Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular email and calendar programs in use today. This article features 5 tips that will streamline your email workload and boost productivity with Outlook 2010 or newer versions.
Outlook has several built-in features that save time and boost productivity. If you’re struggling with a heavy email load, you need to develop good working habits and learn to use some of these features.
5 tips to boost productivity with outlook
1. Use The Touch Once Technique
Form the 4 D’s habit and process messages using the touch once technique. When reading through your messages, deal with each one immediately:
– Do it (respond or file for reference)
– Delete it (if it isn’t relevant or you don’t need to keep or respond to it)
– Delegate it (forward to someone else who will deal with it)
– Schedule it for a later time if it needs your personal attention at a later date (use categories and flags)
2. Automate Repeated Typing
We all use the same common phrases over and over in our daily communications. Here’s an easy way to automate your typing with the built-in Quick Parts feature.
Anytime you write a sentence or phrase often, save it as a Quick Parts for insertion in later emails. Here’s how: when writing in the composer window, highlight the text and click on the Insert tab, then click the Quick Parts drop-down and select Save selection to the Quick Parts gallery.
Anytime you start typing that phrase in the future, you will see a popup suggestion box. Select the phrase you want and press enter – that’s it. You can save as many as you need.
3. Use Quick Steps To Automate Filing And Recurring Tasks
You can quickly manage your inbox using Quick Steps. With one click, you can move messages to a specific folder or forward messages to your peers or manager.
You can also customize Quick Steps by creating your own Quick Steps gallery of mail actions – this can be a big time-saver for any steps you take often.
Default Quick Steps Actions
Outlook comes with several default actions which can easily be customized or used as is. Outlook prompts you to do this when you use some Quick Steps for the first time, i.e., you need to select the folder you want to forward to before you can use that Quick Step for the first time.
The default Quick Steps in Outlook are: Move to, To Manager, Team e-mail, Done, Reply & Delete and Create New.
4. Send Messages Later
Rather than schedule the activity for a later date, you can write the email and set it to be delivered at some future time. Type your email, then click the Options tab and select Delay Delivery. In the dialogue box, select Do not deliver before option and enter a time and date, then click Close.
Hit the Send button and your message will be held until the specified time for sending. IMAP or POP servers must be kept open until delivery time for this to work (Exchange servers can be closed).
5. Send SMS Text Directly From Outlook
You can send SMS text messages directly to contacts if you have registered with a third-party messaging service. To connect Outlook, click the dropdown from New Items in the Home tab and select Text Message. Select the text messaging service for your mobile operator in the dialogue box.
Wrap Up – Boost Productivity With Outlook
You can boost productivity with Outlook by using Quick Steps and Quick Parts. Use the touch once technique, and learn to customize the Quick Parts and Quick Steps features and you will drastically cut down the time you spend dealing with that heavy email load.