Speed up your email workflow
The best selection of time savers in Microsoft Outlook
Check out our special selection of time savers in Outlook. They are focused on saving time and making your work flow more efficient.
1 - Turn off Notifications
Notifications, in general, can make you lose your focus if you are trying to concentrate in a specific activity. When you turn off your notifications you can see your email when you want, without distracting pop-up notifications and sounds.
The quickest way to do it is to hit the button on the right of your screen, you will see the Outlook icon, click on it.
Next you click on the button ‘show new mail desktop alert’ to disable the option.
Another way to achieve this is to go to: File > Options > Mail > Display a Desktop Alert.
2 - Drag Mail to Calendar
You receive an email that requires some action in the future and you want to reserve some time to solve it soon. In this situation, you can just drag the related email to the calendar icon on the bottom of the left side of your Outlook and the message will open as an appointment. After that, and you can add the time and date that you wish to allocate it and save and close.
It is also possible to reply to an email as a meeting, it will automatically include everyone in the email. Simply click on Meeting in the Respond section of the Message panel, as in the image below.
3 - Ignore Button
This option is useful when you are copied on an email that you don't need to be involved with. For example, a party that you can't go and people still replying all. To do it, you can hit the ignore button on the top of your taskbar. The conversation that you don't want to see must be selected. Once, you hit the button, all the follow up conversation will no longer appear in your inbox.
Or Press Ctrl+Delete.
4 - Quick Access Toolbar
You can add your most used or favourite commands in the quick access toolbar and they will still up there while you are working. You just need to click with the right button on the icon and a list of options will appear. Select ‘add to quick access toolbar’.
5 - Quick Steps
You can create your own quick steps. Let's say for example a project that you are working on. You add a quick step for this project and pre-set the actions that should be done with all the emails related to this topic, add a follow-up flag, or a distinct colour category, for instance. Once you receive a new email, you just need to hit the button located in the quick steps toolbar and all the actions pre-set will be done by just 1 click.
6 – Pre-set Message
You pre-set messages in the same toolbar as the option above. Let’s say for example, that you send one email with the same content frequently, invoices, lists, etc. You can add a quick step for it. So, the message will be pre-set and once you hit the button the email will pop-up.
You can also pre-set who is going to receive, the subject, the content, the category, all the information.
7 - Respond Fast with IM
Sometimes you need a faster answer, you can't wait until people read your email. So, you can reply to an Instant Message (IM). If your contact is online they will receive your IM as a pop-up on their screen.
8 - Set out of Office Response in Advance
Since Outlook 2013 you can set your out of office message previously. Usually we are busy in the last day of work before the holidays. To make sure that you haven’t forgotten to set your message you can do it in advance. Go to: File > Automatic Replies > Send automatic replies > Only during this time range.
9 - Search your email to find something
There are a couple of ways to find a piece of information in your Outlook mailbox. On the top of your email you can see a box where you can type the information that you are looking for. Once you type something to search, a different task bar is going to appear with different tools to help you in your search. If you search by ‘has attachment’, for example, your search will look for the word inside the attachment also and not just in the body of the email.
Further Your Skills
If you want to master your Microsoft Office skills, check out our full list of courses. At New Horizons Ireland, we offer a wide range of courses to provide you the best knowledge.
You may be interested in our Outlook courses
Outlook 2016 one day courses
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View all out Outlook courses here