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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

Writer at Lifehack & Enterested.com

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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