Top 5 Tips to Organize and Manage Outlook Email
Companies use email to communicate internally and externally with customers, vendors, partners, and others. However, despite the technological advancements, sending and receiving emails takes time and can interrupt work and decrease productivity.
You would be surprised at how much time you actually spend each week reading, replying, and managing your emails. You may even have your work emails connected to your mobile phone, so you can check and respond to emails when you’re not in the office. According to Statista, 49% of the employees in the U.S. check their work emails every few hours—even when they’re not at work.
Studies show that an average office employee receives as many as 121 emails per day and spends 3.1 hours on work email. This adds up to a substantial amount of time that can be used more effectively on other work. The good news is, there are ways you can save valuable time when using Microsoft Outlook.
Outlook is the preferred technology solution for emails by many businesses around the world. It combines your email, contacts, and calendars in one place. Here are five Outlook tips that can improve your productivity by helping you organize and manage emails more effectively:
1. Declutter your inbox
We receive all kinds of emails—some are important, and others are just completely or partially useless. Scanning through your inbox for a specific email can be hectic and take time. This is why it’s critical to regularly declutter your inbox.
Using clutter folders like “Focused” and “Other” in Outlook can help you find emails faster by grouping the same subject lines together or by sorting low-priority emails.
The process for using the clutter folder in Outlook is simple:
- Go to Settings
- Select Options
- Select Mail
- Then choose Automatic Processing
- Finally, select Clutter
Once Clutter is turned on in Outlook, it then uses AI to sort important and unimportant emails. You can toggle between the two folders from the top of your inbox.
2. Add notes and create tasks
Some messages in your inbox need your immediate attention, while others can wait a few days. But there’s often a third category of emails that aren’t exactly urgent but may need attention soon. So, what do you do with these emails?
Use the sticky note feature available in Outlook to attach a note to those emails. You’ll be reminded to review them whenever you open your inbox. There’s an easy shortcut for this in Outlook: Press Ctrl + Shift + N and you have a new sticky note that you can place anywhere on your screen with the task from the email.
Once you finish that task, you can remove that sticky note or add a flag for follow-up, making this a quick-and-easy method for managing emails in your inbox.
3. Organize with folders and scheduled emails
Sorting emails into various folders is one of the many ways to streamline and manage your email organization. It makes navigating through them easier and much less time-consuming. You can create as many folders as you need in Outlook, and then simply drag emails to those folders so your inbox stays clean and well organized. If you later want to delete a whole batch of emails you can easily do this by deleting the entire folder.
Outlook also makes sending emails easier through its scheduled delivery option. With this feature, you can respond to emails on your time. For example, you may be ready to respond to an email, but you may want to delay sending it until a specific day. So, instead of saving the email response as a draft, you can easily schedule the delivery date to automatically send on the date of your choosing. Once you set the date, Outlook will take care of the rest and you can mark one more thing off your “to-do list.” Here’s how it’s done:
- Go to Options
- Select Delay Delivery
- Add a date and time to the option, Do not deliver before
- Select Send
4. Take action on each email
Not every email in your inbox deserves the same amount of attention or focus. Some emails are just computer-generated notifications no one needs to read, while other emails may include important documents from a client. So, you can take different actions for each kind of email using simple steps in Outlook.
- Select an email from a specific sender
- Select File
- Then select Rules and Alerts
From there, you can set a different action for each rule. For example, you can add a rule to delete an email containing specific words or coming from a certain sender. This way, you don’t have to manually classify unnecessary or work-related emails, which saves much more time for other pressing to-dos.
5. Use Inbox Pause and schedule calendar events
Getting a lot of new emails every day can be stressful for anyone. Working under stress leads to poor performance, reduced productivity, and health-related issues. Outlook provides a feature that gives you more control over when you receive emails. For example, the Inbox Pause option allows you to control when new emails appear in your inbox and can even stop new emails appearing until you’ve responded to existing ones, signaling to Outlook that you’re ready for more.
Outlook also allows you to set a reminder for emails by creating calendar events. Creating organized, scheduled events for separate emails can save you the trouble of managing everything in your head and help you work more efficiently. To do this, simply drag and drop an email onto your calendar. It will automatically open an appointment or meeting reminder which can be customized.
Staying productive and using your time efficiently when managing your inbox becomes much easier when you know how to get the most out of your email technology solution. Using these simple tricks for Outlook can help free up time for more critical tasks. So, the next time you are using Outlook and managing emails, don’t forget to try a few of these tips.
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