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8 Outlook Hints Everyone Should Know

8 Outlook Hints Everyone Should Know

Outlook hints

While studying and teaching productivity habits, I’ve noticed that many people use Microsoft Outlook for their e-mail and calendar, but have no idea that this tool has many useful features built in. Here’s five hints that could improve your productivity when using Outlook.

1. Public Holidays

If you don’t want to miss public holidays, Outlook can automatically add them to your calendar and it has nearly 100 different locations to choose from!

You will not forget that October 2nd is Gandhi Jayanti in India while November 11th is Veteran’s Day in United States and Independence Day in Poland.

Outlook - Public Holidays

    To enable this, simply go to: Options (File – Options) – Calendar – Add Holidays, and choose the countries that you are working with.

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    Outlook - Public Holidays set

      They are added as All Day Events, so you can freely set reminders, apply colors and mark yourself as, Out of Office.

      2. Two Time Zones

      When you are working across multiple time zones, before you schedule any meeting it’s important to know the time on the other side to avoid setting up a meeting that might be too early or too late. Instead of fumbling around Google trying to figure it out, Outlook can help you by showing two time zones at the same time.

      Outlook - Two time zones

        To enable it, simply go to: Options – Calendar – Time zones – Show a second time zone.

        Outlook - Two time zones set

          3. Automatic Colors

          Your email and calendar can automatically apply colors to your emails and meetings based on pre-defined rules. For example, emails sent to you, when you are the only person on the “To” line, can be colored red. To do that, simply choose: View – View Settings – Conditional Formatting (or Automatic Formatting), and you can add a simple rule as shown below:

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          Outlook - Automatic Colors

            Your calendar and email have separate set of rules, but they are accessed the same way.

            4. Search Function

            A lot of people have used the search mechanism that’s available in Outlook but many people do not know how to use it effectively.

            Outlook - search

              There is a quick introduction how you could do this. It is a powerful mechanism that can save you hours and it’s definitely worth learning!

              5. Desktop Alert

              Your brain is unable to do two things at the same time effectively and every context switch costly. However, I still see many people using Desktop Alert, a distracting function that alerts you every time you receive a new email. This alert can make it hard to focus on your tasks and prevent you from working efficiently. I strongly suggest switching this off and reading more about the Pomodoro Technique.

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              To disable Desktop Alert in Outlook, simply go to: Options – Mail – disable “Display a Desktop Alert” option.

              Outlook - Disable Desktop Alert

                6. Manual Mark as Read

                By default, Outlook marks items as read when your selection changes. Often times, you can get lost in what you did or did not read which can be really annoying, because you want to keep track of the things you’ve already processed. I strongly recommend disabling that feature by going to: Options – Mail – Reading Pane – disable “Mark item as read when selection changes”.

                When you are done and want to manually mark the item as read, use Ctrl+Q.

                Outlook - Auto mark as read

                  7. Sharing Calendars

                  When you are working in a team, especially when you are not sitting close to each other, scheduling a meeting can be hard. When choosing a time, you can only see if someone is busy or not, but you will not see any meeting details. This can be solved by sharing your Outlook calendar. You may ask the whole team to do this.

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                  Outlook - Share calendar

                    After your calendar was shared, everyone will be able to access all the meetings details you have in it. If you want to prevent it for showing certain meetings and events, simply use “Private” flag and only you will be able to access it.

                    Outlook - Private Meeting combined

                      8. Keeping a Declined Meeting

                      Sometimes you want to “decline” a meeting, but still have it in your calendar. To quickly solve this problem, you may copy&paste this meeting (Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V), decline the original meeting and keep the copy.

                      Summary

                      When used effectively, Microsoft Outlook many useful features that will enable you to do your work seamlessly and as efficiently as possible.

                      What are your best hints and tricks when using Outlook? – share them with me!

                      More by this author

                      Piotr Nabielec

                      Author, CEO, Consultant

                      How to Really Achieve Goals 8 Outlook Hints Everyone Should Know 7 Things Smart Learners Do Differently 10 Ways To Have Quality Sleep That You Probably Don’t Know 9 Things You Can Do To Completely Unleash Your Potentials

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                      Published on September 17, 2020

                      10 Best Monitors for Your PC Under $100

                      10 Best Monitors for Your PC Under $100

                      Are you looking for the best monitor under $100?

                      Whether you want it for your home office, editing photography, or gaming, you don’t need to spend big bucks on a display screen because a low budget one will certainly do the trick.[1]

                      We can almost hear you having second thoughts about the picture quality, but you don’t have to worry at all.[2]

                      Our list of the best monitors under $100 will be more than enough to cover you. Just go through it now, and you’ll find yourself a bargain.

                      Why You Should Trust Us

                      Our list incorporates some of the best low-budget monitors available in the market. Their efficiency and distinctive traits enable them to stand out from others.[3] The hand-picked ones below are incredibly slick and have a high refresh rate, fast response time, high resolution, and built-in speakers.

                      1. Acer Ultra Thin Frame Monitor

                        Our first affordable computer screen is Acer’s 21.5-inch ultra-thin frame monitor. It has a refresh rate of 75Hz using an HDMI port and offers a full HD widescreen display.

                        Its brightness can be maxed out at 250 nits. It has a slight tilt angle ranging from -5 to 15, as well as Radeon free sync technology.

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                        Buy this computer monitor.

                        2. Sceptre Ultra-Thin Display

                          Sceptre is another company that provides excellent displays for your CPU. The screen size is a little smaller at 20 inches, but it’s made up for the slightly lower price than Acer. It also comes with two HDMI ports and built-in speakers and is wall mount ready.

                          Buy this computer monitor.

                          3. ViewSonic LED Monitor

                          best monitor

                            If you want the best monitor to set up in your office or around the house, ViewSonic’s LED screen is another good option to buy. The resolution is full HD and has a broader tilt ranging from -5 to 23 degrees.

                            On top of that, the product comes with a 3-year warranty. Included in the bundle are a VGA cable, monitor, power cable, and audio cable.

                            Buy this computer monitor.

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                            4. ViewSonic Gaming Screen

                              While we just covered a ViewSonic monitor, this one is specifically built for gaming in mind.

                              Overall, this computer screen provides the same specs as the previously mentioned item. The key differences are that this one is slightly longer, comes with pre-set customizable visual modes, and offers a maxed out contrast, delivering a dynamic contrast ratio for sharp and crisp images. It also comes with a DVI cable.

                              Buy this computer monitor.

                              5. Asus Back Lit Monitor

                              best monitor

                                If you don’t mind spending a little more money, you can get an Asus Back Lit Monitor for your PC. A lot of the focus is on image quality, particularly having a strong contrast ratio and smart video technology for straight viewing. That feature also helps in reducing blue light since you’ll have more flexibility with the colors and brightness.

                                Buy this computer monitor.

                                6. Asus Back Lit Display

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                                  Another alternative to the previous Asus monitor is this one. It has a smaller contrast ratio, though it still delivers a smooth video display. You also have aspect controls, so you can adjust its display.

                                  Buy this computer monitor.

                                  7. Dell Ultrasharp Panel Monitor

                                  best monitor

                                    If you’re looking for the basic features, look no further than Dell. There’s nothing particularly fancy about this panel screen, but it does the job well for any computer.

                                    Its response time is 8ms, which is typical for a monitor. It can come in either silver or black.

                                    Buy this computer monitor.

                                    8. ViewSonic Frameless Monitor

                                      If you liked ViewSonic’s LED monitor but wanted a little more features, we suggest looking at their frameless display. While it boasts similar specs as the brand’s other monitors, it offers color correction and dual built-in speakers, making it ideal for office and home use. It’s also 22 inches long.

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                                      Buy this computer monitor.

                                      9. Dell Mountable LED-Lit Monitor

                                        For a dependable display with a good frame rate, Dell has a mountable, LED-lit monitor in the market. It measures 18.5 inches, has an adjustable arm, and has been through rigorous testing for long-lasting reliability. You can’t go wrong with this best monitor either.

                                        Buy this computer monitor.

                                        10. Sceptre Monitor

                                          The final screen to cover comes from Sceptre. Compared to the ultra-thin version mentioned above, this one is available in 22 inches. Beyond that, it’s your standard display that provides decent tilting at -5 to 15 degrees, wall-mounted capabilities, 5ms response time, and built-in speakers.

                                          Buy this computer monitor.

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          Finding one of the best monitors around can be tricky. If you’re looking for an affordable one that can last for years, consider picking a computer screen from this list.

                                          Featured photo credit: Sebastian Bednarek via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

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