Outlook shortcuts and time-saving tricks
Using shortcuts and time-saving tricks in Outlook can significantly improve your productivity and efficiency. Here are some Outlook shortcuts and tricks that can help you save time:
Switch between Mail, Calendar, Contacts, and Tasks: Ctrl+1, Ctrl+2, Ctrl+3, Ctrl+4.
Switch to the Folder List: Ctrl+6.
Switch to the Search box: Ctrl+E.
Open a new email: Ctrl+Shift+M.
Create a new appointment: Ctrl+Shift+A.
Create a new contact: Ctrl+Shift+C.
Create a new task: Ctrl+Shift+K.
Send an email: Ctrl+Enter.
Reply to an email: Ctrl+R.
Reply to all recipients: Ctrl+Shift+R.
Forward an email: Ctrl+F.
Mark an email as read: Ctrl+Q.
Mark an email as unread: Ctrl+U.
Move between messages in the message list: Up and Down arrow keys.
Open the selected email in a separate window: Enter.
- Switch to Day view: Alt+1.
- Switch to Work Week view: Alt+2.
- Switch to Week view: Alt+3.
- Switch to Month view: Alt+4.
- Go to the current date: Ctrl+Shift+T.
Create a new appointment from anywhere in Outlook: Ctrl+Shift+A.
Move to the next or previous day/week/month: Ctrl+Right arrow/Ctrl+Left arrow.
- Search for emails: Ctrl+E.
- Search for contacts: Ctrl+Shift+B.
- Search for calendar events: Ctrl+Shift+F.
Quick Steps are customizable shortcuts that automate common actions in Outlook. You can create your own Quick Steps for tasks like moving emails to specific folders, flagging messages, categorizing, and more. Access Quick Steps in the ribbon or by right-clicking on an email and selecting “Quick Steps.”
AutoText and Quick Parts:
AutoText and Quick Parts allow you to save and insert frequently used text or content in emails. You can create reusable blocks of text, signatures, or other content to save time when composing messages. Access AutoText and Quick Parts in the Insert tab in the ribbon.
Use Folders and Categories:
Create folders and subfolders to organize your emails, contacts, and other items. Use categories to assign color-coded labels to messages, making it easier to identify and sort them.
Rules and Filters:
Set up rules and filters to automatically sort, move, flag, or perform other actions on incoming emails based on specific criteria. This helps automate email management and keeps your inbox organized.
Quick Search and Advanced Search:
Use the Quick Search box at the top of Outlook to quickly find emails, contacts, or other items by typing keywords or search terms.
For more advanced search options, use the Advanced Find feature by clicking on the Search Tools tab in the ribbon and selecting “Advanced Find.” This allows you to refine your search with specific criteria.
Templates and Signatures:
Create email templates for frequently sent messages using Outlook’s built-in templates or by saving draft messages as templates. Also, set up email signatures with your contact information to save time on repetitive typing.
Outlook email tips for beginners
Organize your inbox: Create folders to categorize and store different types of emails. Use filters or rules to automatically sort incoming emails into specific folders. This will help keep your inbox organized and make it easier to find important messages later.
Utilize the search function: Outlook has a powerful search feature that allows you to quickly find emails based on keywords, sender, or other criteria. If you’re looking for a specific email but can’t remember where it is, use the search bar at the top of the window to locate it.
Set up email signatures: Customize your email signature to include your name, job title, contact information, and any other relevant details. This provides a professional touch and saves time when sending repetitive messages.
Use keyboard shortcuts: Outlook offers various keyboard shortcuts to perform common tasks quickly. For example, you can press “Ctrl + N” to start a new email, “Ctrl + R” to reply to a message, or “Ctrl + Enter” to send an email. Learning and using these shortcuts can significantly speed up your email management.
Enable email notifications selectively: Email notifications can be helpful, but they can also be distracting. Choose to receive notifications for only important emails or configure your settings to batch notifications at specific intervals. This way, you can stay informed without being overwhelmed.
Customize your view: Outlook allows you to customize the layout and appearance of your inbox. Experiment with different views, such as conversations or single message view, and adjust the column headers to display the information most relevant to you.
Schedule and manage appointments: Outlook includes a built-in calendar feature that allows you to schedule appointments, set reminders, and manage your daily agenda. Use it to stay organized and ensure you don’t miss important meetings or deadlines.
Utilize keyboard and mouse gestures: Outlook offers several handy gestures to manage your emails efficiently. For example, you can right-click on an email to access a context menu with options like archive, delete, or move. Explore these gestures to streamline your email workflow.
Enable email filters: Use email filters or rules to automatically sort and prioritize incoming messages. You can create filters based on specific criteria, such as sender, subject, or keywords. For example, you can set up a filter to automatically move emails from your boss to a designated folder for quick access.
Regularly clean up your inbox: Take some time to clean up your inbox regularly. Delete unnecessary emails, archive messages you want to keep but don’t need in your inbox, and unsubscribe from newsletters or promotional emails that you no longer find useful. Keeping your inbox clutter-free will make it easier to manage and find important messages.
Setting up rules in Outlook
Setting up rules in Outlook allows you to automate the organization and management of your emails. Rules can automatically perform actions like moving messages to specific folders, marking them as read, forwarding them to another address, or deleting them. Here’s how you can set up rules in Outlook:
Open Outlook and go to the “Home” tab in the ribbon.
Click on the “Rules” button in the “Move” group, and then select “Create Rule” from the dropdown menu. Alternatively, you can right-click on an email message, hover over the “Rules” option, and choose “Create Rule.”
The “Create Rule” dialog box will appear, displaying various options for defining your rule.
Choose the conditions for the rule by selecting the checkboxes that match your criteria. For example, you can set conditions based on sender, recipient, subject, keywords, or specific words in the email body. You can also select additional criteria by clicking on the “Advanced Options” button.
Once you have selected the conditions, decide on the actions you want the rule to perform. Choose from the available options, such as moving the message to a folder, marking it as read, forwarding it to another email address, or deleting it.
Configure any additional settings for the rule, such as exceptions or further conditions. This step is optional but can provide more fine-grained control over the rule’s behavior.
Click on the “OK” button to create the rule. If you have chosen to move messages to a specific folder, you may be prompted to create a new folder or select an existing one.
Optionally, you can choose to run the rule on existing messages in your mailbox. Select the checkbox that says “Run this rule now on messages already in the current folder” before clicking “OK.”
Finally, click “OK” to confirm and save the rule.
Outlook will now apply the rule to incoming messages based on the specified conditions. It will automatically perform the actions you defined, making it easier to manage and organize your emails. You can modify or delete rules at any time by going to the “Rules” button in the “Move” group and selecting “Manage Rules & Alerts.”