Outlook is the industry standard app for email, calendars, and contacts. Here are our favorite Outlook tips that will help you work smarter and improve your productivity.

1. Organize emails into folders

Creating a folder system for your emails makes it easier to find specific emails and keeps your inbox clutter-free. As you get an email, you can move it to its appropriate folder. Sort emails by project, action items, urgency, and other factors.

2. Use the Scheduling Assistant to find meeting times

Emailing back and forth with your colleagues to find a compatible meeting time can be cumbersome. The Scheduling Assistant in Outlook automatically finds a day and time that works for everyone, saving you and your team valuable time.

To use the Scheduling Assistant, start by creating a calendar invite and inviting your colleagues. Select the Scheduling Assistant option to see participants’ calendars. The times when all participants are available will be green on the timeline, while red indicates that one or more people are unavailable.

3. Delay your email delivery

With Outlook’s delayed delivery, you can write an email now and send it later. Under Options, go to Delay Delivery and indicate the time, date, and other parameters to tell Outlook when to send the email. Once you’ve saved these options, your email will remain in your outbox until the specified time.

4. Clean up your inbox to remove redundant emails

The Clean Up function in Outlook reduces the number of emails in a conversation, folder, or subfolder by deleting duplicates. You can read one thread instead of several individual emails.

Simply click the Clean Up button and select the option for conversation, folder, or folder and subfolders. Confirm the action in the pop-up window, and Outlook will automatically move duplicate emails to the trash, where you can review them before permanently deleting them.

5. Use Auto-Reply when you’re out of the office

Outlook can automatically reply to emails when you’re out of the office. Auto-Reply lets your contacts know you’re unavailable so they can decide to wait until you’re in the office or contact another person.

To set up an auto-reply for your Outlook.com account, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings, then View all Outlook settings at the bottom of the box.
  2. Select Mail, then go to the automatic replies tab.
  3. Switch on the toggle by automatic replies.
  4. If you want automatic replies sent during a specific time, check the box by “send replies only during a time period” and fill in the start and end times. Otherwise, Outlook will auto-reply indefinitely.
  5. Compose your message in the text box.
  6. You can check the box by “send replies only to contacts” to send your auto-reply only to email addresses in your Outlook.com contacts. Outlook will send the auto-reply to everyone if not.

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Knowing the ins and outs of Outlook can help you work smarter, not harder. If your company uses Microsoft 365, choose Agio for end-user IT services. Contact us online for more information about how we can help your firm improve productivity while reducing security risks.

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