Love it or abhorrence it, Microsoft Outlook is still the de facto email applicant at abounding offices. It’s been a while back we took a attending at acceptable old Outlook, so actuality are some of our admired tricks able-bodied account revisiting to admission your abundance in this all-in-one email, calendar, tasks, and addendum program.
The instructions and capacity in this column are based on Outlook 2010, but they should assignment with both beforehand and after versions of Outlook, except area contrarily noted.
The shortcuts beneath assignment beyond the accomplished program, so you can get added done whether you’re account emails or abacus affair contest to your calendar.
1. Learn Outlook’s keyboard shortcuts. Like Microsoft Word, Excel, and added Appointment apps, Outlook has different keyboard shortcuts so you don’t accept to decay time affective your abrasion about or conduct bottomward through menus. Learn the ones you use best and you’ll acceleration through your Outlook tasks. MakeUseOf has a accessible Outlook keyboard shortcuts bluff area you can download or book out. Amid the best useful:
Microsoft Word offers many—at atomic 247—keyboard shortcuts to acceleration up your certificate creation…
You can additionally about-face amid mail, calendar, contacts, and added items in the aeronautics area by hitting Ctrl [the abode cardinal of the item], e.g.:
2. Booty advantage of Outlook’s Quick Steps. For those unfamiliar, Quick Steps is the analgesic affection Microsoft alien with Outlook 2010. They’re shortcuts to any multi-step activity you can anticipate of, such as affective emails to a specific binder and appearance them as apprehend or forwarding an email to your aggregation and abatement it at the aforementioned time. It makes abbreviate assignment of repetitive tasks, and you can actualize your own Quick Footfall actions.
Microsoft’s Appointment 2010 has formed out to trusted testers, and amid the screenshots coming…
3. Actualize a new account from your clipboard. Hat tip to adolescent Lifehacker Walter Glenn for this tip (and others in this piece):
Copy any argument to your clipboard, afresh in Outlook columnist Ctrl-V. Outlook creates a new bulletin (or agenda or whatever item, depending on the binder you’re viewing) with the argument already pasted.
So instead of creating a new account in Outlook, and afresh artful and pasting argument in, you do both in one step.
Even admitting Gmail and added webmail casework are absolutely capable, Outlook is no slouch back it comes to sorting, filtering, categorizing, and contrarily altercation your inbox to your needs.
4. Limit desktop notifications to alone the best important emails. It’s awfully confusing to consistently be told “you’ve got mail!” but you still appetite to get notified for the best important alerts. In Outlook, set desktop notifications alone for those VIP messages. Canadian acknowledged annual Slaw offers a abundant tutorial for how to do this, but, essentially, aboriginal you’ll about-face off all desktop alerts beneath the Mail Options, afresh actualize an Outlook aphorism to affectation alerts for letters from specific bodies beatific alone to you. For example:
Your activity is arranged abounding of all types of alerts. You get emails, argument messages, advance notifications, …
5. Banderole messages—fast. With a bulletin or two selected, jut hit the admit key to toggle the banderole on or mark it done.
6. Get emails that aren’t beatific anon to you out of your inbox. In an old column (still account attractive at if you’re application Outlook), Scott Hanselman capacity his GTD alignment adjustment for Outlook. One of the best tips is to use a appropriate “Inbox – CC” binder to accumulate all the emails that aren’t beatific anon to you; that way, the inbox is focused on alone the best important emails. To set this up, go to Rules > New Rules…. Afresh bang the “Advanced Options” button. In the Rules Wizard, baddest “where my name is not in the To box” and afresh in the abutting screen, “move it to the defined folder.” (Alternatively, set up a VIP email binder and move “emails beatific alone to me” into that appropriate folder.)
7. Use email templates to never address the aforementioned email twice. Tired of aural like a burst record? For those emails you accelerate often, such as requests for advice or reminders of due invoices, save the email as a arrangement via Book > Save As… > Outlook template. Then, to use the template, go to New Items > Choose Form… and attending in your “User Templates in Book System” to browse for the arrangement you saved. Or, alike quicker, double-click the OFT book from Windows Explorer to actualize a new bulletin from that template. You can additionally use argument amplification to achieve this beyond any affairs on your computer.
In a approved day, best of us blazon the aforementioned things over and over again, crumbling an astronomic amount…
8. Actualize chase folders for your best important emails. What are your best frequently accessed emails? Maybe they’re emails from your bang-up or assertive capacity (now where’s that TPS report?). For any chase you accomplish often, aloof save the chase for quick access. Bang on Chase Folders in the larboard aeronautics menu, baddest “New Chase Folder,” and afresh either use the wizards or manually adapt the chase to your specifications.
9. Quickly save emails as files. If you appetite to save assertive emails for posterity, you accept a few methods at your disposal. While you can alone save any email through the Book > Save As… card (options: text, HTML, Outlook Bulletin architecture or .msg, HTML, .mht), it’s far faster to save emails by boring them to the desktop or Windows Explorer. This will save them in Outlook’s proprietary .msg format, with the accountable as the book name.
You could additionally use VBA scripts like this and these to automatically (or semi-automatically) save emails to your bounded adamantine drive as alone messages, absolution them from the .PST or .OST book Outlook keeps them in.
Outlook isn’t aloof an email client. It’s a full-fledged Personal Advice Manager. Having aggregate in one abode has its advantages, but there are still means to use all these appearance added effectively.
10. Accumulation tasks by custom priority. If you appetite to use Outlook as your agitation administrator too, MSDN’s JD Meier suggests this authoritative structure: In accession to abacus a alpha date to anniversary of your tasks, add a custom antecedence acreage (such as P0, P1, and P2). Afresh you can accumulation your tasks by that custom acreage so you can see at a glance which ones to assignment on at the appropriate time. For example:
This adjustment ability additionally assignment able-bodied with abundance techniques like alive on tasks in batches—such as the Workstation Popcorn way of alive productively from home—or if you appetite to adapt your tasks by the bulk of time they take.
Productivity is a claiming back you’re alive for yourself or alive accidentally with no one…
11. Use accustomed accent to actualize a agenda event. Don’t decay time scrolling through the account date picker to acquisition the exact date for an arrangement or meeting. In the date field, blazon artlessly “Independence Day,” “three canicule from tomorrow,” and so on.
12. Save Outlook notes, events, and any added account to the desktop for quick access. It’s not aloof emails you can save to your computer alfresco of Outlook: agenda events, notes, contacts, and aggregate abroad can be abject to the desktop or a Windows binder as alone items for quick admission later. Double-click the item—even if Outlook isn’t open—and it’ll accessible appropriate abroad in Outlook.
Bonus (for Outlook 2010 and earlier): Use Outlook as an automated time tracking tool. This one’s been deprecated in Appointment 2013, but if you accept an beforehand adaptation of Outlook, you can use the Journal to automatically log your tasks, time, Appointment abstracts usage, and so on. You accept to bang on the larboard aeronautics pane’s “More” button to acquisition the Journal figure and afresh accredit the Journal to clue letters from specific contacts, affair requests, and time absorb in added appointment programs.
You’ll afresh see a timeline and abundant log of all these events, which is abundant for those of us who accept to accumulate timesheets, balance clients, or aloof appetite to jog their memories about area the time absolutely went.
These are all aloof abrading the apparent of Outlook’s capabilities. Loaded with options and features, as able-bodied as VBA scripts you can install or address yourself, Outlook is a able apparatus for acclimation your circadian life. For added tips and tricks, see our antecedent accumulating of Outlook tips or allotment your favorites here.
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