Increase Productivity While Using Outlook – How to Use the Unique Outlook Features to Work More Efficiently.
Tips – Increase Productivity While Using Outlook
Do you ever wonder that the way you use Outlook can be made better? Are you worried that some of the tasks you often perform in Outlook are repetitive and is making you less productive in the long term?
Good news is that Outlook offers a ton of features that help users simply some of the repetitive and time-consuming tasks that are performed frequently. These features can help you increase your productivity many folds and can simply the lengthier operations that otherwise take a lot of your time unnecessarily.
For this article, we are discussing two very helpful tips you can apply to save you some time and more importantly, save you from constant frustration of having to do same thing over and over again in the same grudgingly repetitive manner.
This article focuses on the act of sending almost the same emails frequently, and how you can make it much simpler and more productive.
Reply with pre-written text
Do you send almost same emails to some of the people in your contacts? Maybe it is the simple work-related emails that you need to send to some with the same wording every time? It is not very productive to type in the message every time you want to send the same email.
You can save yourself some time by saving these commonly sent messages into email templates and use them the next time, so you don’t have to type them every single time.
- First, compose a new message, add a subject line, type in your message into the text body, go to ‘File’ and choose ‘Save as.’ Choose “Outlook template” as “save as type,” browse to any location you want to save the template/automatic response and click “save.”
- Now, to send it, go to the ‘Home’ tab, select “New Items” that is next to the ‘New Email,’ go to ‘more items’ and select ‘Choose from.’
- Select “User Templates in File System” from the “look in” drop down menu. Browse to the location where you saved the template and double-click the one you want to send.
- The template will now be opened as “New Email” and you can edit or modify the text if you want. And then click “send.”
To Send a New Message Even Quicker
There’s another method to send a new message even quicker. This method can be applied through the “Quick Steps” feature of Outlook. You can find it in the home tab inside the ‘Quick Steps’ section.
- Click on ‘Create New’ to create a new ‘Quick Step.’
- Name this new ‘Quick Step,’ something like, “Quick new email to my team X.”
- Choose “New Message” under the “Action.”
- Now mention the receiver address (To, Cc, Bcc) if you want, add the subject line, the email text, flag and important status, add a shortcut key (optional), and a tooltip text to make it easy for you to identify what this “Quick Step” does the next time you want to use it (helpful in case if you have many such ‘quick steps’). You can leave any of these fields empty. If you want some flexibility to edit or modify them at the time of sending an email.
- Addition to “send a new email,” you can also add multiple “actions” to this same “quick step”. A much helpful one is to move the message to a specific folder after it is being sent.
- Click “Finish.”
To use this newly created “Quick Step,” simply click on it inside the ‘Quick Steps’ section under the home tab. Outlook will automatically create a new email window with all your pre-specified fields (like subject line, To, and email text body). You can either edit some of these areas or simply select ‘Send’ to send the message as you have specified.
Shortcut Keys for Sending a New Email
Shortcut keys can further make anything much quicker and more productivity. There are few default (pre-registered) keys that you can use, and then there are ways to add custom shortcut keys. You don’t have to go through manual clicking through many email related tasks when you can simply press the keys on your keyboard.
Here are some of the most used shortcut keys. For the scope of this article, we are only focusing on shortcut keys that help you send a new message, forward a message, or reply to messages.
- Control + Shift + M to create a new email message from anywhere. Also, when you inside the Outlook “Mail” section (and not under Calendar, Contacts, or any other), you can open new message window by Control + N.
- Ctrl + F to forward a message.
- Press Ctrl + Alt + F to forward a message as an attachment in the format of .msg file.
- Ctrl + R to reply to a message and Ctrl + Shift + R to reply to all selected messages.
- You can also save the template (the one that we created above) and save it to your desktop. Then you can simply double-click on the file and it will open as a new message automatically.
- You can add a new custom shortcut key in the “Quick Steps” feature explained above. These “quick steps” shortcut keys are limited to “Control + Alt + a number key”. Like: Ctrl + Alt + 5.
- Ctrl + 1 to switch to Outlook Mail, in case you are using the calendar, tasks, contacts, or any other function of Outlook.
Hopefully, with these tips, you can significantly increase your expertise on Outlook and on working with emails more efficiently.
Related Article: Outlook Troubleshooting Tips
We will be adding more articles in this series of increasing productivity while using Outlook. There are many more ways you can save time while performing frequent tasks that are repetitive.
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