Increase Your Productivity With Thes Microsoft Outlook Hacks
In a 2018 survey conducted by Adobe, they found out that a regular office worker in the USA spends as much as 5.6 hours just for an email on a weekday. This is broken down into 3.1 hrs for work email and 2.4 hours for personal mail.
That’s 5.6 out of your 24 spent staring at the email client that you can never get back.
But the 5.6 hours you spend are not really spent wisely. Experts believe that we can still cut this time by half or even more if we manage our emails in a productive manner.
Certain email clients, like Outlook, can help make your team members become more productive with the help of a couple of features found under the hood. We’ve compiled a number of these hacks that any Outlook user can use to cut back on the time they waste on email – without missing any message.
But let’s talk about Outlook first and why it is the email client of choice for thousands of businesses all over the country.
Why Should I Use Outlook For My Business?
To date, there are a couple of email clients out there that businesses can use. But Outlook is considered as one with the most users in a business setting. This is due to a few things.
First off, Outlook is bundled with Microsoft 365 (previously Office 365) which is a productivity suite from Microsoft. This means organizations that use Microsoft 365 end up using Outlook as well. While this may sound something like a “so people don’t have a choice?” kind of deal, they continue using Outlook for years because it offers a complete solution for businesses looking for a safe, easy-to-use, and powerful email client.
Outlook is also preferred by organizations as it can offer a simple and intuitive tool for beginners but can become a totally different tool when in the hands of a seasoned veteran. Sure, you start using Outlook to read emails and to reply but as you learn more about it you can turn it into a powerful productivity tool that does more than just deliver your email.
Lastly, Outlook can be integrated with a number of different apps and tools that can supercharge your productivity. Instead of opening multiple windows just to do a series of tasks, you can cut the middleman and do everything within the Outlook app window.
There are still a lot of reasons why businesses choose Outlook over the competition but listing them all is for another article. Now, let’s go and talk about how you can improve your productivity with the help of a few Outlook hacks.
Microsoft Outlook Hacks to Help With Your Productivity
Cut Back On Unnecessary Notifications
One of the leading causes of wasted time in reading emails is the feeling of being overwhelmed. The notification sound your account makes for every email that arrives is a microaggression that puts your mind into overdrive – and you find it hard to think clearly. Not to mention clicking on every notification is the start of every procrastination period.
So instead of becoming a slave to the notification sound and icon, why don’t you limit your notification to only come up for the most important emails. In Outlook, you have to option to do just that. To do that, you need to turn off all desktop alerts. Next, you need to create a custom rule to display an alert for important messages. This can be done by picking the names/emails of specific people whose emails you really need to read right away.
The Power of Post It Notes
If you are the kind of person with countless post it notes on your board or desktop them this is a real doozy for you.
Did you know that Outlook has its own sticky notes capability?
By pressing Ctrl+Shift+N while you have the Outlook window open, you can create a new note. You can then edit and move this note however you want. The default color is yellow but you can easily color-code your notes by categories.
You can also do more with your sticky notes by clicking on the small note icon at the bottom of the View pane. You can organize, copy, and print notes. You can also search your notes through the text field located at the top-right of the window.
Filter Emails Not Sent Directly To You
When you are in a large organization, it’s normal to get emails that are not meant for you. Often, this happens when people CC you in an email chain and it continues way after you are done answering your part. You get one or two of this then it’s fine. But if you get up to four different chains then it will clog up your inbox.
When this happens, it’s often smarter to create a special inbox for messages you get cc’ed in. This way, all emails where you are CC’ed in go to one email while all the other emails go to the main inbox.
To do this, you need to create a special rule. You need to go to the advanced options for this one. In the Rules Wizard, select the option for “where my name is not in the To box” then on the net screen select “move to the specified folder”.
Create and Maintain Search Folders
If you have been using Outlook for some time you will know what kind of emails you frequently look for. Perhaps its the emails from a boss of yours or from your tem members. If you find yourself looking for these emails all the time then maybe you should create search folders while you are at it.
To do this, go to Search Folders and right-clock. Select “New Search Folder” and then use the wizard to customize the search.
Add a Secondary Time Zone
A lot of us are working with foreign clients or team members. If you do, then you can go and add a second time zone to your Outlook calendar to represent your remote client or team member. This will make scheduling of calls and conferences easier for both parties. This one is a bit complicated so you might want to go and check out the guide from How To Geek on how to do it.
Microsoft Outlook is indeed a very powerful tool for any business big or small. However, it does need a little bit of setting up especially for organizations who are particular with how they work with emails. If you are a business in Monterey, California then you might want to give DeVeera, Inc a call.
DeVeera is a trusted IT support and computer services company servicing businesses in the California Bay Area for the past 20 years. They specialize in providing dependable IT support to businesses who want to get ahead of the competition. Give them a call today and ask how DeVeera can help your team set up and manage Microsoft 365 and Outlook.