Several basic ways to simplify and speed up the work with email in Outlook that will help to save your precious time every day.
The simplest solution bringing immediate results is the use of hotkeys. In Outlook, there are approximately 250 of them, and even by using the most common ones, you will save a lot of time. Here are some of the most useful hotkeys, from our point of view:
- Ctrl + R: reply to email
- Ctrl + Shift + R: reply to all
- Ctrl + F: forward email
- Ctrl + N: Creates a new Outlook item, depending on the type of the open folder
- Ctrl + Enter: Send email (if this useful combination doesn't work for your Outlook, you need to go to settings and enable the following option: "CTRL + ENTER sends a message" in the "Mail" tab)
- Ctrl + V: Depending on the type of the open folder, an Outlook item will be created, and the copied text will be pasted there. Instead of creating an item, and then copying and pasting your text, you can do it all in one click.
- F9: Send/Receive all
Our Quick Text
product allows you to quickly insert text templates and field values into any Outlook item by using hot keys. You are also welcome to use the currently available macro for inserting the current date and time and specifying your own format. Using that together with Quick Notes
enables you to quickly and easily add the date when taking notes. We have spent a lot of time thinking what other macros may be needed to quickly insert the text, but couldn't come up with anything else. If you have any ideas, please let us know and we will add them to the product.
Here are the links to read more about hotkeys for Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013/2016.
Try not to write the same mails twice. Create templates for the messages that you send quite often. For example, to request information or to send a reminder of overdue invoices. Save the message as a template using the dialog box "File" – "Save as" – "Outlook Template". To use the template, go to the "New Items" menu, point to "More Items" and then click "Choose Form". In the "Choose Form" dialog box, click the "Look in" drop-down arrow and then click "User Templates in File System" to select your template. In addition, you can select the template by double-clicking on the OFT-file in Windows Explorer. Using "Quick Text", you can create necessary text templates and quickly apply them if necessary.
Don't Get Distracted by Trivial Matters
Many users check mailbox several times a day - in the morning, in the afternoon and then again in the evening. Try to spend no more than one hour a day working with email. If you are constantly checking your mailbox and reading every incoming mail throughout the day, you are likely to waste a lot of time. It is much more convenient to check new mails when there are a number of them in the Inbox folder. To prevent yourself getting distracted throughout the day, if I receive many notifications, change the configuration of receiving messages from every 30 minutes to every 4 hours. This can be done by opening the dialogue box "Send/Receive" – "Send/Receive Groups" – "Define Send/Receive Groups" - and changing the parameter "Schedule an automatic send/receive every" to 240 minutes.
We added a couple of options to our Quick Tweaks product that help to save your time. Changing the default size of Outlook dialogs, such as copying/moving items in a folder or attaching/pasting some Outlook items will help you to quickly navigate the complex hierarchy of folders. Some users spend some time starting their Outlook; many of them open multiple calendars, tasks and messages. If you accidentally close your Outlook after performing all of these actions, you will spend your valuable working time restarting it. To make it easier for you, "Quick Tweaks" can minimize Outlook instead of closing it (if necessary, you can close your Outlook using the "File" – "Exit"). Another problem that may distract you is marking unread messages as "Read" in the "Deleted Items" folder. Using "Quick Tweaks", you can enable the option of marking messages as "Read" automatically when they go into the "Deleted Items" folder.
Please note that 129 free utilities and add-ins for Outlook available on our website. They are all created for the needs of our users. Using these utilities, you can speed up Outlook, improve your productivity and solve many problems.