Outlook or Microsoft Outlook is a personal organizer from Microsoft’s suite of Office applications. It offers a one-stop solution for all your office needs, with features such as email management, note-taking, calendar, task management, and web browsing. The idea is to make the essential functionalities available in one place, so you do not have to leave the app or rely on other applications. Thus, saving yourself some time and being more productive and efficient with your work.
If you use the application yourself or have recently made the switch, here are a few useful Microsoft Outlook tips and tricks to help you get the most out of the application.
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1. Set an out of office message on Outlook
For those whose work involves interacting with clients or teammates from different time zones, it is not always possible to be available to respond to messages throughout the day. Not to mention, there are times when you are going for a trip during the weekend and want to let those reaching out to you that you are currently unavailable. Luckily, with Outlook, there is a nifty trick to deal with such a situation. For this, open Microsft Outlook on the web, tap the Settings icon on the top, and select View all Outlook settings. Here, select Automatic replies and toggle the button next to Automatic replies on. Now, depending on your work schedule, set the start and end time, and hit Save.
2. Create/change your email signature in Microsoft Outlook
An email signature is considered one of the best practices to end your email with. It comprises your name, email address, and other contact information, which can come in handy for the recipient if they try to reach out to you. To create an email signature, open Microsoft Outlook and go to Settings > View all Outlook settings. From here, select Mail and tap on Compose and reply. You will now see a window with various text formatting options. Moreover, you also get the option to upload an image or a template to edit it as your signature. Once done, you can enable or disable certain settings and options from below. And hit Save. To use this signature, in the compose window, tap the three horizontal dots and select Insert signature.
3. Insert inline image in an email
Although you can add an attachment in a conventional way, Microsoft Outlook does offer a neat trick to put your attachment inline with the body of your email. It can come in handy if you want the recipient to not miss out on checking the attachment. For this, go to Outlook and click on New message. In the compose window, tap on the tiny picture icon on the right of attachment next to the Send and Discard button. Now, select the image you want to add and hit Choose.
4. Undo send an email
When you exchange emails back-and-forth with different recipients, sometimes you end up responding to the wrong person. However, with Outlook, you can prevent such situations by using the Undo send functionality. To use this, the first thing you need to do is enable it. For this, open Outlook and go to Settings > View all Outlook settings. Here, tap on Mail and select Compose and reply. Now, scroll down to find Undo send and drag the slider to set the minimum time (in seconds) between when you send a message and get to undo sending it. Finally, hit Save. Once that’s set up, and you send an email to someone, you will see an option to Undo send for the next 10 seconds. To undo sending, tap on the button.
5. Handle incoming emails by setting rules
If your inbox gets bombarded with tonnes of emails, you can set rules to filter out the incoming messages and keep your inbox decluttered. To do this, go to Outlook > Settings > View all Outlook settings. From here, tap on Mail and select Rules. Next, hit the Add new rule button and give it a name. Now, select a condition and an action for the selected condition. Hit Save.
6. Manage junk email
Besides setting rules, another way to avoid unnecessary emails landing in your inbox is by blocking the user or the domain it is coming from. For this, go to Outlook and hit Settings on the top. Next, click on View all Outlook settings, select Mail, and tap on Junk email. On the right pane, hit the Add button under Blocked senders and domains to add the email or domain you want to stop receiving emails from. Finally, hit Save. Similarly, to ensure that you do not miss an email from a person or domain, hit the Add button under Safe senders and domains and add the email address or domain name.
7. Set the default from address
When you connect more than one account to Outlook, you have the option to choose the primary email from which you want to send emails by default. To set an email as the default, open Outlook and tap on the Settings icon on the top right. From here, choose View all Outlook settings and tap on Mail. Next, select Sync email, and from the window on the right, scroll down to find Set default From address. Now, hit the dropdown button and select the email you want to set as your default from address, and hit Save.
8. Send email to multiple people
If you find the need to send messages to multiple people at once, Outlook allows you to do just that using Groups. For this, go to Microsoft Outlook and tap the New group button from the left pane. On the pop-up window, give your group a name and description, and hit Create. Now, on the next screen, enter the name or email address for the participants you want to add to the group, and hit Add. Once done, you can easily message all the group members at once.
9. Share calendar
Outlook comes with a built-in calendar to help you keep up with your schedule and upcoming events. When you add an event, it is marked on the calendar, and you get a notification for the same depending on your set preferences. You can then share the calendar with other people to allow them to view or modify the entry. For this, go to Outlook and tap on the Calendar icon on the left pane. From here, hit the Share button on the top right (next to Print), and on the pop-up, enter the name of the person or their email address. Next, when asked to give permissions — you can either allow them to view all details or edit. Once done, hit Share.
10. Customize actions
Microsoft provides quick actions in Outlook that appear next to a person or an email to help you perform quick actions instantaneously. To add to that, the service also allows you to customize these actions and select the ones that you use frequently. To customize these actions, open Outlook and go to Settings > View all Outlook settings. Now, select Mail and tap on Customise actions. From the right window, mark the checkbox next to the actions you want to see for Quick actions and Message surface. Finally, hit Save.
Those are some of the tips and tricks you can use to get the most out of Microsoft Outlook. Do note that there are a few other features and tips that are available on the Premium subscription of Outlook. However, since a lot of users use Microsoft Outlook as their email service of choice, this article covers the features found on the free version of Outlook. If you find it useful, consider sharing it with your friends and family.