Advanced Outlook Skills
This is the Top 10 Advanced Outlook Tips & Tricks. Here are some additional advanced features.
Number 1 – Shared Calendar. If you’re using Outlook 2016 in a corporate environment with other users, you can actually share your calendar.
Now I’m going to go ahead and right-click on the calendar entry and create a new calendar and I’m going to select my calendar location.
I’ll call this one Shared. What it does is it creates a new calendar called Shared. If I click on that now I see my calendar for the day and also the shared calendar for the day.
Once that’s highlighted, on the top of the menu you can choose Calendar Permissions and now you can click Add to give permission to other users.
I’ve selected the IT group. Now you’ll notice that by default it gives Free/Busy time. What that means is all the users that you’re sharing this calendar with can see the blocks of time that you have scheduled but they won’t know what’s in those blocks of time.
They just know that the availability is not there. Down here you can choose different permission levels and from the menu, you can select from a variety of different choices starting with free/busy at the bottom and as you move up the list it grants more access to your information in your calendar.
I’m going to choose Publishing Author and you’ll see below here these are the choices that are granted for reading.
They have full details so they can see the free/busy information and they can see the names of your calendar entry and any other information about it.
For write permissions they can create their own items, they can create subfolders, and they can edit their own items.
They’re able to delete their own entries but not the other ones. The folder is visible but they’re not the owner. Now you can adjust these individually.
For example, I can give them Edit All capability and you’ll notice that it changed it to a custom permission level.
I can also give them the ability to delete all entries on that calendar and now that combination is a Publishing Editor.
So, once you’ve set all these hit ok and that calendar will now show up on the other user’s list of calendars and they have those permission levels to control.
Number 2 – Quick Steps. You probably didn’t even realize it, but Quick Steps is right on the Home tab of Outlook. it’s this box right here and what it allows you to do is highlight an email and click from the Quick-Step menu to do a multiple-step process all in one.
It’s like a macro so for example, if I click “To Manager” after you initially set it up and define your manager it creates a new email automatically directed to your manager and you just hit Send.
I can also choose Team Email which essentially allows you to send it to your team members or you can use Done and in this case, it gets moved to my Save, gets marked complete and automates that process for me.
Now you also have the option to create new steps. When you click New you can type in a name, choose from a list of different actions such as marking emails, forwarding them, moving them to folders, creating conversations, copying them, deleting them, and a variety of others.
Once you’ve defined your actions you save it and now it’s on the list. One click, and it’s processed. It’s a very handy tool. You probably didn’t even realize it was there.
Number 3 – Drag Appointment. Here’s a trick you may find useful. Take a calendar entry and drag it out to your desktop. Now you can open that calendar entry directly without even being in Outlook.
Number 4 – Ctrl-G Go to Date. Here’s a trick. When you’re on your calendar press Ctrl-G. It brings up the Go to Date option.
Now you can just click and select from any date that you want to, and it’ll go to that date. No problem. But the real trick is what you can type in here. You can type a specific date like 1/21 and it goes right to that date.
You can also put it in “two weeks from yesterday” and it goes there. You can type things like the “first Sunday in May” or type in “Christmas”. It gives you a lot of options to find the date you’re looking for.
Also Learn How to Use Outlook Calendar Effectively
Number 5 – Archiving. Archiving allows you to move emails older than a certain date to an archive file on your local machine.
To enable archiving go to File, click on Tools and choose Clean up old items in the list. It defaults to Archive this folder and all subfolders, and it’s highlighted on the inbox.
You can click on your entire outlook folder and include your deleted calendars and other items as well or you can just choose your inbox, select the date and in this case everything older than a month will get archived and then you can select the name of the file that is used for the archive, hit OK.
When you go back to your inbox, you’ll see an archive folder listed here with your items to be archived.
If you’re using office 365 you don’t necessarily need to turn on the archiving because that data is stored in the cloud and it’s protected and secured.
If you’re using Outlook 2016 on a local machine you may want to do this archiving just to clean out some of the clutter from your inbox.
Number 6 – Email Templates. If you repeat the same emails frequently you may want to create a template. The first step is to create a new email that you would save as a template.
So, I’m going to go to new email, and I type in my information and I’m going to remove the signature because it will fill that in automatically.
You can add attachments and any other information you want to this email that you save as a template.
When you’re done go to File, Save As and from the list choose Outlook Template. Name it and hit Save.
Now when you want to create an email you just come up here to New Items, go to More Items and Choose Form.
In the pull-down menu select User Templates and File System and there’s your Test.
When I click on that it creates a new message and it adds my signature. Add any other pertinent information and hit Send.
Going through the menus and selecting all those options takes a little bit and I want to make that a little more automated so I’m going to go back to my new email where I did the File, Save As and I’m going to choose that outlook template.
Now where I see TEST I’m going to right click and drag that out to my desktop and now anytime I double-click this icon it automatically opens my template.
That’s a much easier method than trying to go through the menu.
Number 7 – Theme and Background. Want a little change to the screen look in Outlook? Go to File, Office Account, and here you can choose from a variety of different office backgrounds.
That primarily changes the look in the upper right corner there. And here you can change the office theme.
Find one that you like, hit the back-arrow out, and now your new theme is applied.
Number 8 – Automatic Replies. You may have used the out-of-office notifications before, but the Automatic Replies takes that one step further.
If you go to File and Automatic Replies, there’s a menu of options here where you can send an automated reply to people that email you when you’re out of office.
So, by turning that on I can choose options like Only send during this time range, and you can put any kind of notes that you want in there to notify people.
But this button down here also lets you apply rules to those automatic replies. I can add a new rule and it gives me a bunch of different options here.
I can choose rules that apply when an email comes from one individual or has a specific word in the subject line. You can also perform certain actions.
You can send an alert, you can delete the email, you can move it to a folder, you can forward the email with a notice to somebody else, or you can automatically reply with a template with some specific instructions.
You can also click the Advanced button and select some other options. This just gives you greater control over the email responses that you might send back.
Number 9 – Email Restrictions. When you create a new email, you can set permissions on how that email can be accessed.
Just go to the File menu and look for this Set Permissions option. When you hit the down-arrow, you’ll see Do not Forward or a couple of options for confidential or confidential view only.
This menu will be available if you have the rights management configured on your office 365 environment.
What that allows you to do is select one of those restrictions, go back to your email, put in your information, and send that email.
Now when your email arrives, you’ll see that it’s set to Do Not Forward.
Recipients can read this message but cannot forward, print, or copy the contents, and it shows that permission was granted by me.
This also works for external accounts where you’ll receive a message similar to this.
The rights management is monitored by Office 365 and when you click to read the message it controls the access through your Office 365 portal.
For the individual users in Office 365, you need to make sure that this Rights Management Adhoc is turned on. That’s what enables those permissions.
Number 10 – Download Addresses. If you use Outlook in an office environment sometimes your address book doesn’t get updated correctly.
The way to fix that is to come up here to Send and Receive and go to the Send/Receive Groups and click on Download Address Book.
It prompts you to download changes since the last Send/Receive or you can turn that off to download everything and it defaults to the offline address book.
You hit OK and it will download the latest updates and make sure that you’re in sync with your addresses.
By following these Advanced Outlook Skills, you will surely be able to improve your productivity.
Feel free to share your thoughts about these skills and let me know how many of them did you know already?