Yes I AM Ignoring You

We’ve all been there before – probably more times than we care to think about:  That annoying email lands in our mailbox – an email that we just know is going to result in an entire useless, time-sucking stream of ‘replies to all’, requiring us to delete, delete, and delete some more.  For me, these emails usually go like this: I’m on vacation, somewhere far, far away from the office.  But never far enough that I’m out of email range, unfortunately.

My new email notification buzzes and off I run to see what’s up at the office (the fact that I can’t ignore my email even when I’m on holidays – that’s an entirely different column…).  Only to find that, no, the network isn’t falling apart, but that there are snacks in the kitchen, free for the taking (despite the fact that I’ve marked myself ‘out’ in Outlook).   This email is soon followed by the reply to all chorus of ‘thank you’ and ‘oh yeahs’, as everyone at the office rushes to grab the free goodies before they disappear.  Everyone but me, because, well, of course, I can’t – I’m not there.

Your email hell is likely somewhat different, but the result is the same – a mailbox crammed, not just with irrelevant emails, but also useless replies.  Time to delete, delete, delete.  Except I don’t do that any longer – now I just ‘Ignore’.

Outlook 2010 has a great little function available to everyone who uses the program and it does just what it says it does – marks a received email as ‘ignored’ (moves it to Trash), and dutifully, automatically, does the same with every reply to that email, with no further work on your part.  It’s just too easy not to employ – generously.

To ignore a received email, simply do the following:

  • Right-click on the offending email in the mail list
  • Click ‘ignore’ from the pop-up menu
  • If it’s your first time, decide if you want to see the pop-up warning in the future by clicking or not clicking the ‘Do not show again’ box


Alternatively, on Outlook’s ‘Home’ tab, in the ‘Delete’ group, click ‘Ignore’.


And that’s it.  Email is gone along with any future replies to it.

Blessed inbox silence.

Something to keep in mind: Outlook invokes the ‘ignore’ function based on the subject line of the email.  So, if one of the replies changes the subject line, that email will *not* be ignored and will land in your mailbox.  And something else to keep in mind: Outlook doesn’t care if there is a reply that you might *want* to read – all replies in the conversation will be sent to the Deleted Items folder.

Microsoft has provided a quick 2 minute video on how easy this Outlook 2010 function is to invoke.

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