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Month of Outlook - Mail

For PowerConcepts, the theme of this month is Microsoft Outlook, and we've decided to dedicate all our educational online efforts in May - June solely to the most popular email client in the world. Most people hardly utilize any of the Outlook's features and, instead, learn other expensive software that more often than not duplicates what they already have. Our goal is to provide people with all the necessary knowledge to execute their daily tasks in the most efficient way possible. Today, we'll look at and possibly explore something new in the the most popular Oulook categoty - email.

First of all, you should never write the same email twice - use email templates instead. To do so, start a new email message. Type in the body of the email and subject line as much information as you will need to reuse, being sure to leave yourself a clear and visible blank space or other placeholder wherever you are going to enter new information each time you send the message. When you've finished designing your template, go to the File tab and choose Save As. In the dialog box that appears, change the Save as Type to Outlook Template (*.oft). You can then name your template and click Save. When you are ready to use the template, go to New Items > More Items > Choose Form and select your template from the User Templates in File System section.

Second, use quick parts for adding blocks of content to messages. Quick Parts are blocks of content you can include in messages. They are similar to Auto Text, but can include links and pictures, as well as text. To create a new Quick Part, start an email message and enter the content you want to include. Select the content and choose Insert > Quick Parts > Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery. Now provide a name, category and description for the Quick Part, and click 'OK'. Whenever you want to use this block of content, choose Insert > Quick Parts and select it from the list. You will see a small preview window for each Quick Part you have stored.

Third, you can set a reminder to reply to a message. Right-click the message you want to set the reminder for, point to Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder. In the Due By list, click the date when you have to complete the reply. In the second list, click a time. In the Flag color list, click the flag color you want, and then click OK.

Last, keep track of messages that require action. Instead of using rules to move messages to folders, use rules to assign a category to a message then the messages will be arranged by groups in your Inbox.

There is so much more to know about Outlook that it's imposible to fit here all at once. In the next post, we are going to reveal some more useful tips that we use around the office every day.