sections down).



{ deleting rules }

Deleting a rule is similar to deleting a label. On the Managing Rules main page, click the checkboxes corresponding to the rule that you wish to delete. Again, if you wish to delete all of your rules, you can do so by clicking the checkbox in the header, which will 'click' all of the checkboxes so you don't have to do it one by one.

After that, just click the Delete Selected Rules button. The selected rules will disappear from the page.



Deleting a rule will not delete any messages from your inbox.



{ apply rules to your inbox }

Elliquiy's rules feature allows you to retroactively apply your rule to the existing messages in your inbox. To do this, click the Apply Rules Now button (between 'Add New Rules' and 'Delete Selected Rules'); this will bring up a dialogue box from your browser, prompting you. Click OK if you wish to apply ALL of your rules to your messages; click cancel if you've made a mistake.



As a note, there is no option to apply only selected rules to your inbox.




And that's it for labels! For a few other tidbits and tricks, move on to the next and final post in this tutorial.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2011, 02:03:33 AM by Caeli »

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Organizing Your PMs On Other Miscellaneous Things
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2011, 01:49:27 AM »
{ On Other Miscellaneous Things }

{ sending messages directly to your labels (and skipping the inbox) }

If you follow all the steps from the previous two posts, you will have rules that will label your messages - but they will still show up in your inbox. If you wish to send messages directly into the "folders" created by your labels, you can do so by changing your personal message settings. You can find the Change Settings option in the 'Preferences' area, underneath the 'Manage Labels' and 'Manage Rules' links.

Once there, you will see a screen with a variety of useful options to personalize the way you can view your inbox. The option we're concerned with is at the verry bottom, and reads, Remove the inbox label when applying another label. Make sure the box next to this option is CHECKED; if it is not, do so now.

Click the Change Settings button to save your preferences.



You will have to apply your rules for this to affect all of your current labeled messages.