New Year, New Outlook

It is a brand new year, and this usually means you have made a number of different New Years resolutions to get your life back in order. If you are an Outlook user, then most likely one of those resolutions has something to do with getting all of your email under control. Don’t worry! It’s not as scary as it first appears to be. Here are our 5 best tips to get your email and outlook inbox organized.


Want work more productively this year? A search tool can save you hours a week...

Sort Email by Unread in Outlook

This is a useful trick to finding important emails you have been putting off over the holidays. Do you have something from two or three days ago that you have been meaning to read? Then sorting by unread will help sort out your inbox.

When using Outlook 2013, this is easy to do. First open up your inbox. At the top of the list it should say All and Unread. Click Unread and your inbox will automatically sort itself into showing the Unread messages up top. Now you can find that email from two days ago that you meant to open.


Use Outlook Search Syntax

Outlook search is an important part of the email experience, and as such, can be made easier to handle by learning some of the Outlook Search Syntax. The search syntax is just specific combinations of words or phrases to help narrow down your searches. This is a great tool for getting your email under control as well. You won’t have to scroll through hundreds of emails to find what you need, you can simply type the correct terms into the search bar and have what you need in seconds.


Type This … … To Find This
john Items containing john, JOHN, JoHn, or any combination of uppercase and lowercase letters. Instant search isn’t case sensitive.
john smith Items with both John and Smith, but not necessarily in that order.
john AND smith Items containing both john and smith, but not necessarily in that order. *
John NOT smith Items containing John but not smith


For a more detailed list of Outlook search syntax options, check out this article on how to use Outlook Search Syntax.


Use Outlook Shortcuts

If you made a new year’s resolution to improve your time management skills and productivity, then learning some Outlook shortcuts could be the key to helping you do that. You will learn how to move seamlessly around your email client, and they can help you with the creation and general organization of email.


To Do This Press This
Switch to Inbox CTRL + Shift + I
Switch to Outbox CTRL + Shift + O
Send ALT + S
Reply to Message CTRL + R
Switch to Mail CTRL + 1
Switch to Contacts CTRL + 3
Switch to Calendar CTRL + 2
Switch to Tasks CTRL + 4

There are more Outlook shortcuts to use and to learn about, but these should get your started.


Save Outlook Email as PDF

If you want to start cleaning out old emails from your inbox, but have some that you would like to back up, saving them as a PDF then that can be easily done—especially when done using Windows 10. Windows 10 finally implemented a default option to print to pdf.

  • Open Outlook
  • Open the specific email you would like saved as PDF
  • Go to the File tab and click it
  • Then go to Print
  • In the drop down menu titled Printer, Select Microsoft Print to PDF
  • Click Print
  • A window showing where you can pick the location and file name to save your PDF opens up.

When you’re done, click Save. If you haven’t updated to Windows 10, you will most likely need an Add-in to save email to PDF.


Customize Your Outlook Search Folders

This could very well be the best tip to getting your email under control. The problem when you have a disorganized inbox is that you can never find what you actually need. Creating customized search folders can be really helpful.

It’s easy to create a new search folder, just go to File>New>Search Folder. You could also use the shortcut ‘CTRL+Shift+P’. A new window will open, and you will need to scroll all the way down to choose “Create a Custom Search Folder”. Click on the “Choose” button to choose your criteria for the search folder. Any search folder you create will be visible in your folder view, which allows easy access to all folders. This makes managing your email much easier to do.

For a more detailed walk through, please read this article on how to customize Outlook Search Folders.

These five steps should get you on the path to getting the chaos of your email under control. New Year, New Outlook.

Share with:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Posts:

Lookeen Newsletter

Subscribe to the Lookeen newsletter to get the latest updates and content first.