Love it or hate it, chances are you are using Outlook for your email at work. It’s a good program with many useful features. Some would say too many. I am hoping that some of the tips below can help make your experience with the Outlook into a more productive and easy one.
1. Set a reminder to reply to a message. This is my most favorite tip. With my hectic and ever-expanding schedule, occasionally I forget to follow up on an important email. To avoid this, you can right-click the important message, select Follow Up, and click Add Reminder. You can select the follow up day or select a custom reminder.
2. Send group email without revealing other recipients’ identities. It’s basic email etiquette to avoid listing all of your friends’ emails in CC (carbon copy) field of your email. It looks bad and it discloses your friends’ email addresses to random people. Instead, use the Bcc (blind carbon copy) line in the message.
3. Increase font size of messages. This one is as easy as it is beautiful. Open the message you would like to read. Hold down Ctrl button and scroll the wheel on your mouse up. Alternatively, you can increase font size under Other Actions->Zoom.
4. Retrieve new messages automatically. If you must know every single moment whether you received a new email, there is a feature for you. Go to Tools->Send/Receive->Send/Receive Settings->Define Send/Receive Groups. Highlight All Accounts group. Check Schedule an automatic send/receive every “1″ minute.
5. Make your Outlook calendar into desktop calendar. It would be much easier to follow your appointments, if you could see them on your desktop, instead of clicking through a number of windows. You can upload a free program at http://www.outlookonthedesktop.com/ It is surprisingly useful. Try it.
6. Avoid sender’s remorse. Have you ever sent an important email just to realize a moment later that you forgotten to attach something or made a silly typo? You can give yourself a grace period by delaying sending your emails by a few minutes. Go to Tools->Select Rules and Alerts -> New Rule. Under “Start from a blank rule”, choose Check messages after sending-> Next button-Next (again). Answer “Yes” to notice that the rule will apply to all messages. Check the box for “defer delivery by a number of minutes”, and then click on “a number of” and change the defer minutes to 5 minutes (or another number that works for you). Your messages will linger in the outbox where you can delete or edit offending messages before they go out.
7. Turbocharge your Outlook with Xobni. A nice little free program Xobni can greatly improve your experience with Outlook. You can see all of your email in/out data, detailed contact cards, faster indexed search including corporate hierarchy, and conversation history. You can get it at http://www.xobni.com/. As to a strange name, it’s just Inbox spelled backwards.
8. Quickly Find Related Messages. I get on average 300 emails a day (not including spam). When I wonder what was said before about the same topic, I open a message, select the Actions menu, choose Find All, and select Related Messages. Voila. I can get more context for a current message right away.
9. Permanently Delete Messages. Instead of deleting messages, then emptying the Deleting Items folder, you can hold down the Shift key when you hit Delete for any message.
10. Add a Contact from an E-mail. If you want to save the sender of an e-mail to your contact list, with the e-mail open right-click on the person’s name in the From field and select Add to Contacts.