Tips on using Outlook to manage your emails

Microsoft Outlook remains the world’s most popular email client, synchronizing with almost any email platform.

Microsoft’s Office suite of programs has long been the most popular business software package in the world and Outlook, its email client, is a key part of its offering.

And while the likes of Gmail and Hotmail are popular for personal, web-based email accounts, Microsoft’s program has carved a niche as being the email platform for professionals, whether it is synchronized for Outlook servers or those offered by Google or any other competing provider.

Given the vast amount of employee time spent managing emails, Forbes recently reported workers spend an average two and a half hour hours a day sending and receiving emails, Penta has compiled a list of five handy tips to help increase productivity.

Create folders

It can be irritating and time-consuming to constantly search your inbox or send items to find the one email you need to reply to or refer back to. As such, creating folders dedicated to specific tasks can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.

Create a signature and email templates

One quick productivity tip we can recommend is to set up an email signature and template. No longer will you need to write important information, such as your phone number or your organisation’s address, it will be there at the bottom of the email as soon as you start composing a message.

To create a signature to add to each email, go to Messages > Signatures > New. This will open a dialogue box for you to create, name and format the information you’d like to appear at the bottom of every email you send.

Similarly, Outlook allows you to create email templates, which can be very useful when you need to send similar emails to several people individually.

To do this, create a new email with all the common elements you wish to use repeatedly, then go to File > Save As… > Outlook template. When you next need to use that template, click on Items > Choose Form… > User Templates and select the draft you wish to use. Simple.

Schedule an email

This particular trick can be useful in a number of scenarios, perhaps if you do not want a colleague or client to know you are writing emails in the middle of the night. Equally, it can be handy to schedule emails to send when you are mid-air before you fly, or simply to send your email at a time when you know your recipient is more likely to be at their desk.

To do this, go to Options > Delay Delivery > Do not deliver before, then specify the time and date you want it to go out.

Block emails

If your organisation has an adequate level of anti-spam protection this point may be redundant, but Outlook allows you to block certain senders and even countries from appearing in your inbox.

Go to  Home > Junk email options and work your way through the details. However, it must be noted that spammers can easily get around a block on a specific country by using technologies to pretend to be from a different region.

Turn off notifications

If you are notified every time you receive an email, chances are you will find the constant pinging of notifications a distraction, given the average person receives 122 emails each day.

Instead of pausing to read the latest missive, you can turn off your desktop alerts in File > Options > Mail options and then create a custom rule to only display alerts for messages sent to you by specific contacts.


Communications conundrum

 Quantity is not quality
 Hundreds of emails handled each day
 Huffington Post

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