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Outlook is the email client for 1.2 Billion users but few take full advantage of all of its features and benefits. In this article we are going to touch on only a few of the many things Outlook can do that you may not be aware of.

When reading emails or adding meeting events to your calendar.

You can master Outlook’s keyboard shortcuts.Similar to Microsoft WordExcel, and other Office apps, Outlook has unique keyboard shortcuts that you can learn easily and fast. Learn the ones you use most and you’ll get the hang of your Outlook tasks. MakeUseOf has an easy-to-use Outlook keyboard shortcuts cheat sheetyou can download or print out. The most useful of the 247 shortcuts are: Ctrl+R: reply to email

  • Alt+R: reply to all in email or switch to the work week calendar view
  • Alt+W: forward email or switch to the weekly calendar view
  • Ctrl+M: F9 to Send/Receive all
  • Alt+S: Send email
  • Ctrl+G: open the “Go to date” dialog to jump to any date in the calendar

You can also switch between mail, calendar, contacts, and other items in the navigation pane by hitting Ctrl + [the place number of the item], e.g.:


Maximize the use of Outlook’s Quick Steps.For the uninitiated, Quick Steps is the dandy featureMicrosoft has for Outlook.  They’re short paths to any multi-step action you can visualize, like transferring emails to a specific folder and tagging them as read or forwarding an email to your team and tagging it simultaneously. It allows shortcuts to repetitive tasks, and you can create your own Quick Step actions.



On your clipboard, create a new item.

Copy any text to your clipboard, then in Outlook press Ctrl-V. Outlook creates a new message (or note or whatever item, depending on the folder you’re viewing) with the text already pasted.

So instead of creating a new item in Outlook, and then copy-pasting text in, you do both in one action.


Email Shortcuts

Even though Yahoo mail and Gmail and other webmail services are up to task, Outlook is a best friend when it comes to sorting, filtering, classifying, and otherwise customizing your inbox to your needs. To show you:

Limit desktop notices to only the most vital emails.It’s downright a distraction to constantly be prompted “you’ve got mail!” but then you still want to get notified for the most important alerts. Take heart! In Outlook, set desktop notifications only for those wanted messages. Basically, all you’ll do is to turn off all desktop alerts under the Mail Options, then create an Outlook rule to display alerts for messages from VIPs sent only to you. To show you:


Tag messages easily.With a message or two selected, just hit the insert key to toggle the flag on or mark it done.

Retrieve emails that aren’t sent directly to you from your inbox.  One of the best tools is to use a special “Inbox – CC” folder to gather all the emails that aren’t sent directly to you; that way, the inbox is geared for only the most needed emails. To set this up, go to Rules > New Rules…. Then click the “Advanced Options” button. In the Rules Wizard, choose “where my name is not in the To box” and then in the next screen, “move it to the specified folder.” (An alternative is to set up a VIP email folder and move “emails sent only to me” into that special folder.)

Use email templates to never write a duplicate email. For those emails you send often, such as requests for updates or notifications of due invoices, save the email as a template via File > Save As… > Outlook template. Then, to use the template, go to New Items > Choose Form… and look in your “User Templates in File System” to browse for the template you saved. Or, even faster, double-click the OFT file from Windows Explorer to create a new message from that template. You can also use text expansionto accomplish this across any program on your computer.

Create search folders for your most wanted emails.Emails from your boss or any search you perform often, just save these for quick access.  Click on Search Folders in the left navigation menu, select “New Search Folder,” and then either use the wizards or manually customize the search to your specifications.



Braver Technology Solutions LLC

Braver Technology Solutions LLC

Kenny Rounds is the founder and CEO of Braver Technology Solutions. Kenny has established an impeccable business reputation for enhancing the technology environment of his clients while guiding and educating them around the perpetually shifting industry.