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Our 10 Tips To Help You Work Smarter In Outlook

Outlook is now one of the Microsoft applications that most people use daily. However, even with it proving to be such a popular application, there are many features that lots of people still don’t know about, that can increase productivity. We’ve put together 10 tips to help you work smarter in Outlook.


1. Sort E-Mails into Folders

Spend some time organising your emails into folders, it will save you much more time in the future. To create a folder, right click the inbox and click ‘New Folder’. Each folder can be named and rules can be created so emails can automatically get sorted and moved to folders.


2. Schedule the delivery of emails

There are times when you might draft an email ready to send, but as it is outside of work hours, you don’t want to be emailing someone on their weekend or time off. You can schedule the email to be sent at the start of the next business day by clicking Options, More Options, Delay Delivery. In here you can select the preferred time and date and check the box for Do not deliver before.

You can also schedule emails to be sent at the start of a business day, sometimes you may draft an email out of hours and not want to send immediately. You can schedule emails by clicking Options, More Options, Delay Delivery…always useful.


3. Creation of calendar events with phrases rather than dates

You can also create calendar invites without even scrolling through your calendar. In the date field you can to type phrases such as ‘next Wednesday’ or ‘3 weeks from now’.


4. Set rules to organise emails and notifications

In Outlook you can set rules for sorting email and notification settings. Constant notifications from emails and having to sort these emails into folders manually can reduce productivity and I’m sure you’ll agree is a complete pain! A rule can be created by clicking File, Manage Rules and Alerts.


5. Set up meetings easily meetings with Scheduling Assistant

Scheduling assistant can help reduce the amount of time it takes to book meetings, as it suggests times that colleagues are free. If you have to setup conference rooms, scheduling assistant can also do this for you. To use this feature, go to set up a meeting and add the attendees and location, click the Scheduling Assistant tab and it will show what times are available.



6. Avoid those embarrassing mistakes with Delayed Delivery

If you ever worry that you might send an email out with errors or to the wrong person, it is a good idea to delay all your emails by a minute to give you the time to correct any error before mail is sent.

To action this, you must create a rule, click File, Manage Rules and Alerts, New Rule, Apply Rule on messages I send, click Next, then Yes. When asked “What do you want to do with the message? Click defer delivery by how many minutes required. Set this to 1 minute and click Ok, Next then Finish.


7. Receive Read and Delivery receipts

If you have an email that’s important and you want to know if the message has been delivered and opened by the recipient, you can add delivery and read receipts to track this. To enable this; draft an email, click on options, in the tracking group select the request a delivery receipt or request a read receipt check box.


8. Create tasks and set reminders

If an email contains an actionable item, you can mark this email as a task and set a reminder to complete the task or reply to email. To do this, select an email and click the follow up flag in the home group, from here you can set a time that the task needs to be completed by. You can also select a reminder notification time by clicking the bell icon. To view all your current tasks, click the tasks icon in the left pane.


9. Organise emails with categories

Outlook categories are a tool to further organise your mailbox. To define categories, go to the tags section on the home tab and the click categories icon. Clock all categories and you can rename the default categories and add new ones if needed. To categorise emails, select the email and click categories and select your desired category. This can make it quicker and easier to find related emails.


10.Use your focused inbox

With the large volume of emails an office worker receives daily, it is very likely that some of the emails will be less important than others. To organise which emails are important you can add them to your focused inbox. To turn this function on, click the view tab and select show focused inbox. To organise which emails automatically go to each inbox, right click an email and select move to other or move to focused.



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