Top 20 Outlook Tips to Maximize Productivity and Efficiency

Microsoft Outlook is used worldwide, but no one knows how to increase its performance for an efficient and enriched experience. As an Outlook user, you must know how to improve Outlook productivity to save time and human effort. So, learn here to manage your Outlook emails better. Follow this technical guide to learn “Microsoft Outlook Tips and Tricks” to maximize Efficiency and Productivity.

Through this guide, you will learn the Microsoft Outlook hacks that will help you increase productivity and enrich your experience. This blog suggests 20 Outlook tips that you can follow when using the Outlook application. These tips help keep your Inbox clean and remove unnecessary load from the application, making it fast and steady.

Outlook tips and tricks

Now, look ahead and learn the Outlook tips for improving productivity and efficiency.

Top 20 Microsoft Outlook Tips and Tricks

1. Protect Outlook Account

Protect Outlook account

Email privacy is essential when using an Outlook application. Outlook saves all your data, including passwords, bank statements, bills, etc., which is necessary for every user. If someone accesses your account by sitting at another place, managing it takes a lot of time. So, always keep using security measures (change password) that can secure your account in the future.

2. Clean Up Inbox Folder

One of the crucial MS Outlook tips is to clean up your Inbox. Your inbox is always filled up with many duplicate email replies that are unimportant to you. So, if you want to clean your Outlook Inbox, you can use the Clean Up Inbox Folder, which enables users to remove all the unnecessary replies. Also, it can remove those emails that are replicas of one another. To do so, you can go with the given steps below:

1. First, go to the “Home button” and search for the clean-up button >>click on Clean Up Folder

Clean up inbox folder

2. Then, a popup appears on the screen. Hit on the “Clean Up Folder”

Clean up folder

Finally, it deletes all the duplicate emails from your Outlook inbox folder.

3. Sort Emails Automatically and Avoid Receiving Unrelated Emails

You receive unnecessary emails that are not related to your work. These emails distract your mind and keep you away from your work. So, to avoid these emails, you must follow some Outlook function rules.

This Outlook hack allows you to skip the inbox folder and directly send those unrelated emails to the trash folder or another folder to increase Outlook productivity. Also, you can choose Outlook rules that automatically distribute or sort incoming emails to a specific folder. To do so, follow the given steps below:

1. Initially, select the email and right-click on it. Press “Rules”>> “Create Rule.”

Create rules to sort emails

Now, select the rule criteria:

2. “From [Sender]”: This will automatically execute the rule when you receive an email from a specific contact or email address.

3. “Subject contains”: This will automatically execute whenever you use a particular subject line.

4. Now, if you want to sort emails from your Inbox into a particular folder, tick “Move the item to a folder” in the create rule box.

Create rules

5. Also, choose a folder from the “select folder” button where you want to send those emails.

6. If you don’t want to see them in the future, then select the “Deleted Items”


7. You can make an archive folder separately to review the emails for future purposes.

8. Press the OK button to apply all.

If you don’t want to receive emails in a particular thread, you can use Outlook’s Ignore function instead of creating a rule.

  • Choose that email, right-click on it, and then choose the “Ignore” option. At last, confirm the action.

Ignore emails

  • This Ignore option sends all future replies to that thread in the “Deleted Items.”

4. Create Encrypted Outlook Emails

Create encrypted emails

Outlook offers an option to encrypt messages so that only the desired recipient can read them. You can also encrypt the text and attachments. This allows only those recipients to read the message to whom you shared the key. This is one of the most salient Microsoft Outlook tips that helps you boost Outlook performance.

To encrypt the messages, follow the following steps:

  1. Initially, go to the File tab>> Options >>Trust Center and hit the Email Security option.
  2. Tick the relevant boxes to enable digital signing and encryption. You have to make it if you don’t have a Digital ID.
  3. Click on the “Get a Digital ID…” option. This will allow you to view links to a range of providers, including Comodo, that offer free email certificates.

5. Keep Your Emails in Specific Folders

Keep emails in specific folder

You’ve got your Inbox filled with many emails that will be hard to handle. Suppose all emails are organized in multiple folders to store emails from a specific email address. In that case, this will be easy to handle, and it will increase Outlook productivity as well. This will elegantly arrange all emails so you can easily access them.

The steps to make a new folder are as follows:

  1. Go to your Inbox and right-click on it, then choose New Folder.
  2. Next, press the File tab and go to Manage Rules & Alerts.
  3. In the Manage Rules & Alerts, go to Email Rules >>hit the New Rule
  4. Now, choose Apply Rule on the Message I Receive option and press the Next
  5. Tick the available checkbox adjacent to the From people or public group option, and click on the From people or public group.
  6. Finally, double-click the name of the user whose messages you want in the new folder, and then click OK.
  7. Then press next and tick the checkbox adjacent to move it to a specified folder.
  8. Hit on the particular link and opt for the created folder.

6. Block the Unnecessary Emails

Block spam emails

Spams are always a pain in the arse. You can follow one of the best Outlook tips and tricks to remove this hurdle. You can quickly block that email if you don’t want any spam messages. To do so, follow some steps below:

1. Go to the Home tab, click on it, and opt for the junk dropdown.

2. When selecting junk email options, a dialogue box will open, showing junk folders.

Block senders

3. If you find an unrelated conversation from a known sender, press ignore to move all the emails into the deleted folder.

4. You can also opt for the Mute feature in MailSort, which will block conversations from that sender. Additionally, you will receive a notification when messages have been muted so you can view them in the future.

7. Make Quick Parts for Default Responses to Same Questions

If you get the same questions repeatedly and spend a lot of time typing the same answers, you can create Quick parts. This will allow you to insert the text that you have to answer into email replies quickly, so you don’t have to type the same thing again and again.

Now, let’s see the steps to make Quick parts as follows:

  1. Select the text you want to save in the email to send the exact text and press the “Insert” button.
  2. Now, in the “Insert” menu, select “Quick Parts.” Then, select the “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery” option.
  3. Provide a new name to your Quick Part, and press “OK.”
  4. Now, you can simply add that text to any email.
  5. Keep the cursor on the body of your email and hit on the “Insert.”
  6. Press “Quick Parts” and choose the Quick Part you want to insert.
  7. The quick part text will automatically appear in the body of the email. You can edit it now if you need to.

8. Move Emails to Subfolders as per Their Importance 

You can create folder structures in Outlook to organize emails. Many users use folder structures for archiving emails. A Folder structure is the best way to manage emails and move them out of the inbox view. Whenever you have a messy inbox, email load, or email triage, this process will be used.

Use the below steps to do so:

  1. Firstly, go to your inbox folder and create three new folders.
  2. The three folders will be the “Non-Critical” folder, and the others are subfolders named “To be Replied” and “Do Later.” To do so, use the below steps:
  • Go to the “Inbox” folder and right-click on it, then choose “New Folder.”
  • Put the name for the first folder as “Non-Critical.”
  • Now, hit the arrow next to the Inbox folder to review your To-Do folder.
  • Next, right-click on the To-Do folder and choose a new folder named “Do Later.”
  • Again, follow the same step to create another subfolder of the To-Do folder named “To be Replied.”

You have four folders for the incoming emails. You can manage them accordingly and keep your Inbox clean.

Whenever a new email comes, move it into the desired folder.

  • Inbox Folder—This folder contains all emails that require an immediate answer. These emails may be urgent or can be handled quickly.
  • Non-Critical—All the non-urgent emails will be moved here, which requires a response in more than three minutes.
  • To be Replied- Those emails put on hold will be moved here.
  • Do Later—Some emails that do not need a response will be kept here. So, move those emails into the Do Later folder for future viewing.

At last, schedule the time on the calendar after setting all the emails to handle the items in the Non-Critical folder. Some advantages of this method are available as:

  • It makes your Inbox clean with no load of emails
  • You can organize your emails in a better way
  • Throughout the day, it manages your schedule

9. Use OneNote Integration to Build multiple Email Chains

OneNote is a free space to keep all data in one place. You can easily save emails in OneNote’s notebook, take notes on meetings, and make flags from OneNote to show in your Outlook To-Do Bar.

Procedure to store emails in OneNote

  1. Go to your Inbox and choose the email that you want to store.
  2. Then go to the Home button and hit on OneNote.
  3. Now, choose the location to save the email.

After saving the emails in OneNote, you can proceed to add notes and other data or create a checklist. Then, make a flag from the OneNote Page to move the email back into your mailbox to increase Outlook productivity.

Steps to Make an Outlook Flag on OneNote Page

  • Go to your OneNote page and hit the title.
  • Now, open the Home button>>Outlook Tasks.
  • Choose the flag that you want to use.

10. Empty the Clutter Feature

This Outlook clutter feature helps you prioritize your mail by keeping all low-priority messages in another folder. The clutter folder is in your mailbox folder, and the ‘Other’ tab is in your Inbox folder. This makes this trick one of the coolest Microsoft Outlook tips for increasing efficiency.

Clutter Working

  • It examines all the past messages you ignore and then analyzes them.
  • Then, they automatically send those email messages into the Clutter folder for future use.

Clutter Folder Management

  • You can move the emails manually into the Clutter folder.
  • Use Drag and drop those emails to the Clutter folder.
  • You can also right-click the email and press the move>>move to Clutter

Disable the Clutter Tool

  • If you want to turn off the Clutter tool, then log in to your Outlook account and go to Settings >> Options >> Mail >> Automatic processing >> Clutter.

11. Use Email Templates

You can use email templates to send an email message. The email template contains the same message but with some minor changes. So, save that message as a template, and you can reuse it whenever necessary. You can add new information to the template before emailing someone.

Steps to Make an Email Template

  1. Firstly, make a new email with the subject and body.
  2. Now, go to the File button available in the top left corner.
  3. Press the Save As option.
  4. A save-as box will appear, so go to the save-as list and select the Outlook Template option.
  5. At last, type a name for your template in the file name box and hit Save.

12.  Assign your Mail and Calendar Access to a Trusted Person

If you are unavailable for a few days to manage your inbox and appointments, you can give access to someone you can trust.

For setting Delegate Access, follow the below steps:

  1. Open the file tab in your Outlook.
  2. Go to the dropdown of Account Settings and choose Delegate Access.
  3. Hit on Add and type the name of the person to whom you want to provide access.
  4. A dropdown list will appear for permissions. By default, your delegate can access and update your calendar and task list, while email and contacts remain private.

Notice: Your delegate must use the same Outlook version as you. Ensure that the items you want to access are stored on an Exchange server. They won’t be able to use your emails on your hard drive.

13. Notify Project Members through Contact Groups

Whenever you start a new project in Outlook, always create a contact group. When you send an email related to the project, after including the project group, all the members are automatically informed. You can also remove members who are not part of the project.

Steps to Make a Contact Group

  1. First, you have to go to Outlook Contacts.
  2. Then go to the Home button>>press the New Contact Group.
  3. Type a name to a new contact group.
  4. Now, for adding members to the group, use the Add Members
  5. At last, hit on Save & Close

14. Create a New Folder for CC Emails

When your email address is added to the CC field, your Inbox will be filled with many emails, making it difficult to handle them. The best method is to redirect those emails to a new CC folder.

Steps to make a new folder:

  • Visit the Home Page>> Rules section, and hit on the “Manage Rules & Alerts”.
  • You will see a popup; press the “New Rule…” option.
  • Rules Wizard popup will appear, so choose the “where my name is not in the To box” condition here.
  • Next, in step 2, you will see a “Specified” link. Click on it and select the folder.
  • Press Next and all the changes will be saved.
  • All your CC emails have now been moved to the chosen folder.

15. Make use of Shortcut Keys

Time management is essential for everyone. If you use some shortcut keys on your keyboard, you can save time by not having to open any tab. So, some shortcut keys are given that you can use in Outlook as follows:

  • For an email reply, use Ctrl + R Keys
  • Making a new email, use Ctrl + Shift + M Keys
  • For opening an email; use Ctrl + 1
  • Open your calendar; use Ctrl + 2
  • To open contacts; use Ctrl + 3
  • Open your tasks; use Ctrl + 4

16. Change Unread Emails to Read One

It is possible to read an email you mark as unread in Outlook. Generally, the default setting for marking an email as read is 5 seconds. This means that when an email appears in your window for 5 seconds, it is marked as read. You can increase the reading time if you want to read that email properly.

Follow the below steps:

  1. Initially, navigate to the File tab>>Options>>Advanced
  2. Now, go to Reading Pane
  3. At last, a pop up of Reading Pan appears, adjust the time accordingly.

17. Simultaneously Read Multiple Emails

You generally receive many emails at a time, and you cannot read them properly. However, in Outlook, you can read them in a group with one click. For it, you have to follow some steps as given below:

  • First, in Outlook, click on View Tab >> the “show as conversations” option, which appears at the top of the message list.


  • You can go with the “Arrange by” option as well.

Another solution is MailSortr. You can make a custom inbox using MailSortr. It allows you to view emails in the MailSortr Inbox on a priority basis. You don’t have to make any changes in Outlook. MailSortr filters essential emails that arrive from any place or any folder. So, don’t forget this one of the best Outlook tips and tricks to follow.

18. Setting Delay Delivery

From lots of emails, you have some emails that you want to send on a specific day or time. You can quickly perform this in Outlook. So, follow the below steps:

  1. Write an email that you want to send.
  2. Then move that email into the Options tab>>Delay Delivery>>Do not deliver before.
  3. Now, you enter the time and date to send it.

19. Use Quick Reminder Notes

You can make a note that you require most of the time. This note can be moved quickly over the screen anywhere. To do so, keep pressing the Ctrl+Shift+N keys in the Outlook interface.

20. Use Follow Up Flag to Track Responses

You can track all the responses to your messages. To do so, flag an email message to which you want to track the response.

So, flag an email you send someone with a ‘Recipient follow-up flag.’ After using it, your email will be added to the recipient’s task list.

Or you can use another best approach as follows below:

  1. First, search the Follow-Up button in the Message Ribbon before emailing.
  2. Then, choose a default flag to follow up, or you can set a custom date/time and reminder.

Now, you can see all flags and tasks from your Inbox through the below steps:

If you want to view all your flags and tasks from your Inbox, activate the To-Do bar.

  • Go to the View tab >> To-Do Bar >>Tasks.


Going through the guide will teach you new things that make your work easier. So, read this blog carefully to understand all the tips. These Microsoft Outlook tips are essential to boost your Outlook performance. So, using the above Outlook tips and tricks becomes an important task. Undoubtedly, this blog will help you maximize productivity. Make a note of all the points in your mind.

I hope you will have a fantastic Outlook experience and great productivity after applying these Microsoft Outlook tips. So, next time you use the Outlook application, don’t forget to implement these Outlook tricks.

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