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Microsoft Outlook: Making the journey easy

Mar 07, 2022

Microsoft Outlook has always been a staple of the business community for decades. In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, the ability to leverage technology to your advantage is critical. Here are some ways to make your day in MS Outlook better.

STOP text based searches and START using structured searches

Have you ever sat there and tried to find an email, but had no luck in finding it? Your unstructured searches are getting in the way and returning too many results. To easily filter your results, you can add items like the words in the list below to the front of your search to narrow your results:

  • To:
  • From:
  • Subject:

This search in the image below shows how using the phrase “Subject:” along with the words you’re looking for can return better results.

To get the list filtered further, add in a + sign between your words. This will search for the combination of both words and not just each word individually like the above search does.

STOP copy data to another list to ensure your item gets done and START using Microsoft ToDo

To access the ToDo app, navigate to it here https://to-do.office.com/. To set up a “Quick Step” action
from Outlook to Microsoft ToDo, go to outlook and:

  1. Open your Quick Steps
  2. Click New à Categorize and Move
  3. Fill in the actions you want to have happen. For example:
    1. Categorization of the email
    2. Create a task with the text of the message
    3. This will take about 60 seconds to show up in MS ToDo

Here is what MS ToDo looks like with the three emails flagged today as tasks:

If you flag an email with a due date, those will also flow over to MS ToDo and require no custom setup.

STOP clicking through menus and tabs and START using shortcuts.

The feature allows you to pin items to your quick-access toolbar at the top of your Outlook window. To add a button to the toolbar, simply right click it and choose “Add to Quick Access Toolbar” as shown here.

After you add a few buttons, you will have a full menu of your frequently used features at your disposal. Additional tip: You can create a menu of different shortcuts for each window in Outlook (Main window, New Meeting window, New message window, Contacts).

Bonus tip: Finding more Microsoft tools through My Apps.

STOP trying to look up links on the company intranet and START using My Apps.

Often times, you are interested in using another MS Office application, but are unsure of what the link is. The My Apps feature from Microsoft solves that fairly easily. To access, just navigate to https://myapplications.microsoft.com/.

Once you are here, you can search for applications and click on the various icons to open them. It’s an easy way to find new tools, so give it a try.


Richard L. McClure
Senior Manager
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