If you are in a typical desk job, you will undoubtedly find yourself spending long hours in the office trying to pack in as much as possible to get on top of the mountain of work you need to conquer every day. Sending and receiving a stream of emails no doubt takes up much of your time, and it would be a great advantage to know of some of the best time-saving tips for using Microsoft Outlook.
While there is no denying that Outlook is among the best email management tools, your productivity can dip if you do not know how to handle it well and spend most of your time at the workplace sending, receiving, sorting, or looking for emails. According to an Adobe study, people spend some 20 weeks in a year just on their emails, which is a colossal waste of time and resources.
Use Mailbox Rules
When you need to pack a lot during the day, spending a lot of time on your emails is perhaps not the best way of being productive in the workplace. One of the best ways to streamline your work and not waste time sorting your emails is to set Mailbox Rules. It is an automation feature of Outlook that uses pre-programmed rules and conditions to act on the emails landing in your Inbox. For example, you can set a rule that sends all MIS emails to a designated folder that you can use to access and quickly update yourself without having to hunt for specific emails in your overloaded Inbox.
There are two types of rules. Rules for Updates allow you to customize message alerts and sounds based on individual senders and you can use Process-based rules to use pre-programmed conditions to delete, reroute, and alter the importance level of a message. For example, you can set a rule to delete all emails from an identified spammer
Establish Control over Your Inbox
Outlook has a Focused Inbox feature powered by AI and ML technologies that you can use to control an overflowing inbox. One of the main problems of an overloaded Inbox is Outlook tends to crash and disrupt your work because satisfactory Outlook repair can take time and effort. The feature allows you to sort your Inbox with two tabs, “Focused”, and “Other”, depending on their importance. The emails with the focused tab are important and need your attention first while those with the Others tab are lower priority. However, you might encounter the occasional error in classification, which is why you need to keep a watch and keep correcting if the emails are assigned the wrong tab so that Outlook learns your preferences and becomes more accurate. At the end of the day, you establish more control over your Inbox and can avoid spending unnecessary time sifting through your Inbox.
Convert Emails into To-Do Lists with Tasks
Often the volume of emails can make it impossible for you to stay on top of them. You can use a handy feature of Outlook that allows you to convert your emails to to-do items replete with tasks and deadlines. All you need to do to enable it is to hover over the message and click on the flag icon to add the message to the list of things to be done. You can also set the due date of the tasks and reminders for following up on inquiries and requests or sending replies. By enabling this feature, you no longer have to look out for important emails in the flood of emails lying in your email Inbox every morning. If you want to see your to-do list, you need to click on the checkmark at the bottom to open up the Task page. You can then edit or reorganize your to-do list, delete unnecessary items, add more instructions, etc. You can also attach files to the items in the list and share them with others.
Use @Mentions for Better Visibility
With a flood of emails in your inbox every day, you can always miss an important email with severe consequences. If you want to send an important email that you need the recipient to take note of, you can type @ and then add the name of the recipients. These messages are deemed critical and are highlighted in the inboxes of the recipients, making them hard to miss. If you find several highlighted emails in your inbox, you can sort them using a filter based on whether you are mentioned first so that you can attend to them first and tackle the rest later.
Time management is essential for busy executives because they need to do a lot during the day. While attending to emails is essential, they must do it quickly and efficiently without missing out on anything important, so they can get down to their real job responsibilities. Fortunately, Microsoft Outlook has plenty of features for boosting productivity and saving time. Using Outlook smartly can leave you with more time to attend to vital organizational issues.