Outlook has been around for many years. But, with Microsoft’s 2016 version, they’ve definitely “upped their game” by including Outlook as part of the Office 365 Suite. Outlook is still the most popular email application for business users, and with Office 365 Microsoft has integrated Outlook with all of Office’s great elements.
So, what is Outlook, and why should you use it?
Outlook 2016 is a professional email and calendar application that helps you stay on top of what matters. Nowadays, you probably have lots of email addresses—For example, one for your subscriptions and newsletters, one for your personal needs, and one for your business communications. What’s great about Outlook 2016 is that you can keep them all in one place, and see them together in one view. Or, if you choose you can sort through and view them individually.
However, there’s a lot more to Outlook than just email. Outlook 2016:
With Outlook 2016, Microsoft has added many easy-to-access options to enhance how your inbox looks and functions—along with more ways to customize it, choices of templates, cut-and-paste features, and enhanced ease of navigation.
Did you know that if you keep your inbox empty, and store your email messages in sorted email folders, your Outlook will function much faster?
Plus, you can work faster with the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). This is a great “bridge” that goes across the entire Outlook 2016 application. It’s customizable and allows you to set specific commands that you use on a regular basis. It includes a customizable drop-down menu with a set of default QAT Commands, along with a ribbon options. If you’re always having trouble finding a particular button in Outlook, just place it in your Quick Access Toolbar to make your life easier.
Outlook Can Group Emails for You.
Outlook will actually look for similar topics, conversations and people and automatically group them together finding messages easier. When you turn on “Conversation,” messages that share the same subject appear as conversations and can be viewed expanded or collapsed. This way, you can quickly review and act on them. You can also group emails based on size, date, topic and more. At a touch, sort your emails as you wish.
Did you know that with Outlook 2016, you can recover deleted emails within 30 days?
This can be a true time saver. With Quick Steps, you can easily create and access actions that you use often. Let’s say you frequently forward messages to a manager. You can literally create a quick step, so specific emails are sent to your manager. Or you can “Flag and Move’ email messages. With one click, Outlook flags specific messages, moves them to another folder, and marks the messages as read. How handy is that?
Manage Your Incoming Messages
With Outlook 2016, you can define rules to manage emails as they’re delivered to your Inbox. Set rules using various criteria such as a sender’s name, or keywords in the subject line.
For example, some common rules you might use include:
You can also customize email columns so you can designate messages by date, name, size and more, so you can see emails at a glance.
Improve Your Outgoing Messages by customizing your signatures or setting up different signatures for your various email accounts.
Outlook 2016 includes 7 pre-designed conditional formatting rules. Plus, you can create additional rules if you want to set up more conditional formatting. You can also use colors to sort messages. For example, you might apply a special color to all messages that have to do with a project you’re working on. Or, set these emails to go to a particular project folder.
Get Replies or Process Actions Faster
Set follow-up dates for yourself or recipients to ensure a response, or create flags for messages to make sure you follow up or do whatever task is required. You can also flag actions for recipients, such as forms you need to be filled out, a response to a meeting request and more. The notification will show up in “red” in their Inbox. This is a great feature to get the response you want in a timely fashion.
Reuse frequently used text, such as directions to your office, a section of your company brochure, a copy of your calendar and more. This minimizes the time you must spend repeatedly sending this information.
Did you know that you can easily find messages in Outlook 2016? Instant Search helps you to quickly find items in all of your Outlook folders, such as Mail, Calendar, and Tasks.
Special Features to Enhance Your Emails
You can add simple voting features to your emails to get feedback from contacts. For example: You’d insert voting buttons for various things rather than emailing back and forth to get the answers you need quickly.
You can associate all your calendars in Outlook, overlay them, lay them side-by-side, and more. Because it’s part of Outlook, when you set up a meeting in your calendar, it can also send an email to tell others about the meeting. Add meeting rooms, virtual rooms, share calendars with others, and more. What a timesaver this is!
If you’re managing large projects, this may not be appropriate—Microsoft Projects would probably be best. But for day-to-day, one line tasks, Outlook Tasks is very helpful. You can add tasks based on your email address, and see all your tasks together in one view—what’s active, what’s complete, and what’s overdue. There are lots of ways to sort through what you need to do. Give it a try!
Did you know that you can view your Outlook Calendar from your email addresses?
Outlook People (Previously Contacts)
This is where you store all your contacts (commonly known as the People Hub). Outlook 2016 now has enhanced features where you can set up meetings, email, and process other quick steps right from your people view. Or, add people to your Favorites to make it easier and faster to email those you communicate with most often.