Microsoft Outlook Tips and Tricks

Do you use Microsoft Outlook to send and receive emails for your work or personal life? Then you will want to incorporate the following tips and tricks into your daily routine, as they can help you make the most of this popular email client.

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Tips And Tricks For Microsoft Outlook

Chances are, you have the basic gist of what Microsoft Outlook does and how to use it. Use these tips and tricks when logged into your account, and you can make your Microsoft Outlook experience much more enjoyable and productive. It is worth noting that the following were performed on a Mac device using the web version of Outlook, so you may experience slight variations when trying them for yourself in a different format on another device.

How to Clean Up Your Outlook Inbox

If you are like most people, your Outlook inbox is messier than you would like it to be. Instead of taking a day off work to go through your inbox to delete unnecessary messages manually, you can use the nifty Clean Up feature to do the dirty work for you.

Microsoft Outlook tutorial

Clean Up removes redundant messages so you can enjoy a clutter-free inbox while retaining the information you need for future reference. Click on Clean Up near the top of your Outlook window in the Delete section, and you will have the option to Clean Up conversations, folders, or folders and subfolders. Any redundant messages will be moved to the Deleted Items folder, just in case you are worried that you will lose something essential during the process.

How to Send Automatic Replies in Outlook

The next time you are on vacation or are too swamped to reply to emails, use automatic replies not to leave anyone hanging and make others aware of your status. With an automatic reply, Outlook will send customized responses, so you do not have to. You can select a start and end time for your automatic replies that fits your busy schedule to a T, and it is the ideal feature for workaholics who just cannot stay away from their inbox.

You can access this feature by clicking on File, Info, and Automatic Replies.

Microsoft Outlook tricks

Make Multitasking Easy With Multiple Tabs

Would you like to view your Outlook calendar to glance at upcoming meetings, your inbox for urgent incoming messages, and your file attachments for quick access? Instead of clicking back and forth between each of those Outlook features, you can enjoy easier access by having them open in multiple tabs. Here’s how to create multiple tabs in Outlook:

  • On the left-hand side of the Outlook window, right-click on the desired feature (Mail, Calendar, People, Files, etc.)
  • Click on Open in new tab

From there, you can easily switch between tabs without having to start fresh or wait for each feature to load.

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Keep Track Of Time Zone Differences in Outlook

Remote work is as popular as ever, and many teams have workers who live in different time zones. This can create confusion when scheduling meetings, sending emails, or expecting responses, which is why you should use Outlook’s Scheduling Assistant to view multiple time zones simultaneously.

To use the Scheduling Assistant in Microsoft Outlook, do this:

  • Open the Calendar panel in Outlook
  • Click on New Event, so a new window opens
  • Click on Scheduling Assistant
  • Click on the small globe icon (when you hover over it with your cursor, it will say Time Zones)
  • Use your current time zone for one field
  • In the other field, search for your desired city located in the second time zone
  • Click on Done

Microsoft Outlook how-to

While the multiple time zones will be used for this event, do not worry, as they will not be applied to your entire calendar.

How to Make Scheduling Simple in Outlook

The Scheduling Assistant in Outlook comes in handy when your coworkers are in different time zones, but it also makes it super simple to organize meetings when everyone has a hectic schedule.

Instead of emailing, calling, or texting your coworkers to try to find an open slot to set a meeting, use the Scheduling Assistant to find an opening. Once you create a calendar invite and select the coworkers you want to attend, the Scheduling Assistant will show you everyone’s calendar. Times when everyone is free will be shown in green so you can easily pick a day and time that works.

Ignore Conversations That Do Not Concern You

Have you ever been part of an email thread where some participants kept hitting the Reply All button? If so, those constant incoming messages that did not concern you probably distracted/irritated you and made it impossible to focus on your work.

Instead of taking the rude route and asking others to stop using the Reply All option, you can ignore the conversation instead by doing this:

  • With the back-and-forth email open, click on the three dots () in the toolbar
  • From those settings, click on Ignore
  • Outlook will ask if you want to ignore the conversation. To ignore it and avoid that endless stream of annoying notifications, click OK

When you ignore a conversation, Outlook will delete all of its messages from all folders except for Sent. Any new messages from that ignored conversation will also be deleted.

Another option is to Snooze a conversation. This less-permanent feature is accessed by clicking on the three dots () in the email’s toolbar. Once you click Snooze, you will be given the option to silence that conversation until a specified date and time, so you can take a break from those distractions but still access the information if needed.

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How to Schedule Emails in Outlook

Some believe that you should only send an email when you expect the recipient to be available to respond. In other words, you should refrain from sending a coworker a message at midnight since they are probably asleep, will not respond, and could be offended or irritated once they see you were writing to them when they are off the clock. This is where scheduling emails in Outlook comes in handy, as you can set the exact time you want an email to be sent.

To avoid interrupting a coworker’s sleep or vacation, do the following to schedule an email in Outlook:

  • Compose the email
  • Next to the Send button, click on the arrow that points downward
  • Click on Send Later
  • Select the date and time when you want to send the email

Microsoft Outlook tutorial

By default, Outlook will offer scheduled sending times via 30-minute intervals, but you can manually input an exact time as well. If you need to find a scheduled email, look in the Drafts section.

How to Use Conditional Formatting in Outlook

Do you receive so many emails daily that you are worried about essential emails slipping through the cracks? If so, you can keep an eye on those essential emails by using Outlook’s conditional formatting feature, as it will let you customize specific messages, so they stand out from the crowd in your inbox.

For instance, if you know you will receive messages from a new client that you cannot miss, you can change their font, so they do not get lost in a sea of “junk” from other senders. You can also create a rule so that any message with a specific word in the subject line, such as “Invoice,” appears in a different color or format. To view all the conditional formatting settings at your disposal in Outlook, click on View at the top of the window, followed by View Settings.

Microsoft Outlook tips

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Enrique Stone
Enrique Stone
Enrique is a writer who specializes in SEO, social media, and web design content.

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