6 Great Outlook Productivity Hacks to Save Time

6 Great Outlook Productivity Hacks to Save Time

Every minute you can save on a daily task adds up to real dollar savings in productivity over time. 

For example, if you save just 15 minutes a day with a productivity hack for 25 employees, that’s 125 hours a month in savings. At $20 per hour, that would equate to $2,500 a month.

One of the most popular cloud solutions used by businesses in North Carolina, as well as the rest of the world, is Microsoft 365. Within that cloud platform is Outlook, which holds a treasure trove of productivity boosters. 

Email is one of the most time intensive applications that employees use every day. Each person spends an average of 3.5 hours daily reading and responding to work email. So why not get more out of your time there and streamline the process at the same time?

Using these Outlook tips, you can both improve your use of email as well as simplify several other work processes.

Outlook Tips for a Major Productivity Boost

Below, we’ll give you several common scenarios in an office that create “productivity sink holes.” These are processes that could take much less time and be more efficient with the right workflow.

Along with each scenario, we’ll give you the Outlook productivity hack to solve the problem!

My Computer/Desk is Covered in Sticky Notes

Sticky notes are a great way to jot down a quick reminder, but they can quickly get out of hand. Once you get too many sticky notes, it takes longer to find the one you’re looking for. Sticky notes stuck on the side of a monitor also are completely unsecure.

Outlook Hack: Switch to digital sticky notes in Outlook.

Instead of having to change a process you’re comfortable with, make those sticky notes digital by using the Notes tool in Outlook. It makes your notes searchable by keyword and keeps them organized and secure.

Just click the three dots at the bottom of the mail folder panel to get to the Notes option.

It Takes Forever to Find Important Emails in My Inbox

Nearly everyone knows what it’s like to have an inbox that keeps filling up and seems to have no bottom in sight. We save emails that are important, but they get buried by incoming, and we end up spending time finding and re-finding important messages when needed.

Outlook Hack: Automatically move important emails to a special folder.

Add a folder in Outlook for important emails. You might have one for emails from your boss and another for emails that come from your CRM program.

Once you have a folder set up for your boss, right-click on an email that you want to move into it. Choose to create a rule. This will take you to a rules window where you can set up a rule that will automatically send all messages from your boss to the “Boss” folder when they come in. No more searching!

We Can Never Keep Track of the Conference Room Signup Sheet

Trying to keep track of who has scheduled the big conference room is not only time-consuming, it can also cause a meeting to have nowhere to be held if a room is double-booked. Get away from paper signup sheets and automate the process.

Outlook Hack: Create room mailboxes in the Microsoft 365 admin center (they can be created for sharable equipment too). 

Once these are set up, have employees follow this process to reserve a conference room:

  • Create a new meeting in the Outlook Calendar
  • Add the conference room as a meeting attendee
  • Fill in the date/times information
  • Click Scheduling Assistant to check room availability
  • Click “Send” on the meeting invitation to schedule the room

I Wish I Could Multi-Task While Reading Email

Do you never seem to have enough time and wish you could somehow find more? It’s common to want to do something else while sifting through email, but it’s not really possible unless you have a personal assistant read them for you. 

Outlook Hack: Use the Read Aloud feature to listen to your emails.

Outlook has a handy Read Aloud feature that can free you up to multi-task while your email is being read to you. Just highlight the text you want read and click the Read Aloud icon under Speech on the Home menu.

I Have Trouble Piecing Together Communication Trails

You have one part of a project conversation in Teams and other parts located in various emails within your inbox. This can mean precious time spent trying to find and piece together an important communication trail.

Outlook Hack: Use a tag-team approach with Outlook and Microsoft Teams to keep communication organized.

Related: Best 5 New Features Coming to Microsoft Teams

Each channel in Teams has an email address that you can use to send emails directly to that channel. This helps you keep emails in the same place as other messages related to a specific topic and cleans out your inbox at the same time.

I Have to Retype Everything into My Task Manager

Often tasks come to us via email. We might get a message from our boss with a list of to-dos before a big meeting or various emails from project team members with things that need to be done. Retyping all of those into a task manager is an entirely new task!

Outlook Hack: Start managing your tasks in Outlook and avoid retyping by creating a task from an email.

In Outlook, drag a task-related email down to the Task icon (the clipboard with a checkmark inside). It’s located at the bottom of the email folders panel. This automatically creates a new task from that email, no retyping needed!

Looking for More Cloud Productivity Solutions?

There are several workflow improvements that can save you time and money. It just takes working with an RCOR cloud expert that can help you uncover them.

Contact us today to schedule a productivity consultation. Call 919-263-5570 or contact us online.