Everyone knows that Outlook office email lets you manage emails, calendars, and contacts in a single application. Now part of the much broader Microsoft 365 line of subscription services, Outlook Office 365 email features deep integration with other business-critical applications, such as SharePoint and Teams. You can access Microsoft Outlook online via any web browser or through the Outlook desktop or mobile apps for a faster and more feature-rich experience.
In today’s blog, we’ll explore some of the lesser known advantages of Outlook 365:
#1. Clean up your folders to boost productivity
Our inboxes are busy spaces, and it can be alarmingly easy to overlook an important message or appointment. While tagging incoming messages as priority can help draw attention to the most important ones, it can still be notoriously time-consuming to look up older messages that might still be relevant.
Fortunately, the ‘Clean Up Folder’ feature in Outlook 365 makes it easy to remote redundant messages in a thread or folder. These are previous messages that have been quoted in replies and emails forwarded to other parties. As such, long email threads typically end up with many copies of older messages, which can make it difficult to keep track of important content.
The ‘Clean Up Folder’ command helps you stay focused by removing the redundant messages from your email folders. To use it, simply right-click on the folder you want to clean up, and click the ‘Clean Up Folder’ option. To clean up individual email threads, select the appropriate option by navigating to File > Options > Mail > Conversation Clean Up.
#2. Use the attachment feature to avoid mistakes
While most people know how to attach pictures, contacts, and other files in an email they’re sending, Outlook can do a lot more. One of the lesser known functions is the ability Outlook has to let you know if you forget to send an attachment. For example, if you refer to an attached document in your email text, you will be reminded to attach a document when you attempt to send the email.
Outlook also makes it easy to send pictures in the body of the email, rather than attachments that only appear at the bottom of the email. Simply use the ribbon menu and navigate to Insert > Pictures, and choose a picture from either you device or an online location. You can then resize and move the image just as you can in Word or PowerPoint.
You can also attach items other than files. These include electronic business cards from your contacts list, specific details and date ranges from the built-in calendar, and other emails from any message folder. Thanks to Outlook’s integration with SharePoint, you can save an email to a SharePoint team site as well.
#3. Keep track of your tasks by managing rules
Outlook 365 includes some advanced tools that can supercharge your productivity and ensure you don’t miss important appointments or messages that you need to follow up on. One of the more sophisticated features is the ability to create and manage rules that accommodate your everyday routine.
You can have Outlook automatically move messages containing specific words or phrases to a particular folder or set up other events to happen. For example, if an incoming message has an important subject line, it could be flagged automatically so you receive alerts to remind you to respond in time.
To create and manage rules, navigate to the Home tab in the ribbon menu, and click on ‘Rules’ in the ‘Move’ section, and select ‘Manage Rules & Alerts’. While you can create more complex rules for specific use cases, Outlook 365 contains some useful templates to help you stay up to date and stay organized.
Should your business use Outlook 365?
Microsoft Outlook has been the world’s favorite email client in the business world, and for good reason. Much more than just an email client, it is a full-fledged personal information manager that is readily accessible through a browser or the mobile or desktop app. If your organization already uses Microsoft 365, then using Outlook to manage your business communications is a no-brainer, thanks to its integration with SharePoint, Teams, and all of the other productivity apps included in a Microsoft 365 subscription. In the era of remote work, it has quickly become a vital tool for millions of users around the world.
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