Note: Make sure you also read the Best Practices for using Autosort

FogBugz AutoSort automatically sorts incoming email into different areas. The simplest way to use FogBugz AutoSort is to separate spam from non-spam, but you can also set it up to divide incoming email into up to seven areas. For example, you could divide incoming mail into four areas: Customer Service, Tech Support, Job Applications, and Spam.

Initially, and when it is not completely sure about a message, the sorter will put messages into the Undecided area. Make sure to move messages out of this area and into other areas within the same project. If you move the cases out of the project, the sorter loses track of the case and can’t learn from your sorting.

After a few dozen emails, FogBugz AutoSort will start doing a pretty good job. With a few days of training you should expect about 99% accuracy separating spam from non-spam. Note that 99% accuracy means that a portion of your spam messages will come through to Undecided or even another visible area. In our view, it’s much more important to show you the messages we are not fully sure about. An unfiltered spam is no big deal. A missed purchase order from a customer is a big deal, so we err on the side of caution.

Setting Up the Email Sorter

To set up simple email sorting, separating Spam from Non-Spam:

  1. Set up a Mailbox in FogBugz, leaving the Autosort default intact. If you’re on FogBugz On Demand, you can optionally skip this step, as you have a built-in mailbox. When you point the Autosorter at a project, it automatically creates three areas in that project: Spam, Not Spam, and Undecided. You can add as many as you want, but we strongly recommend no more than 4 additional areas (7 areas total).
  2. On the Filters menu, choose Inbox to see all your incoming email sorted neatly. (Create a new filter if the mail is in another project.)
  3. Start sorting messages into appropriate areas. After FogBugz has seen fifteen non-spam emails, it has enough data to start autosorting. For the initial period, you might want to keep an eye on the Spam folder for false positives. Every time you move an email, FogBugz will learn a bit more.

If you are trying to sort messages into different areas rather than just filtering spam, you will have the best luck if there are obvious clues in the message, like recurring words or a particular language. Included in these are so-called “bounce” messages and vacation auto-replies. Most heavy users of FogBugz’s email functionality will want to have an “Undeliverable” area. As you sort vacation autoresponses and “message undeliverable” messages into this area, you’ll find the predictable nature of these messages makes them ideal for autosorting.

Details on how the auto-sorter is trained

Nitty-gritties: how training works

For more on email in FogBugz…

Take a look at all of the posts under Handling Incoming Customer Email in the documentation here.