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Published On: July 21, 2021 by Blake Schwank

Microsoft Outlook Tips and Tricks

Millions of people rely on Microsoft Outlook to manage their mails and calendars at home or work. While it may be a popular email app, not many people know how to make the most out of its features. Learning some simple Microsoft Outlook tips and tricks can help you work more efficiently and save. Here are the top 10 tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Outlook.

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Microsoft Outlook Tips: Rules

You can save some precious time by pre-determining how particular incoming messages are processed. This is possible courtesy of the Rules option, which allows setting conditions for similar messages. It is possible, for example, to have automatically:

  • Delete a message
  • Forward a mail
  • Assign a message to a category
  • Move an incoming mail to a folder

To achieve these actions in Microsoft Outlook, click on the incoming mail and go to the Rules dropdown in the Move section on the Home tab. Go to Create Rule to see all sorts of criteria to apply when creating the new rule. They include recipient, sender, date, size, and date of the mail, and more. Next, choose what should happen to the emails that match the given criteria.

Microsoft Outlook Tips: Favorite folders

One way to access your most commonly accessed folders in the shortest time possible is by moving them to Favorites. But first, you will need to create a folder and name it accordingly depending on the type of emails you receive. For instance, you can have emails from a particular recipient in a single folder.

To move this folder to Favorites, you can simply click on the mail and drag then drop it in the Favorites folder. Every time you wish to quickly access this email, you click on Favorites, instead of having to scroll through hundreds or thousands of emails in your inbox.

Microsoft Outlook Tips: Convert email to task

You can also get the most out of Outlook by turning emails into tasks, such as reminders. This feature helps you to access that particular email faster later and acts as a reminder for the action you need to undertake after reading the email.

To convert email into a task, open the mail, then proceed to the Message tab and click on Follow up. Alternatively, you can drag the email to the Task folder on the left of the Outlook window. Remember to set the task, such as Reminder, before logging off.

Convert email to an appointment

The process of converting emails to appointments is similar to turning a mail into a task, only that this time, you visit the calendar option in the navigation pane. Click on the mail you would like to set as an appointment and drag it to the calendar, dropping it on the date of the appointment. When you drop it on the calendar, a pop-up will appear with options to choose whether to copy as an appointment with a text, shortcut, or as a meeting with request.

Read aloud

You can as well activate the Read Aloud feature on Outlook to listen to the email, rather than having to read it yourself. This can be quite convenient when you have other ongoing tasks, and you don’t want to disengage to attend to an incoming email.

To access the Read Aloud feature, go to File, then Options, and select Ease of Access. You can then activate the Read Aloud option, so the app can read the mail out to you.

Dictation

If you can have the email read to you by the app, you may also want to reply to the email without having to type anything. On the Message option in the menu, navigate to Dictate, aptly represented by a small microphone. It works the same way Text-to-Speech does, so you will have to speak out the punctuation marks to insert them into your text as you dictate.

Delay delivery

If you don’t want to bother your colleagues outside working hours or have some news you don’t want to share at the moment, make use of the Delay Delivery feature on Outlook. To access this feature, write your email, as you would in ordinary circumstances. Next, click on the Options tab, and a fly-out menu will appear showing Delay Delivery. Lastly, specify the time or date you want the mail to be delivered.

Quick steps

Manage recurring tasks such as forwarding incoming emails to your colleagues, or inviting several recipients to a scheduled meeting, using the Quick Steps feature. You can make use of the pre-defined conditions in the Home tab, but you can set your own.

On the dropdown arrow, select New Quick-Step, and create your sequence of actions, so the app can categorize, flag, move or delete messages with a single click or touch of a button. This feature can save you lots of time as you can quickly accomplish certain actions, such as inviting a group of people to a meeting.

Quick parts

The official mails you send out may contain a standard block of text, such as “I hope this email finds you well”. Instead of having to type it into every email you send, you can automate it through the Quick Parts option.

Type and highlight the text in the composer window, then click the Insert tab to unfurl the ribbon menu. Select Quick Parts and choose Save Selection to Quick Parts gallery. A pop-up frame will appear, from which you click OK to save the changes. When you start typing the Quick Parts text in the future, it will pop up as a suggestion.

Quick access toolbar

One of the best ways to save time and energy in Outlook is to utilize the Quick Access Toolbar. This handy toolbar is located at the very top of the Outlook window, and you can click on the drop-down arrow to add or remove items to the toolbar. You can also customize the quick access toolbar from the compose email window by adding commonly used actions to the bar.

Outlook can do much more than you can imagine, and save you lots of time and energy if you know the features to exploit. Make use of these features to enhance your experience with this great email app. If you need more information, please contact us.

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