If you’re like most people, you probably use Outlook on a daily basis for work. But here’s the thing about Outlook: despite the fact that millions of people use it every day, few understand how much it can do and how to make the most of the many features it offers. It can even be perplexing if you are unfamiliar with the various Outlook features. But don’t let that scare you; when used correctly, Outlook’s features can drastically improve your workflow, from assigning tasks to managing your contacts and digital schedule.
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Here are 9 Outlook facts and features that are rarely used, even though they can increase efficiency and save you valuable time.
In your hectic daily routine, it is easy to make minor errors. Sending an email with an attachment missing not only wastes time, but it can also come across as unprofessional and embarrassing. If you compose a new email that includes the words “attached” or “attachment” and try to send it without attaching anything to the message, Outlook will prompt you to confirm whether you forgot to attach a file. This allows you to fix your mistake before sending the email.
Get Reminded on Important Messages
Are you waiting for that long-awaited end-of-season sale or a response to that job interview you had the other day? You don’t have to be concerned about missing an important message because Outlook has you covered!
Outlook’s new item alerts allow you to specify specific criteria that will trigger an alert only if the message received meets those criteria. This way, you can be notified about important messages without being distracted from your regular work. Learn how to enable or disable the message alert here.
Folder Clean Up
It is especially important to keep an overview and identify important messages when receiving a large number of professional emails. If you have multiple threads with dozens of messages in your inbox, chances are those messages are duplicates. As a result, having duplicate emails in your inbox can disrupt your daily work routine. This article will teach you how to avoid and clean up duplicate emails in Outlook.
Did you know that you can include specific names in your email? This is especially useful if you need to send an email to a large number of people but only need a few of them to respond.
Typing the @ before a name affects the following:
- The name is highlighted
- The name is added to the “To” line of your composed message
The mentioned person sees the @ symbol in their inbox, indicating that they are mentioned in the email.
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Did you finally book your next vacation or business trip? If you receive a hotel, flight, or rental car reservation via email, Outlook will add it to your calendar along with any associated information, such as your tracking number. This can be quite useful and saves you from searching for the relevant information in your possibly overflowing inbox.
Ignore Unimportant Conversations to Stay Focused
Do you find yourself on an email thread you want to ignore and find it distracting to receive messages or wasting time deleting each and every message? Outlook allows you to ignore such emails and thus improve your workflow. The best way to accomplish this is to disregard the entire conversation thread. As a result, the messages will be automatically moved to the “Deleted Items” folder, and future messages will not be displayed in your Inbox at all.
Scheduling Emails – Send Email on Future Date
If you’re like most people, you’ve had to work on important projects late at night to meet deadlines or simply because your day didn’t allow you to start earlier. This, however, may appear unprofessional to clients or management. It may thus be useful that Outlook allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a specific time.
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Calendar sharing with coworkers or your partner can be extremely beneficial. You can share it with a single person or grant access to the entire office. As a result, people can check your availability for meetings and appointments and know ahead of time if you’ll be out of the office.
How to share your calendar step-by-step:
Step 1: Open your Outlook calendar and select “Share Calendar”.
Step 2: Choose the contact you want to share the Calendar with.
Step 3: A details menu will drop down in which you can select if you want to share full details or your availability only.
Note: Even if you share full details of your calendar, you are still able to lock personal appointments afterwards.
Step 4: Click “Send”.
Note: The recipient will have to accept the send request to have access to your calendar.
Change Number of Lines in Message Preview
Outlook displays a preview of each email message in your inbox by default, including the sender, subject line, and one line of the message body.
It may assist you in seeing more than one line of the message body, deciding which messages are important, or simply having a better overview.
In 3 simple steps, you can change the number of displayed lines:
Step 1: Click on the “View” tab and select “Message Preview”.
Step 2: Then select 1, 2, or 3 Lines as desired, or “Off” if you don’t want any of the messages displayed in your inbox.
Step 3: Choose if you want this setting to apply to “All Mailboxes” or to only “This Folder” and click Ok.
Note: The sender and subject line are not affected by these settings.
Desktop Search Solutions
You may recall having to carefully sort all of your emails into folders in order to find an email if needed. Nowadays, built-in search functions make this much easier and save you time. Although the Outlook search function has greatly improved in recent years, it is still recommended that you use external search solutions for a more efficient and effective search. Desktop search engine Lookeen can perform searches in Microsoft® Outlook®, PST archives, Exchange servers, Public folders, the desktop, the network, and virtual desktop environments: Lookeen finds every email, document, and photo instantly, no matter where it is saved.
Did you know about these infrequently used Outlook features? Do you have any to add? Feel welcome to share your experience in the comment section!
See you soon!
Aline & the Lookeen team