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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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40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

Productivity apps to help you get things done

1. OmniFocus

This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

Download it here.

    2. Forest

    Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

    Download it here.

      3. Things

      Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

      Download it here.

        4. 30/30

        Recently covered here at Lifehack

        , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

        Download it here.

          5. Any.Do

          A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

          Download it here.

            6. PocketLife Calendar

            This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

            Download it here.

              7. Asana

              We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

              , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

              Download it here.

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                8. ToDoist

                This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                Download it here.

                  9. FlowTasks

                  From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                  Download it here.

                    10. Calendars 5

                    This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                    Download it here.

                      11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                      A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                      Download it here.

                        12. Due

                        A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                        Download it here.

                          13. Checkmark 2

                          I use this app

                          for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                          Download it here.

                            14. TeuxDeux

                            Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                            Download it here.

                              15. Wunderlist 

                              Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                              Download it here.

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                                16. Nirvana

                                For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                Download it here.

                                  17. Priorities

                                  An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                  Download it here.

                                    Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                    18. Productive

                                    With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                    Download it here.

                                      19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                      You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                      Download it here.

                                        20. Streaks

                                        This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                        Download it here.

                                          21. Remember The Milk

                                          Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                          Download it here.

                                            22. Day One Journal

                                            When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                            Download it here.

                                              Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                              23. Evernote

                                              Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                              Download it here.

                                                24. Pocket

                                                You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                Download it here.

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                                                  25. Sync.Me

                                                  This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    26. Droplr

                                                    One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      27. Dropbox

                                                      Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        28. iDolly 

                                                        In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                        Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          29. Soulver

                                                          It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                            30. Captio

                                                            A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              31. Drafts

                                                              A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                Download it here.

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                                                                  33. Doodle

                                                                  This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                    I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                      A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        36. GoodReader

                                                                        This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          37. LogMeIn

                                                                          Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                            38. 1Password

                                                                            There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                              You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                              All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                40. Truecallers

                                                                                Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                  Reference

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