Are you ever working through Outlook and think “There has to be a better way to do this…”? Well, there probably is!

Office applications have a lot of functionalities that are generally overlooked. If you are an advanced user, you may know a lot of these tricks. However, even advanced users like me end up learning something new every now and then. To learn some of these tricks to become more efficient, continue reading below.

Let’s talk about the one Office application that is used the most: Outlook. This is our main communication method for internal and external employees. I will start off with some easy tricks & tips that have helped me be more efficient.

To create a new email: Press Ctrl + n. Always make sure you are already on the application. This is very helpful when you are generating multiple emails.

To use a Quick Part: If you send a lot of emails that are the same or can be made into a template… then Quick Parts will be your best friend. You can save templatized emails in Quick Parts for easier access. All you need to do is type up the email, highlight the text you want to save, go to the ‘Insert’ tab, click on Quick Parts and select ‘Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery’.

To use Quick Steps: Quick Steps is one of my favorite features. To keep my main inbox clean in Outlook, I have a ‘Read’ subfolder. In this folder, I only put emails I have already acted on that require no further tasks. If you are doing this every 10 minutes, that is a lot of time spent dragging emails to the ‘Read’ folder. Instead, I set up a Quick Step to move emails into specified folders in one click. To get a Quick Step set up, open Outlook and in the ‘Home’ ribbon tab, go over to Quick Steps. You should see something that says ‘Create New’ with an icon that looks like a lightning bolt. Click on that. From there, a window will open up that will walk through the steps you would like Quick Steps to perform for you in one action. As you go through the set up, you may notice that they have various actions you can perform such as: deleting the email, marking as read, marking as high importance, marking as completed, and many more.

Favorites Section: Do not underestimate the power of the Favorites section! If you handle multiple inboxes and are always struggling with going from one to the other, adding them to your Favorites will be a huge help! Do not forget to pin the folder pane. When you add multiple Inbox folders from different accounts, they will show the name of the account that the folder is associated to so you can easily differentiate.

Delay Delivery: Do you ever need to send something later but want to have it prepared beforehand?  Delay Delivery will save the day. This function allows you to schedule a time for an email to be sent. It will look exactly like sending an email, however, the email will stay in your outbox until the time it is scheduled to go out. To schedule an email for a later time, click on the ‘Options’ tab, then click on Delay Delivery. A window will open with various options. Select the options you want and the date you want it to be sent and click close. Lastly, click on ‘Send’. Remember, the email will not be sent until the time you have requested. Something to note with this option: you need to have the Outlook application open at the time you would like the email to be sent.

Quick Access Toolbar: If you have a lot of ribbon functions you tend to use when writing a new email, this next tip will change your world! The Quick Access Toolbar allows you to have easier and quicker access to those functions on other tabs or hidden under other menu options. Just right click on any ribbon function and select ‘Add to Quick Access Toolbar’. The Ribbon function will now show up on the very top of the email. The default functions in the Quick Access Toolbar are ‘Save’, ‘Undo’, ‘Repeat’, ‘Previous Item’, and ‘Next Item’.

I hope these helpful hints allow you to become more efficient in your role. Stay tuned for more Office Application tips and tricks!

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