How to Share Your Free Times Easily from Outlook for iOS

Cooking Balls
Cooking Balls. Flickr/rexboggs5

Do you trust an algorithm to find the emails that are most important to you? What, after all, do you use? Intuition?

So, do follow your intuition and give Outlook for iOS’s Focused Inbox a try. It will help you get to those important emails faster by putting them on a special inbox tab—and starting you on that tab automatically.

Based on how you have been using email, Outlook for iOS will make a good guess at how you are going to use email: the people you email frequently, for example, will be more important than the newsletter you always delete immediately.

Better Automation Under Your Control

You do not have to trust the mechanical smarts for all mail and times, though. Of course, you will also go over the "other", less important messages—and if you spot one that should be on the "focused" tab, you can easily move it there. The same is true for messages that Outlook for iOS deems important when really they are not: you can move them to the Other tab with a few taps.

Outlook for iOS lets you do more than just move individual misplaced emails, though. Would it not often make sense to have all a sender's messages go to Focused or to Other depending on that sender? Whenever you move one email, Outlook for iOS lets you set up a rule to accomplish just that for future emails. Designating a sender key or less important is this easy.

Turn Focused Inbox On or Off in Outlook for iOS

To choose whether you want Outlook for iOS to guess what emails are most important to you and put them on a special inbox tab:

  1. Go to the Settings tab in Outlook for iOS.
  2. Make sure Focused Inbox is on or off depending on your preference.

Move a Message to the Focused Tab

To put an important email that Outlook for iOS has classified under Other:

  1. Open the message you want to mark important and put on the Focused tab.
  2. Tap the menu button ().
  3. Select Move to Focused Inbox from the menu.
  4. If you want future messages from the same sender to be put on the Focused tab automatically:
    • Select Move & Create Rule on the dialog that has come up.
      • You can find the rule for which Outlook for iOS creates the rule in the dialog.
      • The rule will not be applied to existing emails from the same sender that are on the Other tab; these emails will stay there until you move them one by one.
      • To undo a rule, move a message from the same sender back to the Focused tab (see below) and make sure you select Move & Create Rule.
  5. If you want to move only this message for now (and not set up a rule for the future):
    • Select Move Only in the Move to Focused Inbox? dialog.

Move a Message to the "Other" Tab

To relegate an email Outlook for iOS has put in your Focused inbox when you do not actually need or want to focus on it at all:

  1. Open the email you want to move to the Other tab.
  2. Tap the menu button ().
  3. Select Move to Non-Focused Inbox from the menu that has appeared.
    1. To move the message and set up a filter that makes sure future emails from the same sender (you can find the address in the dialog) do not appear under.
      • Focused (but on the Other tab instead):
  4. Select Move & Create Rule from the dialog’s menu.
    • Note that only the current email and future messages will be moved; other emails from the same sender that already are under Focused will stay there.
  5. To undo a filter so set up, move an email from the same sender to the Focused inbox and set up a rule. (See above.)
  6. To move only the message you have opened:
    • Select Move Only on the dialog that comes up.

(Updated July 2015)