You can easily set up your email system to automatically sort your incoming mail into different inboxes.

This is the most efficient way to use any distribution list or newsletter subscription -- not just emails -- and can be used to manage incoming mail related to certain subjects or people. With pre-sorted mail, you can efficiently deal with similar messages together.

Periodically open each of your "inbox" folders and scan the new messages by subject line or author. Delete the ones you are not interested in. Open the others. Reply, save, or delete as appropriate.

Once you take a few minutes to set up your email to automatically sort your incoming mail into a few "inbox" folders, you will never go back to having one overwhelming random inbox!

How to do it:

1. Create a couple of new folders in your email program. (Depending on your email system, you can name a folder with a number, exclamation point, period, or hyphen as the first character -- so that it will be first in the list of folders.)

2. Make filters. You have to experiment a bit -- for example some email filters ignore punctuation characters, like the [Square brackets] in email list subject lines.

- Gmail............ Gear icon > "Settings" > "Filters and Blocked Addresses" > "Create a new filter"

- Yahoo Mail.... Gear icon > "More Settings" > "Filters" > "Add new filters"

- Outlook......... Gear icon > "View all Outlook settings" > "Rules" > "Add new rule"

- Apple Mail..... Open selected message > "Mail" menu > "Preferences" > "Rules" > "Add Rule"

- AOL Mail....... Options > "Mail Settings" > "Filter Settings" > "Create Filter"

3. If you currently are receiving the eList in Digest Mode, request to change over to "Immediate Mode".  To do this, send an email to Suzy at with "change to Immediate Mode" in the subject line, and she will make the change for you in a timely manner.

4. When you’re ready to catch up on the eList discussion, all the posts are readily available in one convenient location, safely separated from the maddening spam.

(Corrections to the instructions are very welcome. Please send them to me off-list at

--Curt, eList tech support


return to the How-to-eList page

return to home page


updated 3/24/21 by LLA from Curt Gowan's webpage.  (Thnx, Curt!)