10 Ways To Save Time In Microsoft Outlook

Finding ways to save time is a high priority for many busy professionals. This makes sense for the many of us who feel overwhelmed even by small tasks that take up time. In this video, we discuss ways you can save time and boost productivity by using our tips and tricks for Microsoft Outlook.

Keep reading to learn about the ten best tips to save the most time while using Microsoft Outlook.

Rules

Rules allow you to automate manual actions that would usually take up time. They act as instructions for Outlook so that it can process messages in a predetermined way. With rules you can send messages to folders, assign categories, and delete or forward them.

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”. The “create a rule” button is also under the home tab. Advanced options can limit the criteria further. If you need to change a rule, go to “rules” and select “manage rules”. Already existing messages can have rules applied to them as well.

Favorite Folders

The favorite folders function helps you keep track of your most important folders. These folders are stored above navigation, making them quick to get to. To create a favorite folder, drag it to the favorites area or right-click on the folder. Like other folders, these can be rearranged or removed at any time by right-clicking on them. If you drag a message to a favorite folder, it will be moved there.

Convert Email To A Task

Converting emails into tasks helps you create a to-do list. To convert a message, 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. You can also open the message, click the “follow up” drop-down, set the time, and add the reminder. Furthermore, you can drag the message to the task area to convert it. To keep track of messages you’ve already handled, move the email to another folder.

Convert Email To An Appointment

To make scheduling easier, convert emails to appointments. To do this, hold down the right-click on the mouse while hovering over the message, drag to your calendar, and select the appointment type. You can also make appointments into meetings if others need to attend.

Read Aloud

You can multitask by having read aloud read messages to you. Read aloud is called immersive reader in Outlook for the web. To enable read aloud, go to “file”, click “options”, select “ease of access” and then “show read aloud”. To use this feature, select “read aloud” in the message tab. When you are using read aloud, you’ll have access to a toolbar. This toolbar can play or pause the audio. You can also change the speed of read aloud or the voice used. Double click a word and hit play to start listening from a specific point.

Dictation

Dictation is similar to speech to text on a cell phone. With it, you can say what you would like to send, and Outlook will transcribe the message for you, once again making multitasking a breeze. Please note that it is only available to Microsoft 365 subscribers with the Outlook desktop app.

Dictation is located under the message tab, within the dictate dropdown. Remember to say which punctuation you would like to use (“question mark” for ?) when dictating. After you are finished, make any edits you need. Dictation can be used in the subject line of your message or the body.

Delay Delivery

Delay delivery is helpful to those who work weekends or late nights. This feature allows you to write a message at any time, but send it to the recipient later. For example, you could write a message to Jennifer at 11:00 pm am on Tuesday and have it delayed until 10:00 am Wednesday morning. To write a delayed delivery message, create or reply to an email, click “options”, select “delay delivery”, choose “options”, and send the message.

Quick Steps

Quick steps let you apply multiple actions to a message with just one click of a button. For example, you could have a message from Adam sent to your Marketing folder and forwarded to Blake all at once. Quick steps are found on the home tab of your ribbon. These functions are not always active, they are only used when you initiate them. Also, quick steps can be created or deleted at any time.

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 to get the desired effect, and “finish”. You can also make a shortcut if you prefer. Additionally, you can change the order of your quick steps, edit a quick step, and duplicate or delete one by going to “manage quick steps”.

Quick Parts

Quick parts can be used as templates for emails you send regularly. 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, and choose your options.

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 by Outlook. Hover over the existing quick part, right-click, and select “organize and delete” to replace one as well. You can use two or more quick parts in one message as well.

Quick Access Toolbar

The quick access toolbar lets you complete multiple actions quickly. You can assign multiple actions to one button. The toolbar is found above the ribbon, but can also be moved to below the ribbon by selecting the drop-down and clicking “show below the ribbon”. Each area of Outlook has its own version of the toolbar.

To customize the toolbar, click the drop-down next to the undo button and choose which features you would like to show on it. You can even include some features mentioned prior, like delayed delivery or quick parts. To change the order of features shown or which ones are available, select the drop-down and go to “more commands”. You can also right-click on the toolbar and choose “customize quick access toolbar”.

Are You Ready To Start Saving Time In Microsoft Outlook?

With these tips and tricks, you’ll be working more quickly in Microsoft Outlook in no time. This will free up your schedule, and you won’t have to worry about smaller manual tasks. Have any more questions or concerns about how to use Microsoft Outlook? At On-Site Computers Inc., we are prepared to help you with all your IT needs. Our professionals can assist you with anything regarding Microsoft Outlook or other programs you may use. Reach out to us today!

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Mike Bowe | Published on February 06, 2021