One thing people never seem to have enough of is time. During the busy workday, it is important to expand your time by cutting down on hours spent using programs like Microsoft Outlook. In this video, you’ll discover 10 helpful tips that will let you spend less time on small tasks and more time tackling your goals.
Looking to boost productivity and get things done more quickly? Below are 10 ways you can cut down on time spent in Microsoft Outlook.
Having a personal assistant makes everything easier, and with the right rules, Outlook can be just that. Rules take instructions given to them by you and automatically carry out whatever action you need. You can move specific messages to folders, assign categories, delete messages, or forward a message all with the use of rules.
To create a rule, right-click your example message, hover over “rules”, select “create a rule”, choose your criteria, rename the rule, and hit “finish”. You can also look for the “create a rule” option under the home tab. Advanced options limit specific messages by searching for keywords. To change a rule after it has already been created, go to “rules” and select “manage rules”. Already existing messages can also have new rules applied to them once they are created.
To separate a specific folder from your other ones, favorite it. Favorite folders are above the navigation area, making them easy to locate. You can drag a folder to the favorites area or add it by right-clicking. Additionally, you can remove or rearrange your favorite folders by right-clicking them. Messages can be dragged to favorite folders at any time.
Convert Email To A Task
Converting an email to a task can save you time and energy. To do this, right-click the flag next to the message, set the time you want to do the task (custom times are available), and add a reminder. Additionally, you can open the message, click the “follow up” drop-down, set the time, and add the reminder. Or you can drag the message to the task area. Consider moving the message to a different folder once you are finished, to indicate it has been handled.
Convert Email To An Appointment
Use Outlook to convert an email to an appointment, making scheduling a breeze. When doing this, hold down the right click on the mouse while hovering over the message, drag to your calendar, and select the appointment type. If you would like to invite other members to the appointment, make it into a meeting and send out invites.
Using the read-aloud feature allows you to multitask. Read aloud reads messages to you. Please note that read aloud is called immersive reader in the web version of Outlook. To make read aloud an option, go to “file”, click “options”, select “ease of access” and then “show read aloud”. To use it select read aloud in the message tab. The toolbar shown when using read aloud has options such as play and pause, giving you more control over the feature. While using read aloud, you can change the reading voice or speed of the message. Additionally, you can double click a word and hit play to start listening from that point.
Dictation is very much like speech to text. It allows you to say what you would like to send, transcribing it in message format. Be aware that this is only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers with the Outlook desktop app.
To use this feature, go to “dictation” under the message tab, within the dictate dropdown. Do not forget to say which punctuation you would like to use (“exclamation point” for !). When you are done, make any edits you need. Dictation can be used in the subject line or body of a message.
Sometimes you would not like to disrupt others with a message because you are working odd hours. Using delay delivery, you can control when messages are sent. For example, you could write a message to Adam at 2:30 am on Thursday and delay it until 10:00 am Friday morning. To use delay delivery, create or reply to an email, click “options”, select “delay delivery”, choose “options”, and send the message.
Quick steps allow you to apply multiple actions to a message in a single click. This means you can have a message from Mike sent to your Marketing folder and forwarded to Jasmine using one press of a button. Quick steps are found on the home tab of your ribbon. Unlike rules, quick steps are not always active. You have control over when they are used. You can also create or delete any quick step at any time. Furthermore, they are very easy to customize.
To make a quick step, go to “quick steps” under the home tab, click “create new”, name the quick step, choose the actions that it will complete, add actions as needed, and “finish”. If you will be using the quick step often, make it into a shortcut as well. Additionally, you can change the order of your quick step list, edit a quick step, and duplicate or delete one by going to “manage quick steps”.
Quick parts allow you to have an email template ready to go at any time. They are best used for repetitive emails. To create a quick part, start a new message, type and edit the message, highlight the section you would like to make into a quick part, select “insert”, and go to “quick parts”. Then, click “save section to quick part gallery”, give it a name, pick the category it will go in, add a description, choose your options, and you are done.
To use a quick part, have your cursor in the body of the message, go to “insert”, then “quick parts”, pick the one you would like to use, and edit as needed. To replace a quick part, repeat the above steps and select “replace quick part” when prompted. Additionally, you can hover over the existing quick part, right-click, and select “organize and delete”. There is no limit to how many quick parts you can have in a single message.
Quick Access Toolbar
The quick access toolbar can help you use Outlook even faster. It allows you to use different features with a single press of a button. The toolbar is above the ribbon, but can also be positioned below the ribbon by selecting the drop-down and clicking “show below the ribbon”. Each area of Outlook has its own version of the quick access toolbar, making customization even further.
To customize the toolbar, click the drop-down next to the undo button and choose which features you would like to show. There are many options to pick from, including things mentioned in this article, like delayed delivery and quick parts. To change the order of features in the toolbar or which ones are shown, select the drop-down and go to “more commands”. Or you can right-click on the toolbar and choose “customize quick access toolbar” as well.
To find more time in the day, you have to start with the small but time consuming things you do on a regular basis. Using these 10 tips to speed up your time in Microsoft Outlook will give you back more time than you’ll know what to do with. If you would like to learn more about Microsoft Outlook, reach out to us here at BIOS Technologies. We are always here to help your business grow.
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