Being able to do things faster and more efficiently can pay off in a number of ways. If you’re a freelancer and a productivity tip shaves an hour per day off the time it takes you to do your work and you earn $25 per hour, that’s an additional $125 per week.
If you’re a small business owner in the Sturgeon Bay area, improving your team’s productivity can mean monetary productivity gains as well, and they’re multiplied by your number of efficient employees. Additionally, you can reduce errors and dropped balls.
When looking at where you can find more time in your day, a good place to start is one of the apps people use the most, which is their email application.
The average home or office worker spends 28% of their day reading, replying to, and organizing their emails. And one of the most used email programs is Microsoft Outlook.
Read on to learn some of the best Outlook tips & tricks to supercharge your email use and tame your inbox.
Best Ways to Gain More Time Using Outlook
Save Blocks of Email Text with Quick Parts
Most people have certain types of emails where they repeat the same information. It might be the email you send to initially schedule a meeting or a common question you get from customers.
Rather than typing out that text time and time again or trying to locate the last time you sent it to copy/paste, use the Quick Parts feature of Outlook.
Quick Parts allows you to save text from an email into a block that you can then insert into another email anytime you like, and as many times as you like. It’s like a repository of your most used email paragraphs that saves you tons of time.
To create a Quick Part:
- Highlight the text in the email you want to save.
- On the Insert tab, click Quick Parts (in the Text group)
- Add a name and other identifying information for the block of text
To use Quick Parts:
- Put your cursor in the spot where you want to insert the text in a new email
- Click the Insert tab, click Quick Parts
- Look for the text block you want and select it
- Click Insert
Move Task & Project Related Emails to OneNote
OneNote is a great online organizer that comes with Microsoft 365. You can set up several notebooks and pages within those notebooks that can capture all types of data, including videos, texts, audio, recordings, and more.
If you’re suffering from a bottomless inbox where you save important tasks and project related emails (only to lose them later), this could vastly improve your workflow and clean out your inbox.
You can send emails to one of your OneNote notebooks just by emailing it to “firstname.lastname@example.org”, it just takes a second or two and your notes are saved where you can easily find them later, and then you can archive the email or delete it from your inbox.
You can set up emailing to OneNote here.
Use an Alert Rule for Important Emails
One of the time-wasting activities that takes a few minutes here and there all throughout the day is checking email.
Is that new email that just came in from my boss? Is there a new urgent task I’m being asked to do? No one wants to seem like they’re not responsive, so they end up checking their email over and over again, several times an hour.
This is a big drag on productivity because ongoing tasks keep getting interrupted by those email checks.
You can ensure you don’t miss email from your most important senders by creating a rule to alert you with a special sound when they come in. This frees you to concentrate on another task, knowing that if you get an incoming email from your boss, you’ll hear it come in.
To do this:
- On the Home tab, click Rules > Create Rule
- Choose the parameter you want, such as when you get an email from a certain person or it has a certain subject line.
- Check the box next to “Play a selected sound”
- Choose the sound you want
- Click OK.
Use Category Colors to Organize Your Mail
If you use POP and not IMAP for your email, you can take advantage of color-coding using categories in Outlook.
You can set up categories however you like, such as by department or by the type of email it is (task request, shipping notice, etc.).
This allows you to quickly identify a specific email you need based upon its category. You can also use the Rules feature to auto-assign categories as emails come in, saving you even more time.
You can find categories in the top toolbar of Outlook, you can also choose Categorize when you right-click a message. Once you have your categories set up, you can filter your email by category to quickly see a select group of messages.
Get Help Making Your Business Email More Efficient
Quantum PC Services can help your Sturgeon Bay area business improve your email workflows to save you time and keep your messages accessible from anywhere.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.