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Microsoft Outlook – 5 Tips To Improve Efficiency

Microsoft Outlook is a popular email program and available to use when you have purchased an Office 365 License. It is a powerful system which streamlines email, calendar, contacts, tasks and more.

You may already be efficient in the program but just in case, here are a few handy tips.


It is one of the easiest and, at the same time, the most effective ways on how to organise email in Outlook. If you are used to storing emails for future reference, create the system of folders so that to quickly find necessary data. There is the possibility to create rules for emails from a certain sender to be automatically placed in a certain folder: use the shortcut Ctrl + Shift + E to create a new folder ➝ find an email from the sender and right-click it ➝ Rules ➝ Always move messages from … ➝ select the folder you have just created for this sender.

Flags and Categories

Another effective way on how to organise emails in Outlook is to mark them according to categories. For every category, there is a different colour. Besides, they can be named and set contingent on your needs and preferences in the way you organise Outlook folders. For this, find the tab Tags and click on Categories. In the menu that will appear, one can rename a category and choose a colour for it. Then, in the inbox, apply one of these categories to visually facilitate searching. A flag can be assigned to an email by simple left-clicking. If you right-click, there are settings and notifications for a certain email.

Delayed Delivery

It is one of the Outlook best practices as this function lets you send the report on time, do not forget to send a greeting card or send an email early in the morning as if you are already awake. Outlook management will come to the rescue. After creating an email and typing a recipient, click on the button Options ➝ Delay Delivery ➝ check the box Do not deliver before ➝ indicate time and date and check other parameters that you can apply ➝ Close ➝ press Send. This email will remain in the outbox until the specified time

Mention someone to get their attention

When working in an office we can simply talk to our colleagues to get their attention. You can do the same from your phone with Outlook’s @ mentions. When you @xxx in an email message, the recipient will see they’ve been called into the conversation.

Even better, when other people @ mention you, the inbox displays the relevant sentences around your @ mention directly in your message excerpt.

And finally, everybody loves a good shortcut. Please see below some handy shortcut keys for use within Outlook.

Ctrl + R: for replying to an email;

Ctrl + Shift + M: for creating a new email;

Ctrl + 1: for opening an email;

Ctrl + 2: for opening a calendar;

Ctrl + 3: for opening contacts;

Ctrl + 4: for Outlook to show tasks in the calendar;

Ctrl + 4: to display Notes;

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