Make Outlook work for you

Posted by: INSZoom | Date: February 12, 2015

Do you rely on Outlook, and if so, are you using it efficiently?

You’re probably thinking these are unnecessary questions, and that Outlook is efficient in and of itself. However, simple tips and tricks can really make a difference in what you can do within the program and how quickly you can do it.

Now you might be saying you don’t need to be faster in your inbox – you sign in, read emails, reply to colleagues and clients and move on. But, if you truly considered everything you do within the platform, you’d realize you could save hours every month if you did things just a little bit differently – those are hours you could have slept in, had dinner with your family or hit the golf course.

Use these tips to make Outlook work for you and free up some of your time:


You probably haven’t considered your typing speed in years, but learning keyboard shortcuts for moving around in Outlook is a great way to give your mouse a break and save time. Try these for a start:

  • Ctrl+R = Reply to email
  • Alt+R = Reply to all in an email
  • Alt+S = Send email
  • Alt+W = Forward email
  • Ctrl +2 = Switch to calendar
  • Ctrl + 3 = Switch to contacts
  • Ctrl + E = Go to search
Use your mouse less by learning Outlook keyboard shortcuts.

While there are many preset Outlook shortcuts, you can also configure or create your own custom tasks with Quick Steps in Outlook 2010 and more recent versions. If you go to the Home tab in Outlook mail, you’ll see the Quick Steps group. In the Quick Steps group, you can either create new steps or manage the Quick Steps already in place.


You can save yourself time from scanning dozens of emails at a once by having rules set up. Rules can filter emails from a specific person or groups and send them to designated folders. Now it’ll only take you a few seconds to look at your folders and see which ones have new correspondence.

“Save yourself time setting up Outlook rules.”

Outlook tasks are the perfect way to keep track of your schedule and to-do list. You can easily create tasks while reading an email or looking at your calendar. Merely hit Ctrl + Shift + K, drag an item to the Task tab or drag an email to the To-Do Bar and click one of the preset tasks you’ve created. You’ll never forget to call someone back or check on a case if you get in the habit of making tasks from emails right away.

These all may seem like simple tips, but a majority of people don’t utilize these features. There will be an adjustment period, but after a week or two you’ll find you’ve made Outlook a strong weapon in your organizational arsenal instead of simply using it as a mailbox.

Inszoom Academy