In internet years, Microsoft Outlook has been around … well … forever. Its age hasn’t stood in the way of its utility or its popularity, though.
More than 400 million individual users and small businesses still find the free email service an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution. After the company absorbed Hotmail, Microsoft’s Outlook program became the flagship provider of free email.
If you or your company uses Microsoft Outlook, take a look at our 7 tips and tricks to get the most out of your experience.
- Let your fingers do the walking with keyboard shortcuts. Everybody loves a shortcut, and Outlook offers plenty of them. A few of the most popular are Ctrl+Shift+M to start a new message, Alt+N, A, F to insert a file, Alt+H, R, P to reply, and of course Ctrl+C to copy. Many others that are not as well known can also save you time. Try printing a shortcut list and taping it to your monitor for a legend until your fingers remember each command. We like F7. It checks spelling.
- Save time and minimize repetition with email templates. Do you find yourself writing the exact same email over and over again? Do you sometimes make mistakes just because your content has become repetitive? Trying setting up an editable email template.
- Snip those time-wasting threads. You know how a threaded conversation can move from helpful information about a project to a series of cat memes filling your inbox? There comes a time to cut that thread. Highlight a message in the discussion, go to the Home Page, and click ignore.
- Take advantage of the search function. If you are scrolling through emails to find that one message you think you got from a client’s assistant a couple weeks ago, you can stop. Click Mail or the mail icon (it looks like an envelope), type your keyword into the search bar, press Enter, and go to town.
- Delay your emails. Have you ever sent an email only to follow it with that sinking feeling in your stomach when you realized your NSFW comment went to the whole distribution list? Or when your application for a proofreader position contained a glaring typo. Scheduling or delaying emails can give you a chance to triple-check your work and to retrieve it if necessary before it lands in your recipient’s email box.
- Quick Step it. Microsoft Outlook’s automation tool, called Quick Step, lets you simplify basic and repetitive email tasks into clickable commands. You can use the tool’s built-in steps or add your own.
- Stick your notes, contacts, and calendar to your desktop. With Outlook, it’s super easy to drag the good stuff onto your desktop where it will automatically become a shortcut. One click, and you’re right where you need to be.
These simple strategies can save you time and increase productivity. Do you have tips and tricks for Microsoft Outlook we haven’t shared? Let us know about them in the comments.
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