Top 20 Outlook Tips to Maximize Productivity and Efficiency

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Microsoft Outlook is used all over the world, but no one knows how to increase its performance for an efficient and enriched experience. Being an Outlook user, you must know the ways to increase Outlook productivity so that it saves time and human efforts. So, learn here to manage your Outlook emails in a better way. Follow this technical guide to know “Microsoft Outlook Tips and Tricks” to maximize Efficiency and Productivity.

Through this guide, you get to know the Microsoft outlook hacks that will help you to increase productivity and enrich your experience. This blog suggests 20 Outlook tips that you can follow when using Outlook application. It helps to keep your Inbox clean and removing the unnecessary load from the application for making it fast and steady.

Outlook tips and tricks

Now, look ahead to know the Outlook tips for improving its Productivity and Efficiency.

Top 20 Microsoft Outlook Tips and Tricks

1. Protect Outlook Account

Protect Outlook account

Email privacy is an important part when using an Outlook application. Outlook saves all your data, including passwords, bank statements, bills, etc. that is an essential part for every user. If someone accesses your account by sitting at another place, then it takes a lot of time to manage. 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. Inbox is always filled up with so many duplicate email replies that are not important for you. So, if you want to clean your Outlook Inbox, then you can use Clean Up Inbox Folder that 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. Firstly, 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

At last, it deletes all the duplicate emails from your Inbox folder of Outlook.

3. Sort Emails Automatically and Avoid Receiving Unrelated Emails

You receive unnecessary emails that are not related to your work. These emails create a distraction in your mind and keep you away from your work. So, to avoid these emails, you have to follow some Outlook functions 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 have the option to choose Outlook rules that automatically distribute or sort coming 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 at any time whenever you use a particular subject line.

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

Create rules

5. Also, choose a folder from a “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”

OR

7. You can make an archive folder separately to review the emails in future purpose.

8. Press the OK button to apply all.

If you don’t want to receive any email in a particular thread, then choose Outlook’s Ignore function instead of creating any rule.

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

Ignore emails

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

4. Create Encrypted Outlook Emails

Create encrypted emails

There is an option in Outlook to encrypt the messages so that only the desired recipient can read those emails. You can encrypt the text and attachments as well. 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 help you to boost Outlook performance.

To encrypt the messages, follow the further steps:

  1. Initially, go to the File tab>> Options >>Trust Center and hit on the E-mail Security option.
  2. Tick on the relevant boxes to enable digital signing and encryption. If you don’t have a Digital ID, then you have to make it.
  3. Hit on the option “Get a Digital ID…”. It will allow you to view links to a range of providers, consisting of Comodo, that offers free email certificates.

5. Keep Your Emails in Specific Folders

Keep emails in specific folder

You’ve got your Inbox filled with a lot of emails that will be hard to handle. If all emails are organized in multiple folders to store emails received from a specific email address, 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.

Steps to make a new folder 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 Message I Receive option and press the Next
  5. Tick the available checkbox adjacent to 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. To remove this hurdle, you can follow one of the best Outlook tips and tricks. If you don’t want any spam messages, you can quickly block that email. To do so, follow some steps below:

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

2. On 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, then press on ignore to move all the emails into the deleted folder.

4. Or you can opt for Mute feature in MailSort that will block conversation from that sender. Additionally, you will have the muted mails notification for viewing the mails in the future.

7. Make Quick Parts for Default Responses to Same Questions

If you get the same questions again and again and you keep typing the same answers by spending a lot of time, then you can create Quick parts. It will allow you to insert that text that you have to answer into email replies quickly. 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. Simply, select that text that you want to save in the email for sending the same text, and press the “Insert”.
  2. Now, in the “Insert” menu, hit the option “Quick Parts,”. Then pick 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 that you want to insert.
  7. The quick part text will automatically appear in the email body. Now, you can edit it if you need it.

8. Move Emails to Subfolders as per Their Importance 

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

Use the below steps to do so:

  1. Firstly, go to your inbox folder and make three new folders in it.
  2. The three folders will be “Non-Critical” folder, and 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 a “New Folder.”
  • Put the name for the first folder as “Non-Critical.”
  • Now, hit on the arrow next to the Inbox folder to look over your To-Do folder.
  • Next, make a right-click on the To-Do folder and choose a new folder with the name “Do Later”
  • Again follow the same step to create another subfolder of To-Do folder with the name “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- In this folder, all emails that require an immediate answer are available. These emails may be urgent or can quickly be handled.
  • Non-Critical- All the non-urgent emails will be moved here, which requires a response in more than a three-minute.
  • To be Replied- Those emails that are put on hold will be moved here.
  • Do Later- Some emails that do not need any response will be kept here. So, move those emails into the Do Later folder to view in the future.

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 notebooks of OneNote, take notes on meetings, make flags from OneNote for showing them into 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 go forward to add notes, other data, or create a checklist. Then make a flag from OneNote Page to move it back into your mailbox to increase Outlook productivity.

Steps to Make an Outlook Flag in 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 clutter feature in Outlook helps you to prioritize your mail by keeping all low priority messages in another folder. In your mailbox folder, you will find the clutter folder and also, the ‘Other’ tab in your Inbox folder. This makes this trick one of the coolest Microsoft Outlook tips to increase efficiency.

Clutter Working

  • It examines all the past messages that are ignored by you and then makes an analysis.
  • Then automatically send those email messages into the Clutter folder to use in the future.

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 disable 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 consists of the same message with some minor changes. So, save that message as a template, and you can reuse it whenever you need it in the future. You can add new information to the template before sending the email to someone.

Steps to Make Email Template

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

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

If you are not available for some days to manage your Inbox and appointments, then you can give access to someone whom 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 person’s name to whom you want to provide access.
  4. A dropdown list will appear for permissions containing 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 use. Make sure that the items that you want to access must be stored on an exchange server. They won’t be able to use your emails that are there on your hard drive.

13. Notify Project Members through Contact Groups

Whenever you start a new project in Outlook, always make a contact group. When you send an email related to the project, after including the project group, all the members get automatically informed. You can also remove the 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, this will make your Inbox filled with lots of emails. This will become difficult to handle those emails. The best method is to redirect those emails in a new CC folder.

Steps to make a new folder:

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

15. Make use of Shortcut Keys

Time management is very important for everyone. If you use some shortcut keys from your keyboard, you can save your time from opening any tab. So, there are some shortcut keys that 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

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

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 are unable to read them properly. But in Outlook, you can read them in a group using one click. For it, you have to follow some steps as given below:

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

OR

  • 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 that come 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 them 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 Options tab>>Delay Delivery>>Do not deliver before.
  3. Now, you enter time and date when you want 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 Ctrl+Shift+N keys in the Outlook interface.

20. Use Follow Up Flag to Track Responses

You can track all the responses of the messages that you have sent. Use flagging an email message to which you want to track response.

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

Or you can use another best approach as follows below:

  1. First, you have to search the Follow Up button in the Message Ribbon before sending an email.
  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, 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.

Verdict

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

I hope you will get an amazing Outlook experience with great productivity after applying these Microsoft Outlook tips. So, next time whenever you use Outlook application, don’t forget these Outlook tricks to implement.

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