Office 365 – New Clutter Mailbox Feature

Just wanted to take a bit of time out here just to give you an idea of what the new clutter feature is in Office 365 mailboxes and why it is a classic example of why lots and lots of people are choosing the cloud. Clutter is currently rolling out as I write this blog and the roadmap is showing more admin controls coming over the feature but for anyone who has enabled their tenant for first release you can more than likely turn this feature on now for your mailbox.

Turning on the feature is simple procedure that is done by the user:

  1. Log into Office 365 OWA
  2. Open the options in OWA

  3. Under Mail heading click on Clutter, enable it and then save

This will create a new folder in your mailbox which you will see appear in your Outlook clients, mobile apps etc. You can then drag and drop the messages that you deem less important than others into this folder and clutter will start to learn the patterns of the types of emails that you clutter and will start to automatically drop the emails into clutter over time using Azure machine learning. I have added it as a favourite folder in Outlook:

The clutter feature is basically a way or prioritising the email that lands into your mailbox. It is not a junk email feature which should be blocking the emails that you never really want to read but keep just in case of a false positive blocking an email that you want but the system decides is SPAM. This is the middle ground where emails are not necessarily junk but do not need your immediate attention but are some that you can look over when you have a bit of downtime, perhaps during a commute or a particularly boring presentation!

A classic example that I use with this is the Yammer top conversations email that I have set to receive every three days or so. This is a useful email as it always seems to contain a number of really useful conversations that are happening around the company which include lessons learned, new tips and tricks that I don’t want to miss but I does not need my immediate attention. Another example is a company informational announcement. Important, but not essential that I read it right there and then.

Obviously because of the machine learning that clutter uses, this is a feature that is only available to Office 365 cloud users. Will this feature come to on premise? We will simply have to wait and see, as the machine learning element of clutter takes a lot of computing processing I would have thought but I would not say it is impossible that it will never come to on premise, but the point is that Office 365 mailboxes can start using this feature now and not have to wait for updates or new releases to their on premise Exchange.


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