Outlook Tips and Tricks

Improve your Microsoft Outlook productivity and you'll find yourself working more efficiently. Whether you want to be an Outlook expert or just save time, you'll appreciate the time-saving Outlook tips in this tutorial.

Tip 1. Stand out in your colleagues’ inboxes with @Mentions

We all get a ton of emails every day, so it’s easy to overlook an important message from time to time. @Mentions is a cool new tool recently added to Outlook that helps key messages stand out. You can use @mentions in emails or meeting requests. To add one, all you have to do is type @ followed by a person’s first and last name. Select the name and Outlook will automatically add them as a recipient in the To: field of the email and highlight their name in the body. Finish composing your email and send it as usual. Once the recipient gets your email, they will see an @ symbol to the right of the message’s subject line.
Filtering your email by @mentions is an easy way to focus on the messages that need your attention. To do this, go to the top of your messages list, above it, you will see a drop-down menu next to the search box. In this drop-down menu, select “all Outlook items.”
Then, choose “Mention” in the sort column. Now, you’ll only see the messages that mention you by name.

Tip 2. Proofreading just got a lot easier with the read aloud feature

I don’t know about you, but sometimes to catch small typos or grammar issues in my emails and documents I need to read them out aloud. Now, Microsoft Outlook and Word will do that for you. Using this feature in Outlook is as easy as clicking the Review tab, then the “Read Aloud” button in the speech section of the ribbon.
Want to have the email you get from other people read aloud too? Just select the message in your inbox, then click the “Read Aloud” button in the speech section of the ribbon.

Tip 3. Insert a picture into the body of an email message

When sending pictures, you can either attach the picture to the email message or insert the picture in the message body. To insert a picture that displays in the body of an email message, use the following steps:
1. Position your cursor where you want the image in your message.
2. In the ribbon, select Insert > Pictures.
3. Browse your computer or online file locations for the picture you want to insert. Select the picture, then select Insert.
4. To resize the picture, drag the handles at one of the four corners toward the center of the image or away from the center.

Tip 4. Speed through Outlook with keyboard shortcuts

Do you want to create a new email message? Press Ctrl+Shift+M. For a new contact, try Ctrl+Shift+C.
Outlook has you covered with appointments and meetings too. Ctrl+Shift+A creates an appointment, while Ctrl+Shift+Q opens a new meeting request.
What’s the most popular Outlook keyboard shortcut? Ctrl+Enter which sends your message.
Want the complete list of keyboard shortcuts?

Tip 5. Let them know you’re away

When you’re on holiday or out of the office, email piles up. Let senders know you’re away, and give them someone else to contact during your absence. They get what they’re looking for, and you get to keep that holiday glow.
Select File > Automatic Replies > Send automatic replies.
Type the message that will be displayed to senders, specify the date range for sending your message and select OK.
Important note: Don’t forget to set a message for both “Inside My Organisation” and “Outside My Organisation”

Tip 6. Schedule a message for future delivery

Did you know that you can schedule an email for future delivery? This is one of the coolest Outlook tricks out there and can prove to be really useful.
Imagine, for example, you want to send an email status report to your boss tomorrow so that it’s in their email inbox first thing in the morning. The only problem is that you don’t start work until 9:00am and your boss comes in at 7:00am. With the Future Delivery feature, simply write the message the night before and schedule it for delivery at 6:45am.
To use this feature, write the email as you normally would and before you send the message, click on Options > Delay Delivery. The Properties dialog box appears.
Under “Delivery Options” you’ll find the check box “Do not deliver before”. Check the box to turn the feature on. Then select a date and time that the message can’t be delivered before. Close the Properties box and send the message as you normally would.

Tip 7. Use “Favorites” to keep important folders at the top of your Navigation Pane

You can add commonly used mail folders to your Favorite Folders lists in the Mail Navigation by right clicking a folder and choosing Add to Favorite Folders or drag & drop the folder into the Favorite Folders box.
To remove a folder, right click the folder in either the Favorite Folders box or in the folder list and choose Remove From Favorite Folders.

Tip 8. Quick Parts

Tired of repeating yourself over and over again in emails? Make use of Outlook’s “Quick Parts” to store frequently used phrases or paragraphs and you’ll save a bunch of time.
Use the new email window to type out the text you’d like to use frequently, highlight it and from the top menu select Insert > Quick Parts > Save selection to add it to the quick part gallery.
You now have two options: either use Insert > Quick Parts to add the text in, or just start typing it in the new email message window. Outlook will offer a visual indication, and you can simply hit the Enter key to instantly add it to your message.

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