10 Tricks that will make you an Outlook master - ToOLOwl
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10 Tricks that will make you an Outlook master

10-tricks-that-will-make-you-an-Outlook-masterMany people from the corporate world use Microsoft Outlook for their business tasks, but have absolutely no idea that this tool has many built-in useful features that can add new levels to their business experiences.

Two Time Zones

Whenever you are working on two time zones, it is important to keep a track of the other time zone in order to schedule a meeting that might be too early or too late. Instead of juggling around Google figuring out for time zones, Outlook can help you by showing two time zones at the same time. For this, simply go to:

Options-> Calendar- Time zones- Show a second time zone.

Public Holidays

Outlook can automatically add public holidays to your calendar if you often forget them. It has nearly 100 different locations to choose from. The calendar will not let you forget 2nd October for Gandhi Jayanti and even 11th November Veteran’s Day in United States and Independence Day in Poland.

To enable this superb functionality, simply go to:

Options-> Calendar- Add holidays and her you can choose the countries you are working with.

Holidays are added as All Day events, enabling you to freely set reminders, apply colors and even mark yourself as Out of Office.

Automatic Colors

Your emails and calendars can automatically add colors to themselves on the basis of some pre-defined rules. For example, emails sent exclusively to you can be marked as Red. For this, simply choose:

View-> View Settings- Conditional Formatting/ Automatic Formatting.

Although Calendars and emails have a separate set of rules, but they can be accessed the same way.

Manual mark as Read

Outlook marks items as read by default when your selection changes. Sometimes you can lose track of which emails you read and which you did not get through, and this can be annoying as you want to keep track of things you’ve already processed. We strongly recommend disabling this feature through:

Options-> Mail – Reading Pane- disable “Mark Item as read when selection changes”.

Items can be manually marked now.

Keeping a Declined Meeting

Sometimes a meeting in your calendar has to be declined. To make it quick, you may copy and paste this specific meeting, decline the original meeting while keeping a copy.

Keeping a Declined Meeting

Sometimes a meeting in your calendar has to be declined. To make it quick, you may copy and paste this specific meeting, decline the original meeting while keeping a copy.

Sharing Calendars

Scheduling a meeting can be hard when you are working in a team and while you are not sitting close. By this feature, you can choose optimal time that is available to everyone on the team with whom you want to schedule meetings with. This only works perfectly when all the fellow teammates share their updated calendars with you.

Effective Email Search

Unlike Gmail, Outlook too has advanced search options making searching important emails just a game of few clicks and saving an ample amount of time. Imagine you are searching 10 emails a day and you have a time of 30 seconds each time, this means, you could save more than sixteen hours during the whole calendar year, which means two working days off.

Desktop Alert

Desktop Alerts is a feature that, on one hand instantly shows email notifications as soon as they arrive. But, this may rather all the time distract you from your task in hand, and may be irritating to deal with. Hence it is best advised to turn these notifications off. To disable Desktop Alert in for Outlook, go to:

Options-> Mail- Disable “Display Desktop Alert” option.

Use Natural Language to create a Calendar Event

Scrolling through the monthly date picker is consuming a lot of time to pick, well save your time then by just typing naturally “Republic Day” or “five days from now” and so on.

Use the Shortcuts

Just like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Outlook has a set of keyboard shortcuts that saves a lot of your time from moving the mouse around the screen or drilling down the menus. It is best if you learn the ones that you use most and this will speed up your Outlook tasks. Some of the most useful are:

Ctrl+R: Reply to mail

Alt+S: Send email

Alt+R: Reply to all in email or switch to the work weekly calendar view

Alt+W: Forward email or switch to the weekly calendar view

Ctrl+G: opens the “Go to date” dialogue to point to any date in the calendar.

F9: to send/ receive all

The Bottom Line

Microsoft Outlook may be a lot helpful when used effectively. It will work seamlessly with you and as efficiently as possible.

About ToOLOwl

I am ToOLOwl. I have few friends in my nest; whenever someone requests a tool’s review or I pick a one out of my interest, someone in the nest does research on the tool, someone takes a tool’s walkthrough and some of them share their experiences and expert advice. Based on all; I give it a  stereoscopic vision and present important insights for you to go through and ease your selection process for tools. Wish you Happy reading, Easy choosing.

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