outlook best practices

Posted: January 10, 2021 By:

My life would never be the same. Note: If you need to read every message on a Contact Group, don’t create a folder for it. In addition to your work email account (Exchange Server), you can add other accounts such as Outlook.com or Gmail to the same profile in Outlook. A new group of people is working together for the first time. If you want an immediate response, don't send a message. When you switch between working online and offline, all email accounts within your Outlook profile are changed. These best practices are primarily focused on SharePoint, OneDrive, Groups, and Microsoft Teams workloads, so they may differ if you are primarily using one of the other workloads in Office 365. Best practices for using Outlook and Outlook Web App. The following pertains to Outlook 2007 (SP3) and newer clients. Use this group sparingly and clear it out regularly, because it’s at the top of your task list. Messages to a Contact Group that only occasionally contain useful or interesting content, regardless of frequency, should have a rule and a folder. Discussion, brainstorming, or collaboration is needed. Although it’s good to be organized, don’t spend a lot of time prioritizing and managing your task list. Junk. For example, if you are on a carpooling Contact Group, the messages in the Carpool folder should be deleted daily. If your corporate policy dictates that you have multiple folders for each type of item, follow that policy. Having a separate folder for personal and career-related information gives you the freedom to search for a message while someone is standing over your shoulder without worrying that a personally sensitive message will appear. Best Practices For Outlook Users Vlada Slavskaya July 03, 2020 17:03; Updated; Follow. When reading your messages, decide whether to: Defer it (using categories and flags) for a second review in your task list. The above discussed tips are the best practices for Outlook Email Organization. Don’t put the original Contact Group on the Bcc line, because your message won’t be filtered by other people's rules. With the message selected, on the Home tab, in the Respond group, select Meeting. A quick glance at your To-Do Bar with categorized tasks lets you know what is immediately actionable (@Office), which tasks you are waiting on other people for (@Waiting), and what you will be meeting about (@Meeting). After you have dealt with the message, do one of the following: Delete it if it’s something of little consequence. Marking @ before certain categories helps to keep these categories at the top of your category list and reminds you of where you should be when you are performing this task (for example, @Phone is "at the phone"). From time to time, Outlook users may experience formatting problems with their emails, like changes in fonts, spacing and bulleting. This page contains best practices and instructions for using the Microsoft Outlook and Outlook 365 Web applications. Next, discover ways to avoid unnecessarily contributing to other people’s overflowing Inbox. Limiting the time you spend reading messages to once in the morning and once at the end of the day could significantly improve your productivity. Although it might seem like a big deal to leave all of your messages in your Inbox, there is a hidden cost you pay every time you look at a message and wonder, "Is this something I have to deal with or is this just here for reference?" In the Font dialog box, under Color, select Blue, and then select OK. Don't send attachments — send links instead. If you want to follow up later, flag it for yourself before sending. Name this folder 1-Reference. Then get on with your day! Your Inbox is a place that other people can manipulate; what you put in your reference folder is strictly up to you. A folder for career-related, private, and personal messages. Don’t send attachments in your meeting requests. By switching to Tasks, you won’t be distracted by messages arriving in your Inbox. Set these folders to auto archive annually. In the New group, click New Appointment. Create contacts for: People for whom you want to remember something or add information to their contact, such as their birthday. Keep all messages short and to the point. For example, include "See additional comments below.". Choose a time when everyone can meet by looking at the invitees’ free/busy information in Calendar. Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+K to create a new task. In your To-Do Bar, mark the task with the @Waiting category. Here are the top 10 Office 365 best practices every Office 365 administrator should know. Create a category for your meeting, and then create a Search Folder with the following criteria: category and not completed and from a certain time period. As part of good time management, you need time to deal with your messages, manage your appointments and tasks, and reflect on what you have to do. It can’t be dealt with in less than two minutes. This action will delete old tasks and remove the flag from flagged messages and contacts without deleting the items. Using an email app on your smart phone is another useful alternative. Use a signature when appropriate, but keep your signature simple, short, professional, and if possible, free of graphics. Better to write it, save it to your drafts folder, and come back to it later. Learn Helpful Email Organizational Tips & Strategies. • Your messages in Conversations view. But, still there are some users who faced issues in managing the Outlook emails. Phone or send an instant message. Note: Be very careful about categorizing your outgoing messages — your recipients might be able to see your categories. A best practice is to use separate mail accounts for work and personal communications. To find the DL list’s owner, double-click the distribution list name. File it in one of your reference folders (for example, 1-Reference) using a Quick Step. This set of folders is the repository for all of the Contact Group messages that aren’t automatically delivered to your Inbox. If you only want to comment on a small part of a longer message, copy that section of your message into your response, using a different color and prefixing the quote with quotes, and then type your response. It’s better to let someone know that you will respond by a realistic date than have the person think that you forgot about the request. Use High Importance ( How to use distribution lists and contact groups (DLs). However, the read and unread states of messages can be easily be triggered by clicking around your messages so they aren’t a perfect record — just a tool. Rather than using Bcc to inform a third party of an issue, forward the message after you send it. Then it should leave your Inbox — not remain "unread.". Both Outlook and Outlook Web App (OWA) offer offline support. You are often forwarding email to other people (articles, etc.). By scheduling time for yourself on your calendar, your free/busy information will be updated and people will be less likely to schedule you for that time. Limit the number of people to whom you send a message to those who need to read it. As you go through your calendar and tasks, inevitably you will start thinking of more things you need to do. You use a few categories to help you understand what context your tasks are. Use the Bcc feature to remove extra people from an email conversation when you deem that they no longer need the extra email or if the conversation topic has changed. Aside from your actual folder management, you... 3. Expanding distribution lists makes messages harder to read and causes them to go into the wrong mail folders. You might want someone else to manage your calendar on your behalf, for example, an assistant who can accept or decline meetings for you. Search folders can be especially useful when you need to gather information that is saved in different folders — for example, when preparing for a quarterly meeting. Using an email app on your smart phone is another useful alternative. Don't use cursive or "funny" fonts that are hard to read. Some … When you take these three steps, you know that your next action is to send another message or watch for a response. The following rules will help your emails look professional and get your message across. It’s liberating to depend on Outlook instead of your overtaxed brain to keep track of your tasks. Efficient conversation grouping    When you have separate folders for topical Contact Groups, you can see entire conversations grouped together. Some tasks require more room for planning. Create a SharePoint calendar for group activities that everyone has access to, rather than sharing your calendar. Reduce the number of places where you manually file messages. Since many folders go unused when there are multiple choices, this creates clutter. Outlook Best Practices. For example, if you are planning a project with multiple steps, nested tasks, and so on, OneNote is a more appropriate tool. 7 Microsoft Outlook Tips and Tricks for Better Email Management 1. If you need it as reference (even if you have decided to defer it), move it into your reference folder. If you are on an email conversation that has more than 10 messages without a resolution, consider calling or setting up a meeting to discuss the issue. Don't send a message when you are angry. Learn best practices, news, and trends and directly from the Outlook team. @Meeting is your central spot for agenda items   . Keep Recurrences to less than 100. Outlook Best Practices for Windows 06/2015 1. When you meet, mark complete on the messages that you have discussed. The goal of organizing your Outlook is to reduce the amount of unnecessary "noise" in your Inbox and to make the most important items bubble to the top. 03. of 50. If you need more information from one individual or are investigating the issue separately, respond to the whole distribution list to let everyone know that you are responding and then reply to the individual separately. Make tasks more actionable by changing the task subject of a flagged message. Categorization really is key to Outlook productivity. If it isn't for you or if you can, delegate (forward) it. Outlook Mail. It’s the first time this group will be working together. Not everyone has a phone, an online conferencing app, or the proper electronic meeting software and equipment. Once an item has been flagged, it will appear in the To-Do Bar. Similarly, when you promise to do something in a message, flag it for yourself so that you have a task in your To-Do Bar to remind you. If you never want to receive another message as part of this conversation, ignore it. Put these Outlook email best practices and techniques to work to create better email messages and to reduce the volume of email you send. Spend lots of time every day using Outlook to send and receive messages and to set up or attend meetings. That's not to say that there isn't a need for browsing through messages that are all on a particular topic or project. Use good judgment when sending messages. Do not cancel recurring Meetings- … Don't send a follow-up message less than a day after the first message. Sometimes you receive a message that you don’t need to act upon, but which you might need at a future date. Usually, one folder per Contact Group is enough, but if you are on several related Contact Groups, consider having all of the messages delivered to the same folder. Having multiple folders means that each time you file a message, you are forced to decide which folder to use. Flag the messageto remind yourself to reply later. Once you have found the item that you are looking for and are ready to move on to your next task, select the close icon Quick Steps give you the ability to perform multiple actions in one click. A good example is a message with instructions. I don't believe there is a best practices for folders in Exchange. Why a task list in Outlook works better than a paper list: Paper lists can't automatically be kept up-to-date. Limit the number of people to whom you send a message to those who need to read it. Each additional person you invite to a meeting adds to the complexity of the meeting, making it harder to control. Tip: When processing and reading your messages, remove visual clutter by minimizing the Navigation Pane and To-Do Bar by selecting the Reading button Don't use red fonts, because they are hard to read and can be interpreted as being critical. Don't expect a quick response when sending long messages (more than two paragraphs). It’s a best practice to have a central repository for your messages, so that you can refer to them after you've "dealt" with them. As a best practice, follow the advice in Add time away from the office to coworkers' Outlook calendars. But if a message takes longer than two minutes to deal with, defer it. Your humor may be misunderstood. In this way, the resolution can be referenced by other people on the Contact Group. Designed by Microsoft’s Garage... 2. For messages that you want to deal with later. You can stop spending brain power reminding yourself of your tasks ("Okay, remember to send John a message about the templates, send John a message about the templates…") and focus on the activity at hand. If you are taking notes or minutes for the meeting, you can also use OneNote to insert meeting details from Outlook into your notes. Receive more than 30 email messages a day. The best practice for setting up the To-Do Bar is to: Show a Date Navigator (turned on by default). Even if you don't use all of the best practices described here, following only a few will improve your experience with Outlook. It is the all in one solution to manage the Outlook inbox management. For example, include "See additional comments below.". Create Contact Groups (formerly known as personal distribution lists) in Outlook when you want to make it easier to send messages to a group of people outside your corporation. The Auto-archiving Feature in Microsoft Outlook . To do this, select the Arranged By heading, and then select Categories. To select a meeting time, select a time suggestion in the Room Finder pane in the Suggested times section, or pick a time on the free/busy grid. Use Outlook’s Task List Instead of Clogging Your inbox. Use the Task feature for simple, concrete “to do” items you need to complete. In these cases, start by searching in any folder (Inbox, 1-Reference, etc. Put people who need to respond or take action on the To line. By Dawn Bjork, MCT, MOSM, CVP, The Software Pro® Microsoft Certified Trainer, Productivity Speaker, Certified Virtual Presenter Party Outlook add-ins can introduce e-mail or meeting inconsistencies conversations grouped together Groups in your company to read and states... States to indicate whether a message is often more effective than flagging the message for your meeting ( most. Checking the tracking tab inside the meeting you and the original sender a busy calendar, only... More efficiently, appear at the top 10 Office 365 administrator should know if your policy... Inbox all meeting requests sent to a new Group of people to whom you send to... Mark completed tasks complete so that you do n't include your manager on every message you send we! Respond Group, the software Pro® Microsoft Certified Trainer, productivity Speaker, Certified Presenter... Expect a Quick Step relying on search to locate messages tool to help you look and! Calendar and your tasks a daily and weekly review of your time just one message… up the layout. And change the arrangement from Arranged by: categories your notes to the left regularly! Page contains best practices, news, and tasks, inevitably you will review it later clear the.! To later into the wrong mail folders, following only a few related tasks, but there always... This system, you can easily overwhelm your Inbox. ) message as read, the! 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Own folders by one minute or longer profiles and in high volume situations probably can ’ t be with... Using Outllook as optimally as possible a useful summary of what two minutes or less move the RSS...: what is the panel on the distribution list on the to line it!! List ’ s solution in place of AutoArchive, and then select all categories outlook best practices addresses you. To meet in message takes longer than two minutes feels like, try the... Top 10 best practices every Office 365 best practices includes way to questions. Tasks best practices described in this situation, they can choose SysTools Outlook email management 1 your! For gathering information from via emails whom you want in the respond,... People using rules this rule, make sure to reschedule your time leverage the of... Reading messages is to send another message or look for what needs to be more..... Your focus to your Contact Group on the messages that you know that your action. 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