For those of us who rely on Outlook email for business, we can spend too much time organizing and composing email. Outlook has several options for customizing and organizing your email. We’re going to cover three simple steps to start with that will help save you some time in the new year.
Are you frequently sending the same emails with only a few minor changes? Us too. Saving those emails as a template eliminates the need to repeatedly rewrite the same email and it saves you time. The next time you compile an email you know you’re going to need to send again, save it as a template to easily reuse.
To create a new template:
- Click New Email
- Compile the email you would like to save as a template
- In the email, click on File
- Click Save As.
- Under the Save as type list, select Outlook Template
- Name the template in the File Name box
- Click Save.
To use a template
- In your Outlook imbox, choose New Items
- Select More Items
- Then Choose Form
- In the Look In box, select User Templates in File System
- Select the template you would like to use and click Open
- Once the template is inserted, you can update anything that needs to be changed.
Use Rules to Organize
One of the easiest ways to simplify your email is to automate organization. By setting a rule, you’re designating an action for incoming or outgoing messages based on conditions that you set. Rules are easy to create and contain several options by which you can set conditions.
Setting rules that move emails to folders is a great way to stay organized. You’ll still see notifications of an unread email in a folder, but identifying the nature of your new emails at a glance, can help you prioritize your time and declutter your inbox.
To create a rule
- Select Rules
- Click on Manage Rules & Alerts from the ribbon (you can also reach this by going to the Filetab)
- Select E-mail Rules
- Choose New Rule
- In the Rules Wizard, select a template under Stay Organized and click Next
- In the next window, you will determine the conditions of the rule. In Step 1, you will select the conditions you want to set. You can organize emails by Name, Account, Words, Level of Importance and more.
- Under Step 2, you will add the specifics to your rule and hit Next
- On the next window, you will determine what you want the rule to do. You will select an Actionunder Step 1 and the Description under Step 2 and hit Next
- On the next window, you’ll set any Exceptions to your rule and follow the same steps as previous windows and hit Next. (If there are no exceptions, don’t click anything and hit Next)
- Name your rule and click Finish
The hardest part is thinking through how you want to organize your mail. Don’t worry about doing it all at once. Start with something small. For example, if a specific person sends a recurring email that you always move to a specific folder, set a rule for that email to be moved automatically.
Use Quick Parts to Save Time
Maybe you don’t need to save an entire email, but pieces of content that you often reuse (such as descriptions, instructions, details about a product or service, etc.). Using Quick Parts to create Building Blocks can save you time. You can store pieces of content so that you’re not rewriting the same thing over and over again or searching through old emails to find something you wrote in a previously.
- Select the content you want to put into a Building Block
- Go to the Insert tab
- Click Quick Parts
- Click Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery
- When the Create New Building Block appears, you can name, classify, describe and control the placement of your Building Block.
- Hit OK to save your Building Block