Tips and Tricks to Work Faster in Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft Outlook, as we know, is one of the best electronic mails we have in this era. Outlook has entirely transformed our email working skills and workflow. Working in Outlook is much faster than any other office application. There many tips and tricks that can help you to concentrate profoundly on your work and save all the unnecessary time you will otherwise spend being distracted.
Let us take a look at some of the things you can do to ensure a smoother, distraction-free worktime.
- Turn your desktop alerts off!
Have you ever noticed what happens when you try to work on something very imperative and suddenly a notification of a mail with the pop-up sound comes? Chances are that even if you didn’t want to check the email, you would still get distracted by it.
A strong and useful recommendation is to always turn-off all the notifications while you work. Follow these simple steps to do it now:
- For this step to work, you essentially need to access your outlook.
- Go to File – Options – Mail Settings
- Under this section, find Message Arrival
- Under Message Arrival, you will see various options to show desktop alert, show an icon, play a sound for new email
- Uncheck any or all the boxes you don’t want anymore
By following these simple steps, you ensure that there is no distraction to your workflow due to sudden email alerts. Additionally, if you decide to keep the notifications off permanently, you empower yourself with the ability to designate a specific time in a day that can be dedicated to only checking emails.
- Don’t lose another email
More often than not, we misplace our emails and then waste our time to search for them. Instead of going through tens of email strings and conversations, we can adapt to a much quicker and easier way to search folders. Here is what you can do:
- Click on “Search Folders” available in the left navigation menu
- Select “New Search Folder”
- Enter the appropriate criteria, email address, subject, etc that you require quick access to
- The Search Folder that you created will now contain shortcuts to all the emails as per the details you specified while setting up the folder
- Access Outlook…. without the outlook
Working without email disruption will almost always require you to close Outlook, which can be difficult and time-consuming if you wanted a quick access to some of the emails. However, by dragging items to your desktop, you can have quick access to them.
So, basically, you can .drag your emails, appointments, notes etc (any outlook items you require) to your desktop. And, whenever you need access to any of those items, simply double-click on them and access them without opening Outlook.
- Recover Deleted emails in one keypad stroke (or maybe two)
At times, we end up deleting important emails either by an error by not realising that it is of importance to us. And, by the time we do, the email is already gone. Don’t panic! It is not too late, because Outlook helps you undo the deletion by simply hitting CTRL+Z on your keyboard. So, no more wasting time worrying about the lost email.
- Automatically Cc: All mail you send in Outlook
There are times that you want or need Outlook to deliver a copy of the emails you have sent to certain addresses through Cc (carbon-copy). Instead of spending endless time individually adding every email address you want the copy to be sent every time, follow these basic steps and speed up the process:
- Go to Outlook Inbox and click “File”
- Under “File”, click on “Info”
- At this point, you want to ensure that the account you want to choose for automatic Cc is selected under Account Information.
- Once you have made sure of that, click on “Manage Rules & Alerts”.
- Then, go to “E-mails Rule Tab”.
- Click “New Rule”.
- Ensure “Apply rule on messages I send” is selected
- Select a template
- Hit Nexttwice
- Select criteria if you like; if no criteria are selected, all email addresses with be added to Cc
- If you get a prompt saying “This rule will be applied to every message you send. Is this correct?” hit “Yes”
- Next, make sure you have selected “Cc the message to people or distribution list”.
- Next, select “people or public group”
- Double click on contacts or email address under “To”
- Click OK- Next – Next
- Change the name of the rule to something like “Auto Cc”
- Ensure to uncheck “Run this rule now on messages already in Inbox” if it isn’t already unchecked
- Lastly, click Finish and then OK.
- Choose a different start and exit location!
Another advantage that is highly recommended is to access the Advanced Menu. As you can see on your Outlook, there’s a Mail Menu and there is an Advance menu. On the top, you can find and select a section categorized as Outlook start and exit. By default, your Outlook is designed in a way that whenever you open Outlook, it will show your inbox.
But, you can choose what you want to see the first thing when you open your Outlook for the day – it can be the inbox, it can be your tasks, and it can be your notes as well.
Click “Browse”. Then, choose whatever option you want Outlook to open for you the first thing when you access it. And, do not forget to click “OK” to save the settings.
- Use Atomic Learning
To optimize your Outlook experience and to save your precious worktime, it is important that you explore all or as many settings and facilities that Outlook offers you. While you may already know of the easy ones such as tasks, notes, and creating folders, you might be missing out on amazing features such as Scheduling Assistant.
Learn about all the various ways you can optimize your outlook by being a part of the web-based training videos available at Atomic Learning exclusively for the Butler community.
To access Atomic Learning, you must first visit apps.butler.edu/atomiclearning. Login to your account by using your Butler credentials (if you haven’t already) and search for Outlook. Click on “Outlook 2010” and go through the various sessions available here.
- BONUS: Use General Short-cuts
With this, you can multi-task and fast-track your work. If you can’t memorize them all at once, just print out the Outlook keyboard shortcut cheat sheet.
Few of them are used often by Outlook users are as follows:
- CTRL+ R – To reply to an email
- ALT+ R – To reply to all in emails or switch to the work week calendar view
- ALT+ W – To forward an email or switch to weekly calendar view
- CTRL+ M – F9 to send or receive all
- ALT+ S – Send an email
- CTRL+ G – Open ‘’Go Date’’ dialogue to jump to any date in the calendar.