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10 Unique Outlook Organisation Tips & Tricks for Outlook 2016 & Office 365

10 Unique Outlook Organisation Tips & Tricks for Outlook 2016 & Office 365

Many people use Microsoft Outlook to organize their emails and calendars, at home and at work. But people are not fully aware of its features. The following are a few tips which will help you to make appointments and email handling easier and quicker.

1. Avoid repeated typing

If you need to use the same text over and over again, you can save that as part of Quick Parts for insertion in emails. To do so, you need to highlight the text in the composer window, move to the Insert tab, click the Quick Parts dropdown then select Save selection to the Quick Parts gallery.

At a later time, when you start typing the phrase, you will see it as a pop up suggestion. Select it to insert it. You can select the text through the Quick Parts dropdown and right-click on the text for placing options or for editing and managing Quick Parts.

2. Group messages together or better yet, use MailSortr

If you are in a business where you receive a large number of emails, tracking down relevant messages can be a difficult task. Outlook can help in grouping emails into conversations so that a single click can show all related messages at one time. One can set this on a per-mailbox basis or globally by clicking the View tab and then Show as Conversations or by clicking the ‘Arrange by’ option at the top of the message list.

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A better solution is to use MailSortr to create a custom inbox and see only priority messages coming into your MailSortr Inbox. Without changing your Outlook setup, the MailSortr Inbox allows you to sort and filter important emails even if they are located in various folders so you don’t miss the important ones.

3. Automate recurring tasks and filing

If you are performing certain tasks regularly like inviting a group of recipients for meetings or forwarding incoming emails to a colleague, Quick Steps is there to the rescue which you can find as part of the Home tab. You can create a custom series of steps that can move, categorize, flag and delete messages with the single tap of the mouse.

MailSortr can also automatically file your emails for you. With the auto-response feature, email responses are set to automatically file to the folder of your choosing as soon as you send it out. This saves a lot of hours spent manual filing emails.

4. Deliver messages at a future date and time

If you want to share some news in the near future but not immediately then Outlook has a feature which lets you deliver emails at specific times. Type your email content, then select the Options tab and select Delay Delivery. This opens a dialogue box with a Do not deliver before option where the user can enter a time and date, then click Close.

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When you hit the Send button, your message will be held until the time specified by you for sending. In the Exchange server you can close Outlook but in case of IMAP or POP you have to keep the application open until the time specified for delivery.

5. Create search folders for commonly used searches

One can always search for anything in the current folder by typing in the search string in the search field above the messages. If you are looking for something in particular then you can simplify the task with a Search Folder. Create one by going to the Folder tab then click New Search Folder to create a new one. Choose from the available templates.

For example, there are ones such as mail marked as important, or finding mail from specific people, or even setting up your own search criteria using the Create a custom Search Folder option. The new search folder will appear in the folders list at the left-hand pane of the Outlook window. To view this folder, click on it to see emails meeting your selection criteria. The folder can be renamed by right clicking on it then selecting Rename Folder.

6. Block unwanted emails

If someone is spamming your inbox, one can block emails from such senders by clicking the Junk dropdown from the Home tab. After selecting Junk E-mail Options a new dialog box opens that will let you specify what is considered junk and what is not. One can even blacklist entire countries.

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If the sender is known but the conversation is irrelevant then click Ignore. The conversation and all future emails will be moved to the Deleted Items folder.

Alternatively, if the sender is known but the conversation is not urgent, then the ‘Mute’ feature in MailSortr will block that conversation from entering your inbox. Instead, you’ll get a notification of the emails that were Muted for you to view at a later time.

7. Filter emails to find relevant ones

Another way to find specific emails is to use the Filter Email dropdown option as part of the Home tab. Choose a menu option which instantly filters the mailbox displaying certain types of emails, such as within specific dates, with attachments, or just unread.

MailSortr is another tool that can help declutter your Outlook inbox and remove emails that do not require your immediate attention. By selecting the Remove and Remove Thread buttons, you can easily remove unimportant emails from the MailSortr Inbox in a few clicks.

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8. Create new appointments and emails instantly

One can create new appointments, emails, contacts using the New Items option on the Home tab. If one you want to open the Outlook interface, just right-click on Outlook’s icon to create any of these new items.

9. Send SMS texts from Outlook

One can send SMS text messages directly to contacts. One needs to register with a third-party messaging service. To use this option, click the New Items dropdown in the Home tab, then select Text Message. A new dialog box will open. Then click to find a text messaging service for your mobile operator.

10. Encrypt email messages

One can even encrypt the attachments and the text, so only recipients with a shared key can read them. To use this, go to the Trust Center Settings under FileàOptionsà Trust Center and select E-mail Security. Then enable encryption and digital signing by clicking the relevant check boxes. You will need to create a digital ID. Then click Get a Digital ID to see providers, which provide free email certificates.

These Outlook tips will be incredibly useful and help you control what matters to you. Combined with MailSortr, an important Outlook management tool, you can make your Outlook Inbox exactly the way you want it to be. You can keep track of important emails so that they aren’t missed and free yourself of unwanted emails. You will definitely be more productive because of it.

Featured photo credit: Bench Accounting via images.unsplash.com

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Abhay Jeet Mishra

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Published on November 9, 2018

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

So, are you ready? Here we begin.

6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

1. Spreadsheets and Databases

Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Access
  • Statistics
  • Data Analytics
  • Adobe Campaign
  • Quickbooks
  • XML Database management system
  • Filemaker Pro
  • MATLAB
  • Hive
  • FORTRAN
  • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
  • SAS

2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

  • Content Management System (CMS)
  • Google Analytics
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
  • Email Marketing
  • Web Page Design
  • WordPress
  • Digital Media
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Campaign Management Software

3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • AutoCAD
  • CorelDRAW
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Maya
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Operating Digital Cameras

4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

  • HTML
  • C/C++
  • Java
  • Python
  • XML
  • UI/UX
  • LINUX
  • CISC and RISC architecture
  • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
  • Memory Management
  • PCB Layout
  • SQL

5. IT Troubleshooting

Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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  • Backup management
  • Diagnostics
  • End User support
  • Client-Server management
  • Installation and configuration
  • Issue tracking system (ITS)
  • System administration
  • Tech support

6. Enterprise Systems

Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

2. Rule the Social Media World

a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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4. Live and Breathe Creativity

a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

b. Canva Design School

From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

  • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
  • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
  • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
  • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
  • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
  • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
  • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

1. Practice, Practice, Practice

It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

2. Work on Your Efficiency

Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

3. Look for Shortcuts

Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

4. Apply for an Internship

Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

The Bottom Line

Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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