Commonly Overlooked Microsoft Outlook Features

by - 16 December 2020
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Microsoft are always releasing new features to the Office suite, it can be hard to keep up to date. Here are our favorite Outlook features that are often overlooked.

Reply to an email with a meeting invite

Did you know you can respond to an email with a meeting invitation? In the top menu bar there is a small icon next to reply that, when you hover over it, says ‘reply with meeting.

Outlook sticky notes

Pressing Ctrl + Shift + N from anywhere in Outlook will create a new note, you can drag it anywhere on the screen and change the colour. Click the 3 dot menu in the bottom right corner to see all of your notes.

Schedule an email to send in the future

If you want to create an email now but send it at a future time or date, navigate to the Options menu while composing a new email in Outlook and select Delay Delivery. Here you can set the ‘do not deliver before’ date and time. 

Open items in a new window 

You can multi task in Outlook by opening folders or features in a new window. Right click on the item you want to open and select ‘Open in a new window’.

Send similar emails quickly with Quick Parts

Quick Parts allows you to save text from an email (or part of it), allowing you to insert it into future emails. Additionally, if you save it as auto text, then next time you start to write the same content, Outlook will suggest the remaining text for you and you can simply hit Enter to insert the text.

Here’s how: highlight the text you want to save, click the insert tab along the top and click ‘Quick Parts’ in the ‘text’ section of the menu.

Outlook keyboard shortcuts

We love keyboard shortcuts! Recently we wrote a list of the best Microsoft Word and Excel shortcuts. Outlook also has many shortcuts, here are a few of the best 

Start a new email: CTRL+N

Reply to a email: CTRL+R

Forward an email: ALT+W

Send email: ALT+S

Switch to Mail: CTRL+1
Switch to Calendar: CTRL+2
Switch to Contacts: CTRL+3
Switch to tasks: CTRL+4
Make a new appointment: CTRL+SHIFT+A
Create a new contact: CTRL+SHIFT+C

Searching like a pro

If you’re like me, you have about 50 folders in Outlook to ‘organise’ your emails which can make it near impossible to find an email when you need it. Outlooks search feature has greatly improved and there are a few simple things you can add to your search criteria to return the right results: 

– add ‘from:’ or ‘to:’ before your search to find emails from a specific person
– If you’re after an email attachment add ‘hasattachment:yes’
– looking for an email you know arrived yesterday, try ‘received:yesterday’
– If you’re running out of space in your inbox you can find all the large emails by searching ‘messagesize:enormous’
– Just want to see all the emails you’ve not found the time to read yet, try ‘read:no’

There are countless shortcuts and features available in Outlook, but these are a few of our favorites. We suggest printing this article out and keeping it next to your keyboard while you’re learning them and soon enough, you’ll become a master of Outlook!