Most workers start and end their day with Microsoft Outlook, the industry standard for business email, calendars, and contacts. Outlook comes with a whole host of features and to help you maximise your productivity we have outlined below four of those features that will help you reduce your time on emails.
1. Send an email now that is sent later
Sometimes it is convenient to send an email before the recipients need to receive the email. For instance, if you want to share something with your team to keep in mind throughout the next day, it is best to email this first thing in the morning to reduce the chance of it being forgotten. This can be achieved in Outlook through the Delay Delivery option. Write your email, then go to Options > Delay Delivery > Do not deliver before, then specify the time and date you want it to go out. Perfect for crafting timely responses before you hop on a plane, go into an afternoon of meetings or maybe to just get around your forgetfulness!
2. Create Search Folders to easily help find emails
Outlook contains a better way to find messages if you find yourself repeatedly searching for the same things. You can right-click Search Folders and then click New Search Folder and enter the criteria you want for the search i.e. Unread Mail. This can help you to find emails from specific people, or emails containing a specific keyword or phrase. This folder will appear amongst your others on the left-hand side.
3. Setup Rules to automatically organise your emails as they come in
Set up Rules in Outlook to do things with emails as they arrive, such as move emails from a specific person or domain and containing a certain keyword, to a specific folder. You can even choose to have different sounds played depending on the email’s sender or content, or do something different when you are not the main recipient of the email but are cc’d into it.
4. Be smart when you process your emails (inbox zero)
One of the best productivity gains is to only process emails at 3 set times during the day. For example, you can process your emails when you first arrive in the office, immediately after lunch, and then immediately before you leave the office at the end of the day. Doing this can dramatically increase your productivity. Reply to or action everything in your inbox at these three times during the day. Everything that doesn’t require an action or a reply is deleted or filed away in its relevant folder. This way, you are always at inbox zero 3 times a day, and you are not constantly reacting to your emails. This removes the interruptions and having to pick things up where you left off. You are best advised to turn off any on-screen notifications and sounds for this.
If you need help implementing some of the above tips please feel free to contact us on 01638 603204 or email us at email@example.com.