How to Setup Email Filters for RFP / Job Alerts

By Rob Williams

Occasionally someone asks me about filtering Folyo projects for them based on a specific niche or keyword. The great thing about Folyo running on email, is that it’s easy to setup this kind of thing with normal email automation and rules.

If you use Gmail for example, here’s how to create a filter targeting any keywords or niches you like, so that only Folyo emails with that keyword arrive in your inbox.

1. Open Gmail and login if necessary.

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2. Click the gear icon and select Settings.

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3. Click Filters and Blocked Addresses from the top.

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4. Click Create a new filter.

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5. Select how you’d like the mail to be filtered. In this example, I’m going to keep it simple and just add The New Yorker to the section marked Has the words.

words

6. Click Create filter with this search.

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7. Check Skip the Inbox and Apply the label.

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8. Select an existing label or create a new one. 
I’m going to create one called Subscriptions and then press the Create button.

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9. Press Create filter. Optionally, you can apply this to your archived mail by checking the box next to the Create filter button.

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This will let you get a subset of the projects I send in your inbox and this is just scratching the surface.

The possibilities are endless.

For example, you can even receive a text message alert, when there’s a new Folyo project by following these steps:

Step one: Determine your phone’s email address

Your phone’s SMS “address” is your 10-digit number followed by your carrier’s SMS gateway. Here’s an abbreviated list of carrier SMS gateways:

  • AT&T: [your number]@txt.att.net
  • MetroPCS: [your number]@mymetropcs.com
  • Nextel: [your number]@messaging.nextel.com
  • Sprint: [your number]@messaging.sprintpcs.com OR [your number]@pm.sprint.com
  • T-Mobile: [your number]@tmomail.net
  • Verizon: [your number]@vtext.com
  • Virgin Mobile: [your number]@vmobl.com
  • U.S. Cellular: [your number]@email.uscc.net

Step two: Forward Folyo’s emails to your phone

For Gmail users: Start by adding your phone’s email address to Gmail’s list of forwarding addresses. Choose the gear icon in the top-right corner, click Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP, and select “Add a forwarding address.” Enter your phone’s SMS-gateway address, such as “5555555555@txt.att.net”. Click Next, and then choose Proceed.

A confirmation number will be sent to your phone via a text message. Enter the code in the “confirmation code” box in Gmail’s Forwarding settings and click Verify. The address will then appear in the drop-down list next to “Forward a copy of incoming mail to.” You can choose to keep the message in the Gmail inbox, mark the Gmail copy as read, archive the Gmail copy, or delete the Gmail copy.

Next, click the Filters tab and choose “Create a new filter” at the bottom of the window. Enter the email address of the person whose messages you want to be notified about in the From field and click “Create filter with this search.”

Gmail Filter from Folyo
Gmail Filter from Folyo
Gmail create-filter dialog
Add the address from which you want messages forwarded to your phone in Gmail’s filter wizard.Dennis O’Reilly/CNET

Check the “Forward it to” box in the next dialog box, choose your SMS gateway address in the “Choose an address” drop-down list, and select “Create filter.”

Gmail create-filter dialog, part 2
Select your phone’s “address” in the Forwarding drop-down list and click “Create filter.”Dennis O’Reilly/CNET

Microsoft Outlook: Create a rule that forwards messages from a specific address to your phone’s SMS gateway. To open the rules wizard in Outlook 2013 and 2010, click File > Info > Manage Rules & Alerts. In Outlook 2007 and 2003, select Tools > Rules and Alerts. Click E-mail Rules > New Rule, select the option to “Start from a blank rule,” check “Apply rules on messages I receive,” and click Next.

Choose either “From people or public group” or “From people or distribution list,” depending on your version of Outlook, and select any other conditions you wish to apply to the rule. Click either “people or public group” or “people or distribution list” in the Step 2 window. Select the sender’s address from your Contacts list or enter it in the From text box at the bottom of the window. Click OK and then Next.

Under “What do you want to do with the message?”, check “Forward it to people or public group” (or “people or distribution list”). Select “people or public group” or “people or distribution list” in the Step 2 window, enter your phone’s SMS gateway address in the To field at the bottom of the dialog box, and click OK.

Microsoft Outlook rules wizard
Enter your phone’s SMS gateway address in Microsoft Outlook’s message-forwarding rules wizard.Dennis O’Reilly/CNET

Click Finish if you want to be notified of all messages from the address, or click Next to add one or more exceptions for your rule. For example, you could exclude alerts for messages that have a specific word in the subject line, or that don’t have your name in the To field. Once you’re satisfied with the rule, click OK to exit the rules wizard.

Outlook.com: Sign into your account, choose the gear icon in the top-right corner of the window, and select “More mail settings.” Under Customizing Outlook, click “Rules for sorting new messages” and then choose New. By default, “Sender’s address” and “is” are selected in the top drop-down menus. Add the address of the sender whose messages you want to be notified of in the third text box under Step 1 of the rules wizard.

Under “Step 2: What action do you want to apply?”, choose “Forward to,” enter your phone’s SMS gateway address in the text box to the right, and click Save to add the rule.

Outlook.com rules wizard
Create a rule in Outlook.com that forwards messages from a particular sender to your phone’s SMS gateway address.Dennis O’Reilly/CNET

You may need to create a separate rule to retain a copy of the forwarded messages in your inbox. I didn’t get consistent results when I tested this feature.

OS X Mail: Click Mail > Preferences > Rules > Add Rule. Give the rule a name, and then choose “From” in first drop-down, “Contains” in the second drop-down, and the sender’s email address in the text box on the right.

Select “Forward message” in the “Perform the following actions” drop-down, enter your SMS address in the “to” text box, add a message (if you wish), and click OK. Finally, choose either Apply or Don’t Apply.

That’s it!

About Rob Williams...

I run Folyo which helps freelance designers find the work they were meant to do. I also host Freelance a podcast about how to be more effective at independent work featuring remote companies like Disney, Basecamp, YNAB, ConvertKit and more.

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