How to Use Outlook: 23 Time-Saving Tips

Counting the milliseconds saved now that you know how to use Outlook faster. © Julian Lim; CC BY 2.0 license

Wondering how to use Outlook more efficiently? Try the following tips and secrets.

Where Have All the Hours Gone? Time to Use Outlook Faster

You spend enough time in Outlook. Better not waste it.

Change defaults to what you usually prefer and use; make use of a keyboard shortcut or two; set up filters for automation; make sure Outlook itself runs at maximum speed, and your time in Outlook will be spent well.

Looking for more tips and tricks?

Businesswoman with laptop sitting at table in office
Not all folders here are virtual, but chances are those are faster for moving emails in Outlook. StockUnlimited

Do faster what you do so often: find out how to set up Outlook so you can file emails to oft-used folders with a single click. More »

The Lonely Vacuum Of Space
Have your emails cleaned almost automatically. Flickr/JD Hancock

Why tolerate email folders and your mind littered with oodles of messages that are quoted elsewhere anyway? Find out how to use Outlook for cleaning up automatically: it will move or delete redundant emails all on its own. More »

Resend an email in Outlook to re-use its content, subject or recipients (or just send it again) instead of starting with a blank screen. More »

If you want to make sure your Outlook is fast and snappy, keep your main PST file size (where Outlook stores emails, contacts, calendars and more) small: move old mail to a separate archive file, for example. More »

Have Outlook reply on your behalf, say to set expectations. This can save you time not only catching up after vacations but every single workday as well. More »

Even if you did not set up one-click filing for a folder, Outlook lets you move emails to folders really fast. You can transfer messages using nothing but the keyboard, for example, or a handy button on the ribbon. More »

Are you composing similar messages again and again? Find out how to use Outlook to save one such email as a template for future use. You will be able to send the same email—or a very similar one—again and again with enviable speed. More »

The font Outlook uses when you compose a message or read an email is too wide, tall, small, tiny, big or blue? Find out how to set the precise font, font style, and color to use by default for emails in Outlook. More »

Do you have to wade through too many emails in too many conversations, both totally irrelevant? Outlook can help: find out how to use Outlook to delete an entire conversation and have it remove future emails in the same thread automatically as well. More »

Starting with any email, easily set up an Outlook filter that moves all future messages from the same sender to a particular folder automatically. More »

Why are we talking about this right now? How did the discussion get started? What was it that I said? In Outlook, finding all related messages is easy. More »

Make sure new messages you are composing start with the most likely From email address already selected in Outlook. More »

Want to find something in a long, unwieldy email? Find out how to use Outlook to search the text inside an email message. More »

Do not deliver this mail before… You can tell Outlook to sende a message only on or after a certain date. More »

Have you just deleted an email in Outlook that was not (yet) meant to head to the "Deleted Items" folder? No worries! Here is a simple way to get that email back in an instant. More »

Create your own mailing lists in Outlook and send messages to groups of people easily. More »

Keep the message, lose its big size. Find out how to use Outlook to remove attached files (after you have saved them elsewhere) from email messages. This way, you can trim your mailbox size considerably. More »

Outlook has all the messages from a particular sender, and it will show them quickly with this tip. More »

See all emails (sent, received, archived, filed,…) for an account in one place in Outlook. More »

When you are the sole recipient, the message is typically more important than if you're one of 45 people in the Cc: line? Find out here how to make Outlook highlight messages that have only you in the To: line. More »

Instead of forwarding emails to yourself or making a note elsewhere in Outlook (or possibly outside it), you can simply edit any email right in place. More »

Outlook can send a carbon copy of every message you compose to another email address. More »

Add-ons such as ClearContext, Nelson Email Organizer, Xobni, Lookeen, and Auto-Mate can improve your Outlook workflow significantly, putting the right information even nearer your finger's tips, filtering intelligently, automating repetitive tasks and more. More »