Cut the Clutter with Office 365

Cut the Clutter with Office 365

Cut the Clutter with Office 365

As a hosted desktop provider, we are acutely aware of the issue a lot of us are having with the increasing deluge of email.  There are many tips and tricks out there for getting to the elusive “Inbox Zero,” but for many of us that is simply a bridge too far—what does this mean?  A robust anti-spam product is a great first line of defense, but what about all those nice, but not really important emails you receive on a daily basis?  Microsoft thinks they may have a solution to that problem with a tool that they call Clutter.

Making the announcement earlier this year, Microsoft’s Clutter is a machine learning based system.  It seeks to identify those messages that may not necessarily qualify as SPAM, but aren’t really that important either.  In other words, Clutter. So how does it all work?

First of all, an Office 365 account is needed (sorry, on-premise Exchange will not have this feature.  Microsoft has made it clear that they plan to deprecate the feature set of on-premise Exchange in favor of Office 365).  So right now, Clutter is only available for those organizations who have self enrolled in the “First Release” program.

If this describes you, then all you need do is simply turn Clutter on through the OWA control panel.

  1. Login to using your credentials
  2. Click on the gear icon on the far right of the app selection toolbar
  3. On the left hand navigation pane expand Mail and click on “Clutter”
  4. Select “Separate items identified as Clutter” and choose save

You will now have an additional folder under the Inbox called Clutter (the exact same folder will be added to your regular Outlook client).


What Now?

Now that we have setup Clutter, how do we put it to work?  Well, this is where it gets interesting.  In essence, you don’t really have to do anything from this point forward.  You simply have the machine takeover.  Clutter will continually monitor your overflowing inbox, learning about what you consider to be important.  Over time, your workflow will train Clutter; those messages that will never be opened are simply swept off to the Clutter folder for later review (or more likely to simply be ignored). For those of you who want to give skynet a helping hand, you may simply drag messages to and from the Clutter folder to aid the service in identifying what is important to you.

In the same way, if you are someone who is a heavy user of Outlook rules, don’t fret, as Clutter will fire after all of your rules in the order of operations.  Finally, Clutter will be supported on all platforms: web, thick client and mobile.

If you want more info on Clutter, please checkout the Microsoft blog post HERE.


Adam is a co-founder of Adaptive Solutions and the CEO. He is heavily involved in our Cloud Services division and the daily operations of ASI. An Australian native, he lives in Northern California, is a trivia buff, coaches soccer and spends too much time painting run down houses.

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