By Libby Jackett, Microsoft Office Trainer @ TP3
I use Microsoft Outlook every day as a time management tool and to manage my busy schedule. The following 10 top tips save me time and ensure that I never lose attachments or miss an appointment or meeting. I believe they can also work wonders for you!
1. Synchronise your Outlook data
Synchronise your Outlook data to your mobile or tablet and use any travel time (on the bus, train or plane) for Outlook “housekeeping” and delete emails.
2. Copy an email into an Appointment including Attachment
Select the email in your Inbox and drag it (with the right mouse button) to the To Do bar and “drop it” onto the date of the appointment, select Copy here as an Appointment with Attachment. Select start and end times, then Save and Close. Now you have all the details of the appointment with attachments in your Calendar and you get a reminder 15 minutes before the appointment.
3. Delete names from the AutoComplete list
In the To: field, select the unwanted name by using the UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW key then click on the small cross at the end of the name. When your colleagues change their email address again, you can delete the old email address and always use the latest one.
4. Quick flag message
Click on a message in the inbox, then press the INSERT key. You now can see the flagged item in your To Do bar to remind you to act on it quickly.
5. Save multiple attachments
Open the message, right mouse click, click Save Attachments then select the folder to save. Now you don’t have to open each Attachment one by one to save each of them.
6. Create a Rule from a message
Right mouse click on message, click Create Rule. Select actions and conditions, then click OK. There are many other handy rules but this is a shortcut to create a Rule for the sender of the email.
7. Keep track of messages that require action
Use rules to assign a category to a message. Click on the Category heading to group the messages by Category in your Inbox. Add a Category to any Outlook object and you can always group them in Calendar, Tasks etc.
8. Add a new Contact from an E-Mail message
Open the message. In the From field, right-click the name you want to make into a Contact. On the shortcut menu, click Add to Outlook Contacts. This is quick and adds more than the name and email address in the Contact details.
9. Quickly attach a file
Open the Outlook item (a message, appointment, meeting request, contact or task), then on the Insert ribbon, click File then select the file to attach. This is useful if you have been sent an Agenda after accepting a meeting and you want to insert the meeting Agenda into the Calendar entry so all the details are in one place.
10. Use file shortcut instead of an attachment to reduce the message size
Right mouse click the file and drag it to the Inbox then click Send with Shortcut. This is very useful when your email gets stuck in the Outbox and doesn’t send because the email size is too large.
I hope these tips can help you effectively manage the many objects in Outlook and assist you in gaining control of the ever increasing demands on your time.
Libby is a Microsoft Office trainer and has been training for over 19 years. She has extensive experience in on-site, customised training at a variety of client’s premises including Government sites.
Have a look at some of our Outlook courses that cover these and many other useful functions and tips and tricks.