Some people “live” in Outlook. It’s their headquarters for their day. They use it to almost its full capacity. Other folks just go in there, answer a few emails, maybe do a meeting. We’re going to show you some timesavers that I think both sets of folks could use. I mean, if you save a few moments every hour that adds up to minutes a day. And, you know, more than that over the weeks and months. So we want to add some timesavers. These are the ones that we find that resonates with people that even folks here in the office, you show them, and they go, “Wow. I didn’t know that.” So hopefully, there’s a couple of “aha” moments you can use here with Outlook.
#1 So the first one we’re going to talk about is Turn off notifications.
Now, I don’t live in Outlook. And I want to get my work done. And even though my manager may be listening, I think of my work and I think of my Hotmail email as two separate things.
So I want to make sure I can see my email when I want to and not have those little pop-ups occur, from time to time. I’m going to open up Outlook 2013 here. And those pop-ups you see, maybe, at the bottom of your screen if you have Windows or at the top of your screen. They come up with a little piece of toast almost. And it’s like Pavlov’s dogs if you remember that adage.
The axiom that basically you start looking at things and doing things without even thinking about it. So that you’re working hard and this little pop-up occurs, for some simple little Hotmail email you’ve never even heard about. And suddenly, you’re thinking about that instead of what you’re working on.
So I like turning those notifications off. I’m going to go down here to the bottom right-hand side of my screen in Windows. And click on this little triangle, left-click, look for the icon here. And right-click it and you can there’s a checkbox by Show New Mail Desktop Alert. I’m going to turn that off. I don’t want to see those emails, at all. You can also do that in Outlook.
Let me show you how to do that. If you go over to Outlook to the left-hand side, hit File and go to Options. Under Mail, there’s a whole bunch of things here.
There’s Play a sound. There’s Show an envelope icon in the taskbar. And There’s a whole bunch of stuff here that, quite frankly, I don’t think you need. I mean, I did this to a group I managed, one time. I said, “Go ahead and turn off all your notifications.
If I need you, I’ll get up out of my seat and walk over to your desk. Try it for a week and see what happens.” Well, I got fired. No, no, no. I didn’t get fired. Nothing happened. But most of the people kept them off because they allowed them to get that work, those precious few minutes to get done without the Hotmail email.
So that’s our first one is turn off notifications.
#2 Dragging email into calendar.
Now, most people know, and if you don’t I’m going to give you a bonus right now.
If you’re on an email that you want to turn into a meeting, you can go up here into the ribbon and click on Reply with Meeting. And, basically, it takes everyone that is in the email chain in the To column. And you can add all your text here in the area for the email here. You can add your own text down here, if you need to, also.
But sometimes, what you want to do is set an appointment. And we want to block some time off. Let’s say, I have this proposal here that I need to read.
But I want to just take some calendar time so I have private time to work on that. So I can just drag this into the word Calendar or the icon. And it creates an appointment for me. And I can just fill this out.
If you have an earlier version of Outlook, you actually might have a calendar you can actually pull down to the day and then set the time. So that way, you can block off time and this will appear as an appointment in your calendar.
A couple of little things that are kind of fun in Outlook when setting time and date and all that. Over here in Time, you don’t have to use the number, colon, number AM/PM. You can just write the time. So if I want to do this at, I don’t know, o’clock this morning. I can just write and it prints it out, puts it in.
You can also do the military time. And I can even end it at an odd time. So let’s say I’m going to do a minute meeting. When was the last time you were there or a minute appointment? I’m going to go, type that in. Hit tab.
And it will go in. So you can do some of that stuff in Outlook to set your time. You don’t have to type exactly what’s there.
#3 Ignore button.
So let’s find a Hotmail login email. We get these emails all the time. This one’s about a client lunch that was in April. Now it’s tomorrow. It’s been rescheduled. I can’t go to it. Everyone’s having all this stuff. “What should we have?” They’re talking about all this great food. I can’t go. So I delete the message every time it comes in because it bothers me.
Well, what I can do is use the Ignore button up here in the upper left-hand corner. If there’s an email you don’t want to see anymore, this Ignore button, which is Control Delete as the shortcut. Not only does it delete the email, any more emails about that subject go automatically into your Deleted Items” folder. You don’t even see them.
So if you’re getting some– there’s some technical thing that doesn’t deal with your department, you can put that in the “Ignore” button.
Or do we still have those ones where everyone says, you know, “Reply All?” Stop hitting “Reply All” and they hit “Reply All” and it just goes on forever. Save your sanity. Go over and click the “Ignore” button.
You get this message here for the first time. I’m going to check this off so I don’t see this message again. I ignore the conversation. I never see those emails again. And I don’t have to think about the client lunch. The “Ignore” button, terrific to use.
#4 Quick Access Toolbar
We’re going to stay in the upper left-hand corner here. At the very top, this is called the Quick Access Toolbar. You see a few commands up here.
The Quick Access Toolbar is for all– you’ll see these for all different programs in Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Basically, you can put some of your most used or favorite commands up here at the top.
Currently, I have Undo and there are some touch things here. I have a Redo button. But you can add new commands there. There’s a little triangle right next to it. Let me click on that. And let me add the Print command. If I want to print email, there it is. And those will stay up there the entire time I’m there until I remove them.
So they’re always up here, no matter what screen you’re on. You can add a lot more. Let me show you here. Let me click this little triangle again. Go down here to More Commands and I’ll click that. Lots of commands here.
There’s even a whole area of Commands Not in the Ribbon. I mean, there’s a ton of things here. I’m going to click All Commands, which is everything in alphabetical order. Let me drop to the very bottom here. And I want to add one called Work Offline.
And I’ll hit the Add button. I can rearrange this if I don’t want to. But I’m good. So I’m going to hit “Okay.” And now, as you can see, in the upper left-hand corner, that Print command and that Work Offline command was up there and will stay up there. Work Offline is a great button.
If you want to stay in Outlook but don’t want to send out an email, you want to send it all at once, or don’t want to have an email come in to bother you. You can see there’s a certain theme here I have to email.
You can click that button and you work offline. You’re just disconnected from the server. And then, as soon as you click it back on, your email will send and receive. So it’s a good button. That’s why I keep it up on the Quick Access Toolbar.
And again that’s on all Office programs. I think it’s on all Office programs. I know it’s on the main ones, Word, Excel, PowerPoint. Is it on Visio? It’s on all of them. And It’s a great tool to use.
#5 Respond fast with IM
Sometimes we work in email time. And “Did you get that email? I had this important email. Did you get it?” Sometimes you want to respond to people faster than email.
And you can do that. You can respond with an IM. Click IM Reply All. And everyone in the message I can now IM. Now, this only works if your business is connected by Link. If you work from Office from home and have Skype, have a Skype network.
Well, you could do that with Skype also. But, basically, you can get everyone at once. And then, just reply. Like, you know, you can pretend you’re the big boss. “I need an answer now.” And you can do this in IM. And they’ll get the message and you can work on it right there. So you don’t have to- you know, there’s walking out and getting people right away. There’s email.
This way, you can respond to people, as long as they’re online, right away, and get a hold of them. So that’s Reply with IM, number five.
#6 Quick Steps.
That’s this big area of the ribbon right here, which you may have seen. I think it’s been there since Outlook 2010. But it’s terrific. And I’m going to show you a couple of different ways. Sometimes you do things manually. You move things to folders. You tag them. And you categorize them. Some people set up rules. If the email does this, then we’ll have all this happen.
Quick Steps is the way to do that manual with email, and a lot more. So if there’s a certain email here that I want to use and put it in. Like, say, this Bing email I got this morning would be perfect for something that we’re working on with this Project Falcon.
So what I can do up here is I can click the one I’ve preset in the Quick Steps area, called Project Falcon. And I’ll click it. Now, what it just did– I’ll go over to this Inbox now for Falcon Project. It moved it over here. But not only that, it moved the message.
It marked it as Read. I now have it tagged as Tailspin. And I have a follow-up flag. It did it all in one quick step. Let me break that open and show you how we did that here. So I’m going to go down and click the More steps and Manage Quick Steps.
And here’s that Project Falcon. It moved it, It flagged it. It categorized it and marked it as Read. Now, you can do this for a lot of emails.
In fact, let’s just kind of start a new one. I’m going to hit the Create New button here. And just show you all the things you can do, all the actions you can add. And multiple actions; Move to folder.
You can categorize a message, two or three times if you want to. If you need to mark something. Here, let me choose one category here and then add another action and choose a category.
You know, I’ll use two of them. So if I do this Quick Step, it will categorize those mails two ways. I can add other steps, too. And I can add categories and tasks, add flags, set the importance level of a message. I can copy it automatically. I can do, again, multiple steps as one Quick Step. Last, I can also respond and make a new email.
This is really great. If you’ve ever used or tried to use, sometimes, Outlook templates, those can be tricky. Here’s a new way to do it. Let me show you what I did for a Tailspin invoice. And what I did have I created a mail that when I click it, it automatically prepopulates. A lot of times, we use the same email.
We try to find it and we cut and paste and use it again. This way, it creates a brand new email. And I’ve set several things here. I can set the importance level as High. I can add a follow-up flag. And I can present who it’s going to.
And then, the Subject line, I just have to fill in what week it is. Then, this whole other area, I just fill in the number, the date, and the amount, and send it off. It’s just a quick little snapshot of each week for the invoices we sent. So that’s a Quick Step. And you can set that email very easily. Give it a try.
Try to Create New and just start right in. If you want to do that new email, it’s right here. You click New Message. And here are all the options you can do. And you can preset an email that you might use over and over again, and use it as a Quick Step. That was our timesaver number six.
#7 Out of Office.
Now, things change if you have smartphones and the Outlook Web Access and things like that, the web app. You can set your Out of Office message a couple of different ways. But if you don’t have that, or what I did a few years ago, as you have this to-do list of things you wanted to do. And the last thing is I have to set my Out of Office message.
And I remember a few years ago, I was at the bus stop and realized I had not set it. I had to come back in, miss my bus. Went upstairs, all the jokes, “Hey Doug, that was a short vacation.” Wait for my computer to fire up and set my Out of Office message and then, leave.
So the great thing about it, this is a new feature in Outlook 2010. I’m going to go over to the File menu and click Automatic Replies (Out of Office). And I get this little more expanded menu. I can Send automatic replies. And then, I check the box Only send during this time range.
So I’m going on vacation next week. I’m not really. But if I was, I could set the message right here. So I’m going to set this message to go off Sunday night at about nine o’clock. And I’m on vacation.
And then, I’ll turn it back on the next Sunday, late at night, to eight o’clock. So I can set this– now, I’ll add my time. In fact, it keeps my time from the last time I was on vacation in February.
So I can just retype the dates if I want to. I can do one for inside and outside my organization if I want different messages. And then, hit Okay. And now that message will send on the 16th. I don’t have to think about it. So it’s a way of thinking of the vacation in advance. That’s always a good thing.
We could probably do minutes on Search. In fact, we probably should. But searching an email is a great way to find things. The Search box is actually right in here with all my email. Right above there, there’s a little field called Search Current Mailbox. Ctrl+E is the shortcut.
And you can just search for something. So if I’m looking for something from Garret, I can type that in there. Now, five messages appear. He’s only in the To line in one of these messages. And you can see it’s yellow. But these other messages probably mention Garret. Because it looks at the message, the subject, and all the information in the message.
In fact, this top message here, if I scroll down, sure enough, Garret is mentioned. It’s about Yammer activity and Garret’s name is there. So it picks up that information. Now, when you click up here, you get a whole ribbon of search tools. And let me close this. And let’s do another search. Let’s say I want to search for something about Contoso.
And it will look for it. And as you can see, when you click the search, you get this new ribbon with all these tools up front. Now, you can also search the Current Mailbox or All Mailboxes, if you want to. The default is Current Mailbox. And then, you can also use the ribbon.
So I want to look for something with Contoso, but I want to look for something that has attachments. And I can type all that in or I can just use the ribbon. And there it is. Now, this message from Alex has nothing about Contoso.
I don’t see the word Contoso. But it has an attachment. I’ll click on the attachment. I can read it. That’s a feature in Outlook 2010. I can read it without opening up Word. And it’s not going to be in yellow. But sure enough, the word Contoso is there. So it searched for an attachment to an email and was able to find it. That’s part of the power of Search that is great.