Background

A lot of emails that get synchronized into Planhat are irrelevant noise. The most prominent examples are calendar invites, “do-not-reply” automatic confirmation emails, and out-of-office. Moreover, there are cases where a user might want to filter out other emails from synchronizing using more dynamic keyword-based rules (e.g., when the subject contains “Board room material”).

Solution

A new setting under Settings > Email > Filtering > Email specific rules allows users to create custom filters to prevent a defined set of emails to be synchronized to Planhat. This includes some off-the-shelf templates (e.g., calendar invites, do-not-reply, out-of-office) and ability to “create from scratch” and build keyword-based filters in either the “body”, “sender”, or “subject”.

Logic: if an email follows specified rules, then it will not be synchronized into Planhat.

  • The rules are keyword-based

  • Filter can follow an "Any" or "All" logic (OR / AND) and be grouped

  • Users can set up a keyword search on three different email locations:

    • “Body”: inside the email text (not incl. attachments’ names or content)

    • “Sender”: the user or end user email address

    • “Subject”: email headline

  • The rule can be built with four different operators - and their inverses ("not"):

    • “Starts with”: specified keyword(s) of string length n equals the first n characters in a specified email location (e.g., “body”)**

    • “Ends with”: specified keyword(s) of string length n equals the last n characters in a specified email location (e.g.,” body”). This will include email signatures, if in “body” location.

    • “Contains”: specified keyword(s) exists anywhere in the specified email location

    • “Equal to”: the content in the specified email location exactly matches the specified keyword(s) (e.g., if the keyword is “Follow-up” set for location “subject”, then the rule is true if the exact subject is “Follow-up” - not “Follow-up!”)

  • The keywords are not sensitive to upper or lower case letters (e.g., if the specified keyword is “hello” then email with keyword “Hello” would also be filtered)


📌 Important to note!

Be aware that keywords will follow throughout the thread. One example is if setting a filter for automatic calendar invites emails based on "Subject contains 'Invitation'" - now if someone replies to that calendar invite with "real content", that response will also be filtered out from Planhat.

👑 Pro-tips!

  • Use "All"-logic to create powerful combinations, like "Sender CONTAINS 'Scrive'" AND "Subject CONTAINS 'Contract'" - here, only automated contract-related emails from Scrive are excluded while other emails on contracts are synchronized

  • Look for specific identifiers for standardized emails to block out, e.g., G Suite calendar invites all have a phrase at the bottom ("To stop receiving these emails, please log in to https://calendar.google.com/calendar/...") which is a string 1) found in all such emails, while 2) being highly unlikely to be written elsewhere

  • Use "Subject DOES NOT START WITH 'Re: '" to avoid replies to otherwise automated emails be filtered out (e.g., if someone replies to a calendar invite with a "real" message like "What should the agenda be for this meeting?")

Interface and support: in Settings > Email > Filtering a user can see all the defined filters and select which ones to activate or deactivate. Moreover, the user can preview which currently synchronized emails would fall under the specified rule, either by:

  1. Pressing the (i) icon next to the specified rule (it may take a few seconds for the emails to load, during which time the user will see the text “No email matching this filter”)

  2. When the user saves the newly created filter, at which point they can choose to either:

    1. Apply the filter to new emails only

    2. Apply the filter retroactively to emails already synchronized into Planhat

Permissions: only modifiable by users with admin access.

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