10 Microsoft Outlook Tips to Improve Productivity and Increase Your Efficiency
You probably start your day by going through your email, checking your calendar, syncing, or looking for potential leads and clients’ contacts. For many modern workplaces, this is a daily routine. With so many tools to facilitate this routine, Microsoft Outlook has stood out for many businesses.
Microsoft Outlook is a Microsoft app that you can use to send, receive, and store emails. It can also manage personal data, including calendar appointments, journals, contacts, notes, and tasks. Microsoft Outlook can be accessed as an application in Microsoft 365 or as a stand-alone application. Microsoft Outlook is not free. You must pay a subscription fee to use it.
With many organizations currently using Microsoft Outlook, having a faster and more efficient way of accessing app features and tools has become crucial.
Check out our latest video to learn about time-saving tips to use on Microsoft Outlook:
Which 10 Tips Should You Use to Increase Your Efficiency with Microsoft Outlook?
A rule is an action Microsoft Outlook automatically performs on sent or received emails based on its specific conditions. Rules in Outlook help you to:
- Move messages from specific contacts into a different folder other than your Inbox.
- Flag or assign messages with a particular word in the subject to specific categories.
- Forward specific messages to a contact or group.
- Delete messages.
To create a rule in Outlook: Right-click on the message and select Rules > Create Rule.
You can also:
- Click Home > Rules.
- Select Create Rule from the drop-down menu.
- Select a condition and what to do with the message based on the condition you want.
- When you’re done creating the Rule, select OK.
Your message will now appear in the folders you’ve selected.
Favorites is a section that is located at the top of the folder pane where you can keep your frequently used folders.
There are multiple ways to add folders to Favorites.
- Click the folder and drag it to Favorites (the top of the folder pane).
- Right-click the folder you want to add, and then click Add to Favorites.
- Click on the folder you want to add, go to the Folder tab and click Add to Favorites.
To remove a folder from Favorites: Right-click the folder you want to remove, and then click Remove from Favorites.
You can easily drag messages into the folders in Favorites and rearrange your folders in Favorites.
Converting an Email Into a Task
Let’s say to get an email on Outlook, and the sender wants you to complete a specific task. With this tip, you don’t need to create a new task manually. You can create a task right from within the email itself.
To create a task from an email:
- Click on the email and drag it to Tasks on the navigation bar.
- Hover over the email, right-click on the flag display that appears on the right-hand side of the email and set up an appropriate reminder.
This will automatically create a task that contains all the information regarding the task as provided in the email. It’s important to note that although flagging an email also converts it into a task, flagging doesn’t create a separate task. Deleting the email deletes the task.
Converting an Email into an Appointment
To create an appointment or meeting from an email in Outlook:
- Drag the email from your Inbox to the Calendar icon at the bottom of the navigation pane
Read Aloud in Outlook desktop and Immersive Reader in Outlook for the web allow you to hear the text of an email read out loud.
To turn on Read Aloud in Outlook:
- Select File > Options > Ease of Access.
- Under Application display options, select the Show Read Aloud checkbox.
To let Outlook read your messages:
- Select a message.
- From the Home menu, select Read Aloud.
Dictation enables you to use speech-to-text to create content with a microphone and a stable internet connection. Dictation is an easy and quick way to send replies and draft emails.
To use Dictation: Start a New Email and go to message> Dictate.
You can delay the delivery of messages by having them held in the Outbox for a specified time after you click Send.
To delay the delivery:
- While composing your message, go to the Options tab and on the More Options group, select Delayed Delivery.
- Under Delivery options, select the Do not deliver before check box, and then click the delivery date and time you want.
- Click Close.
- When you’re done composing your email message, select Send.
Your messages will remain in the Outbox folder until the delivery time.
Quick Steps help you to save time when performing routine tasks. To create a Quick Step in Outlook:
- Go to the Home tab.
- In the Quick Steps group, select the Create New.
- In the Name box, type a name for the new Quick Step.
- Under Actions, choose an action for the Quick Step to do.
- Select Add Action for any additional actions.
Quick Parts is a collection of reusable pieces of content that you can quickly insert into your email messages.
To add new content to your Quick Parts gallery:
- Select the content that you want to store.
- On the Insert tab, in the Text group, click Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery.
- Click OK.
Quick Access Toolbar
The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar that sits above the ribbon tab that contains a set of commands.
To add a command to the Quick Access Toolbar: Click Customize the Quick Access Toolbar and select the command you’d like to add.
To add a command to the Quick Access Toolbar that isn’t on the ribbon tab:
- Click Customize the Quick Access Toolbar > More Commands.
- In the Choose commands from list, click Commands Not in the Ribbon.
- Find the command in the list, and then click Add.
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