1) Signatures – stop typing your name and contact details on every email. Simply set up one or more signatures and have them automatically appear on every email. You can format them and add in images which look professional, and saves you time.
2) Quick Parts – These are predefined objects, including images, or text that you can insert into an email with a few clicks of your mouse. Use them for answering FAQ or any other information you find you type out over and over again.
3) Folders – Reduce the clutter in your inbox by organizing your messages into folders. Be careful not to go overboard with the number of folders you set up as this may mean you spend too much time debating with yourself over which folder to put the message into. Instead, use the advanced search tool in Outlook to quickly find what you’re after.
4) Rules – You can set up rules to have Outlook automatically color code emails based on who they’re from, who they’re sent to, or even what the subject is. Rules can automatically file your emails into folders, or even better, forward emails to someone else for action without having to lift a finger.
5) Search Folders – Do you file your messages by task, but sometimes do a search to find all messages relating to a particular client? If you find you’re performing the same search regularly you can save time by setting up a search folder, then when you want to do the search simply open the folder and it updates automatically with one click.
6) Get Organised – Categories allow you to group like messages so you can search, sort and find all messages that are related to a particular category. For example, you might have a category for a project or job or even a client. You can set up categories any way you choose. Flags allow you to set reminders to revisit a message or level of importance. You can use flags and categories to quickly sort and filter your emails.
7) Tasks – Tasks are an electronic To-Do list. You can assign tasks to others, set reminders and keep track of progress.
8) Recurring Events – Never forget a birthday or anniversary again. Set a recurring event in your Outlook calendar for recurring events that occur regularly. And give yourself time to take action by setting your reminder in advance.
9) Collaborate – Have someone else manage your calendar by delegating permission to view and or edit your calendar.
10) Journal – The journal allows you to collate information about a task or contact by appending documents like Word and Excel files. Plus keep track of communication with a contact like an email, phone calls and more.
If you’re serious about improving your productivity these Microsoft Outlook tools are a must learn.
Free Microsoft Outlook Training is available in various levels of quality, and with most people being visual, video tutorials are by far the easiest to follow.
John Abrams is a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, manuals and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup