Do you use Microsoft Outlook in your company? Are you interested in gaining maximum effect out of what you do?
We bring you eight proven tips for easier work with Outlook together with a little list of its useful functions.
Use keyboard shortcuts
You can find keyboard shortcuts for more effective work in Outlook, just like in Word or Excel. Here is the list of those most common:
• Ctrl + R – reply to an e-mail
• Alt + R – reply all
• Alt + W – forward an e-mail
• Shift + F9 – send and receive all
• Alt + S – send an e-mail
• Ctrl + G – go to any date on your calendar
You can find list of other shortcuts here.
Set up an out of office e-mail
If you plan to be away and not available, you need to let people know – otherwise, they will get angry, and you may lose valuable clients. We suggest referring to your colleague or anyone they can turn to instead. The out of office feature comes in handy in the event of business travel or illness, too. Here is how it works. Go to File > Info (or Tools in Outlook 2003/2007) and click Automatic Replies. In the new window, type in your message and specify a time range for the message to be sent in. You can also set up different messages to your colleagues and outside of your company. This will save you a lot of trouble when you return to the office.
Use notifications only for important e-mails
Notifications that pop up all the time are more irritating than practical. If you don’t want to miss important e-mails, you can switch off all universal notifications through settings in File > Rules and notifications. Then you can create a new rule to display only e-mails from chosen contacts.
Set up your own signature in e-mail
Do you like the professional look that e-mail gets when the sender adds their signature and the logo of the company? Do you want to automatize the inserting of the signature and set a unified design? Microsoft Outlook gives you the function called Signatures where you can set all you need. Click the File tab and select Options where you need to go to the Mail section. Click the Signatures… button. Click the New button in the Signatures and Stationery window and insert the name of the signature (e.g. Business). In the same dialog, select the type of messages where you want to add signature (new e-mails or response, too), using the Choose default signature section. There is an editor in the bottom part of the window where you can create your own signature. You can use different fonts, images, or HTML links. Confirm your signature by OK.
Use e-mail templates and QuickParts function
If you use the same wording often, consider saving a draft through File > Save As… > Outlook template. What’s more, you can use Quick Parts function (Insert > Quick Parts), through which you can save parts of your text for insertion into the e-mail body. Besides saving your time, it prevents you from making the same errors when writing the same text over and over again.
Create a new item through text in clipboard
You can copy any text into the clipboard and in Outlook press Ctrl + V. Outlook will create a new e-mail (note or any other item depending on which directory you are in) titled in the same way as copied text. It is much shorter than creating a new item and copying the text after.
Set up time of sending your e-mails
Do you need to delay sending of your e-mails? While composing a message, select the More options arrow from the Tags group in the Ribbon. Under Delivery options, select the Do not deliver before check box, and then click the delivery date and time that you want. Set a date and time to deliver your message.
How to use Quick Steps?
Use Outlook's Quick Steps which Microsoft introduced with Outlook 2010. They're shortcuts, which can be used as a multi-step action, for example moving emails to a chosen folder or forwarding an email to your team. You can even create your own Quick Step actions but be aware that Quick Steps cannot be undone using a menu command or with a keyboard shortcut like Ctrl+Z. This is because Quick Steps can contain actions such as Permanently Delete that are not able to be undone.
Flag more emails in one step
Flag your messages in a fast way. If you select one or more messages you can hit insert key to flag them or mark them as read.
Make your search easier
You can create extra search folders for most frequently accessed emails, be it emails from your management or a chosen company. And you can save any item you search often for quick access. All you have to do is Click on Search Folders in the left navigation menu, then select New Search Folder and customize the search.
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