Without any doubt, email is a useful communication tool for businesses, but as the companies that relied on email services increased in number, emails started to become overwhelming for employees. It caused them to spend more time reading and responding to emails. And this eventually became one of the reasons why projects get behind schedule.
It is as clear as day how email management can affect your employees’ productivity. With the help of the Outlook application that comes with Office 365 for Business, you’ll be able to do this easily. To delve into detail, here’s how you can make the most of Outlook to manage your emails better.
Create Folder Structures to Organise Emails
There’s nothing more overwhelming than an inbox full of unread emails. Overcome the dreadful email overload and organise your messy inbox by creating a folder structure in your Outlook. By doing this, you will be able to move non-critical and complex emails into a to-do folder and leave emails that you should answer immediately in your inbox. This allows you to manage your incoming emails and sort them accordingly.
Organise your emails with folder structures now with these easy steps:
Step 1: Open your Outlook application.
Step 2: Right-click the Inbox folder find at the left corner of the app.
Step 3: Select the New Folder option.
Step 4: Type in “To Do” as the title of your first folder.
Step 5: Click the arrow you see next to the Inbox folder. This enables you to view the To-Do folder you just created.
Step 6: After that, right-click the To-Do folder and select New Folder to create a subfolder. You can name this “Someday”.
Step 7: Repeat the process you did in step 6 and name the next subfolder “Follow Up”.
In this setup, you will have four folders to manage your incoming emails. And all you have to do after creating this folder structure is to move the new emails that arrive into the appropriate folder.
As mentioned, your inbox should only contain emails that you should handle quickly. In order to do this, it is necessary to drag your non-urgent emails and the ones that may take longer to respond to in your “To Do” folder. There, you can move emails that are put on hold in your “Follow up” folder and move the ones that don’t require a response in the “Someday” folder. After this, you can create a calendar schedule daily to allocate time in reviewing and handling the items in the “To-Do” folder.
By applying this in your Outlook, you will be able to keep your inbox clear, organise your emails better, and manage your time efficiently throughout the day.
Make Use of Outlook’s Task List
As indicated earlier, there are emails that don’t need an immediate response. Although it’s logical to prioritise them last in order to handle the urgent emails, you shouldn’t take these emails for granted. So after you move these messages to your “To-Do” folder, make sure to set a reminder that you need to take care of them before the deadline you set. And you can do that by using Outlook’s task list feature.
Here’s how you can add these emails to the task list:
Step 1: Open your Outlook.
Step 2: Drag the email you want to add and drop it on the Task List icon.
Step 3: Set the due date and customise the time and day that you want to receive the reminder.
Step 4: Save the task.
Once you’re done doing this, you can click the task list icon to review the tasks you added. Moreover, you can also mark these tasks complete by clicking the “Mark Complete” button or pressing the Insert key on your keyboard.
Clean Up Your Inbox Within a Few Clicks
When you’re dealing with hundreds of emails every day, it’s likely that you’ll come across with duplicate emails from time to time. And in a busy workday, it’s the last thing you want to sort through. If you find yourself in this situation often, then Microsoft Outlook has the perfect feature for you. With its Clean up function, you’ll be able to automatically delete redundant emails in your inbox—and you can do all that within a few clicks.
Just follow these easy steps to lessen the pile of emails you have to sort through:
Step 1: Open your Outlook app.
Step 2: While you’re viewing your Inbox folder, click the Clean up button you find in the upper left corner of the application.
Step 3: After doing this, select the Clean Up Folder option.
Step 4: A message pop-up will appear and you will have to click the Clean Up Folder button to confirm your action.
By doing these 4 steps, you’ll be able to get rid of duplicate emails and work more efficiently. In addition, you can also retrieve deleted messages in your trash folder.
Set Rules to Avoid Email Distractions
Concentration is needed in order to become productive in the office. That’s why most business owners encourage their employees to unsubscribe to irrelevant emails. But even though this is good advice, there are some distracting emails that don’t have unsubscribe link. And with the aid of Outlook’s Rules function, you’ll be able to avoid these email distractions.
Here’s how you do it:
Step 1: Open the Outlook application
Step 2: Right click the email you want to ignore.
Step 3: Hover over Rules and then click on the Create Rule option.
Step 4: Set the criteria to indicate when Outlook should execute the rule you want to create—this can be a specific sender or a subject line.
Step 5: After this, tick the “Move the item to Folder” checkbox and choose where the emails will be moved when the rule runs. You can choose the Delete Items folder or create a separate folder for these emails.
Step 6: Click OK.
With this feature, you’ll be able to avoid distracting emails and focus more on your tasks for the day.
Create Quick Parts for Default Responses
In some companies, it is necessary for employees to deal with multiple customers that are asking the same questions. If this is your case, you can use Outlook’s Quick Parts to avoid typing the same response over and over again. With this function, you will have the option to create default replies to common questions within a few clicks.
If you want to try this tip, then follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Type in the default response.
Step 2: Highlight the text and then click the Insert tab.
Step 3: In this menu, you’ll be able to see the Quick Parts option. Click this option.
Step 4: After that, click the “Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery”.
Step 5: Type in a descriptive name for your Quick Part.
Step 6: Click OK.
Now that you’ve added a default response in Quick Part, you are now allowed to add that text to any email you send easily. You just have to click the Insert tab and select Quick Parts to choose the prewritten text you want to add. Moreover, you can also edit it in the body of your email to fit the new response you want to send out.
Utilise Quick Steps to Take Instant Action on Email
Aside from the ones mentioned above, Outlook also has a Quick Steps function that enables you to automate a string of actions based on a certain trigger. This function is extremely helpful, especially for companies that have a fixed process to follow. It can forward messages to specific recipients for you and create a reminder to give them to make sure they completed the tasks assigned to them. With this, you’ll be able to allocate more time to other productive activities that can help your company generate money.
Make use of Outlook’s Quick Steps with this step-by-step guide:
Step 1: In your Home ribbon, you will see the Quick Steps section. Select the Create New button.
Step 2: Create a descriptive name for the new Quick Step. After that, you can select Forward as the first action.
Step 3: Type in the email address you want to forward it to in the “To” field.
Step 4: Now, add a second action by clicking the Add action button. You can select “Create a task with attachment.”
Step 5: Click Finish.
This is just one of the many ways you can utilise your Outlook’s Quick Steps to automate repetitive actions. And with this, you’ll be able to manage your emails better and faster.
Connect Outlook to Other Applications
If you’re using Office 365 for business, you can connect your Outlook to over 750 different applications. This can help you streamline more of your email workflows and increase your efficiency in completing tasks. In fact, there are plenty of Office 365 integrations available on Zapier—all you have to do is to pick what works best for your company.
Here are a few of their workflow templates:
- Allow Trello to create cards from new emails that arrive in your inbox.
- Enables SalesforceIQ to create relationships based on new emails.
- Get Office 365 full emails in Slack.
- Send emails for new Typeform entries.
- Turn new emails in Office 365 into tasks in Todoist.
- Send an email to create SurveyMonkey responses.
- Create Wunderlist tasks for new emails inside a folder.
As you can see, Outlook has the capacity to help you manage your email effectively and efficiently. So turn to managed IT services in Australia like House of IT as soon as you can to install Office 365 in your business computers.