Microsoft Outlook comes with a raft of features that make managing your busy schedule and boosting your productivity easier. If you find Outlook’s myriad capabilities a little overwhelming like I did, don’t worry — these tips and tricks will have you working smarter in Outlook in no time!
Organize your Outlook inbox
Is your Outlook inbox getting a little too cluttered for your liking? Use the Clean Up feature to tidy up your inbox.
From your inbox, click the Home tab and choose from one of three Clean Up options:
- Clean Up Conversation – reviews an email thread or a conversation and deletes redundant messages
- Clean Up Folder – reviews conversations in a selected folder and deletes redundant messages
- Clean Up Folder & Subfolders – reviews all messages in a selected folder and any subfolders, and deletes redundant messages in all of them
Using the Clean Up Folder feature is often the first step in starting my day, as doing this will quickly delete the older messages in any conversations in my inbox. This saves me time and allows me to respond to messages quicker.
Ignore Outlook conversations
Besides redundant messages, group conversations that aren’t relevant to you can clutter up your inbox. The Ignore button helps you organize your inbox and focus on relevant emails.
To activate this feature, select a message, then click Home > Ignore > Ignore Conversation. You can also do this by opening a message in a new window and clicking Ignore under the Delete function. Be careful when using this feature, however, so that you do not ignore any important conversations that you may need later. If you find that you have ignored something that you do in fact need, you can easily revert this action by going to the Deleted Items folder and clicking Ignore > Stop Ignoring Conversation.
Send links to files
This function is especially useful when you need to send large files to your coworkers or clients. You can send a link to the file instead of the file itself as well as set permissions to allow recipients to edit and collaborate on linked files in real time. I have found this to be extremely helpful when multiple people are working on the same project, as the document automatically updates with any changes made by any users.
To do this, upload the file you wish to send to OneDrive. Then from the message box, click Attach File > Browse web locations > OneDrive.
Schedule a Teams meeting
Teams is Microsoft’s unified communication and collaboration platform, and it includes the Outlook add-in. This feature allows you to set up Teams meetings directly from Outlook. It also lets you view, accept, or join meetings in either app. The simplicity of scheduling a Teams meeting in Outlook has made creating meetings so much easier for me.
To schedule a Teams meeting on Outlook, follow these steps:
- Switch to the calendar view on Outlook. Click the New Teams Meeting tab.
- Add individual participants or entire contact groups to the Required or Optional fields.
- Type in the topic, start time, and end time of the meeting. There’s no need to add the dial-in phone numbers and conferencing IDs to the invite, as Outlook does this automatically for you.
- Create a message inviting the recipients to the meeting, then click Send.
Tag Outlook contacts
To get the attention of a specific person in a group email or meeting invite, use the @Mention function. This works particularly well for emails sent to multiple recipients or if you want to convey the urgency of your message. I use this feature the most when I want to single out someone for outstanding work, because everyone appreciates when their hard work and extra efforts are recognized!
It is very simple to activate the @Mention function. In the body of your email or invite message, type the @ symbol followed by the name of the person you want to tag (e.g., @johndoe). Doing so will highlight the name in the message and automatically add it to the To line of your message.
You can also search for messages you’re tagged in by selecting Filter Email from the Home tab, and then clicking Mentioned.
These are just some of the many things that you can do to improve your Outlook experience. For more on how to get the most out of Outlook and other Microsoft products, contact us today.
Beringer Technology Group, a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics 365 and CRM for Distribution. We also provide expert Managed IT Services, Backup and Disaster Recovery, Cloud Based Computing and Unified Communication Solutions.