Microsoft Outlook is a personal information manager, available as a part of the Microsoft Office suite.

Although often used mainly as an email application, it also includes a calendar, task manager, contact manager, note taking, journal and web browsing. Microsoft Outlook helps you send emails, schedule meetings and organise your to-do list

Businesses can connect Outlook to an Exchange server, allowing everyone to share the same address book and calendars, making it a great tool for enterprise level communication.

Helps with

Communication: we are all familiar with this essential, yet often time-wasting function.

Try Quick Parts: a collection of snippets that can be directly imported into your email text as you go. Maybe you have to explain how to do things or delegate a task to a series of temporary team members – try Quick Parts to make these repeated communications faster and less irritating. Access it from the Insert tab.

You can recall an email to another Outlook user if they have not yet read it. Go to the Sent folder, open the offending message, Click “File” and select “Resend or Recall” from the main list. You can replace with a new message if you are quick!

When irrelevant messages arrive in Outlook, mark them as “Clutter” instead of just deleting. Office 365 will begin moving those unimportant emails to the Clutter box, where you can read, save or delete them.

End the dreaded “Reply All” email chain by opening the message thread and clicking the Home button. Within the Delete Group option, choose the option to Ignore. This automatically puts all new emails in this thread in your Trash folder. You can undo it if needed by going back to the More button and selecting Stop Ignoring.

Calendaring: use Calendar to schedule and invite others to meetings and events, plus book a meeting room and share relevant attachments.

You can colour code your Outlook calendar to make it clearer at a glance: work-related meetings in orange, blue for your football team games and the kids’ piano rehearsals in green. Right click on the meeting and select “Categorize” then select a colour & label.

People: store, search and share contact details

Task management: Create simple To Do lists in Tasks with due dates and categories.

Try learning some Outlook shortcuts to save time:
Ctrl+R: reply to email
Alt+R: reply to all in email or switch to the work week calendar view
Alt+W: forward email or switch to the weekly calendar view
Ctrl+M/F9: Send/Receive all
Alt+S: Send email
Ctrl+G: open the “Go to date” dialog to jump to any date in the calendar

Beware of

It’s tempting to turn to Outlook first for everything but other tools such as Yammer, Planner or OneNote can often be more productive.

Don’t email angry – Save As Draft  🙂

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