Quick Steps are a built-in feature of Outlook (since Outlook 2010) that allow you to automate Outlook to do multi-step operations at the click of a button.
Despite being one of the greatest productivity features in Outlook, Quick Steps is probably one of the least used.
In the next few weeks I will show you how you can use Quick Steps to simplify your Outlook. I want to start with an example that I use every day.
I often receive emails from clients that I need to forward to my assistant with some standard text at the top. Normally this would take at least 4 steps:
- Click on Forward
- Type her name in the To field.
- Type my standard text (Please deal with this for me) at the top of the email.
- Click Send.
Quick Steps allows me to do all this simply by clicking one button.
Step-by Step: Creating the Quick-Step
Click Quick-Step on the Home tab of the Outlook ribbon.
Click New Quick Step – Forward To. (Quick Steps can be used to do many other things too which you can explore by clicking on Custom if you wish).
Click the Options button to display the full screen.
Click the Show Options hyperlink.
Type in an easy to remember name for this Quick Step in the Name box.
Type in the email address of the person you wish to send the email to the To box.
Write anything that you want to add to the email in the Text box
Tick the Automatically send checkbox. Leave it unticked if you still want to manually click Send aftet the email is created.
(Optional) You can set a Shortcut key combination to use the Quick Step if you want.
(Optional) You can add some Tooltip text to remind yourself what this Quick Step is meant to do.
Now that your Quick-Step is save, let’s use it.
Step-by Step: Using the Quick-Step
Click on the email that you wish to apply the Quick Step to (in this case the email that I want to forward)
Click Quick Step on the Ribbon and then click on the appropriate Quick Step from the list.
… and That’s it!
Quick Steps are one of the hidden productivity tools in Outlook that can save you a lot of time if used properly. Try it out.
Please share your own ideas for using Quick Steps by leaving a comment.
Last week I had to download and print the Cleveland Cavaliers games times for the current season because my son has taken a sudden interest in basketball. I thought I’d share the steps that you can take to download your own team’s game times into Outlook so that you don’t miss out on any important matches.
Here’s what you need to do.
You can click on the link below to download the full NBA schedules for ALL teams into your Outlook: Download the 2016 NBA Season Schedules for all teams
OR…If you only want schedules of your favorite team, click on the appropriate link below:
Once you click on your favourite teams link, the webpage for your Team will open up and provide you with the options shown below:
2. Select the “OUTLOOK” option which will than trigger your Outlook to connect to the schedules server as shown below:
3. Once Outlook starts up it should prompt you to “Add this internet calendar to outlook and subscribe to updates”
4. Once you select “Yes” on this prompt it should open up your calendar and give you a view of the scheduled matches as shown below:
One of the best improvements in Outlook 2016 is how much easier it is to add attachments to emails.
The designers of Outlook 2016 realised that you will usually want to send a file that you have recently worked on, and have designed this into the latest version of Outlook.
Here’s what you need to do.
Write your email as you normally would.
Click the attach file icon (paper-clip) on the ribbon. You will be presented with a list of the 12 most recent files that you have used in other programs (PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, plain text files etc).
Click on one of those files if appropriate (it usually is for me). Otherwise, click on Browse this PC or Browse Web Location which appear at the bottom of the list to select a different file.
This simple improvement saves me a lot of time every day as I find that 90% of the files that I need to send are there on the Recent Items list for me to pick.
If you have your own tricks for working better with attachments or know of other time-saving improvements in the latest versions of Outlook, let us know by leaving a comment below.
Many users have started tracking opens and clicks on the emails they send out using Email Merge Pro for Outlook. While EmailMerge can use this information directly for remerging (sending only to people who opened or clicked etc) and the EmailCaddie website has summary and detail reports, you may also want to export the tracking information in CSV format.
Here’s what you need to do.
Go to the EmailCaddie website and login.
Click on the Mail Merge tab to display a list of all the merges that you have sent out.
Click on the name of the merge that you are interested in to be taken to the Merge Details page.
Select the data you wish to see using the drop-down (Everyone, people who opened the email, people who clicked on a particular link etc).
Click the Export to CSV link to download a file to your desktop.
You can now open the CSV file in Excel or import it into other systems if you need to.
If you haven’t used Email Merge Pro for Outlook, click below to see why thousands of Outlook users trust the Outlook addin to send out sales and marketing emails to their customers everyday.
Do you find that Outlook is incorrectly sending legitimate emails to your junk mail folder? Here are a few tips to help your junk mail filter work properly.
These tips are based on the Safe Senders List. The Safe Senders list is basically a list of email addresses (or domains) that you say should NOT be treated as junk.
Change Settings to trust emails in your Contacts list and to trust people who you have sent emails to
The first thing you need to do is to tell Outlook to trust email addresses that are in your Contact list. You can also tell Outlook to add people to your Safe Senders list anytime you send them an email (even if they are not in your contact list)
- Right click over any email in your Inbox.
- Click Junk and then Junk E-mail Options.
- Click on the Safe Senders tab.
- Tick the checkbox to “trust emails from my Contacts”.
- Tick the checkbox to “automatically add people I email to the Safe Senders List”.
Add people who end up in the Junk Mail folder to the Safe Senders List.
You will still find that some legitimate emails may end up in the Junk Emails folders. Here’s what you need to do to add them to the Safe Senders list.
- Go to your Junk Email folder.
- Right click over the email.
- Click Junk and then click Not Junk.
- Make sure that the “Always trust….” checkbox is ticked.
- Click OK.
The senders email address will be added to the Safe Senders list and the email will be moved to your Inbox too.
I hope that the tips in this post help you to not miss out on important emails because they ended up in the Junk Email folder.
If you have your own ideas for managing junk emails, please share it with us by leaving a comment below.
Do you have a great looking signature for your HTML emails but find that it either looks terrible or has missing information on plain text emails? Here’s what you need to do.
When you create a nicely formatted HTML signature in Outlook, it creates its own plain text version of it (for those instances when you send out or reply to plain text emails). The problem is that this automatically created version often does not contain essential information from the HTML version.
In this post, we show you how to create a plain text version of your signature in Outlook. It probably won’t look as great as the HTML version (you can’t don any formatting in plain text) but you can at least ensure that it still contains all the information you want to put in.
(In Outlook) Click File and then Options.
Click on the Mail tab on the list of tabs on the left hand side.
Locate the Signatures button but do NOT click on it yet.
Hold down the CTRL button and click the Signatures button. This will open the Windows folder that contains all the files that are used by Outlook to insert signatures in your emails.
Find the txt version of the signature that you wish to modify. The txt version defines the plaint text version of that signature.
Double-click the file to open it in Notepad. You will find that all formatting and images have been removed. You may also find that links etc are not where you expect them to be.
Edit the file to back the information you want. At the minimum, I recommend you put your name, company name, email address and website. You may also want to put a slogan if one is appropriate for your company.
Testing Your New Signature:
Create a new email and insert the signature.
Click Format Text on the ribbon and click Plain Text.
You will find that the email has been changed to Plain Text but now your signature contains all the information you want.
Reader Question: Love QuickFile. Makes Zero Inbox possible but… Do you have a product (or know of one) that can jump to a certain folder in my Outlook folder structure? I need this because it takes me too long to manually locate folders when I need to find specific correspondence.
Answer: Yes! It’s actually built into QuickFile!
QuickFile for Outlook is used by thousands of users around the world to file and find emails into folders. QuickFile adds a few buttons inside Outlook for you.
- Click on the Find & Goto Folder button.
- Type a few characters from the folder name in the Search box. QuickFile will show you list of all the folders that match the characters types.
- Select the folder you want.
- Click Goto Folder.
Outlook will move to your chosen folder. No more searching through forests of folders to find that one folder you are looking for.
QuickFile can help you file both incoming and outgoing emails… in fact you may find that you can file up to 90% of received emails at the click of one button.
It is the season to reach out to your friends, business contacts and family… to greet them, thank them, invite them to parties… and maybe even market your products to them.
Many Outlook users use Email Merge for Outlook to do this… it lets them create one email and then send out multiple copies of the same email to as many people as they want… each person gets an email addressed only to them… with the email personalized with their name and any other details you want.
Your emails get sent out from Outlook… but you can use mailing lists from many sources… including Outlook, Excel and Access.
We have created 5 holiday themed templates (shown above) that you can download and use today.
Download and installing the templates
Once you have Email Merge installed…
Click here to download the Outlook Holiday Templates. Save the file to your desktop or other convenient location on your computer (This will be a zip file. You do NOT need to unzip it).
Start Outlook and go to your Inbox.
Click the little arrow under Email Merge on the ribbon and then click Template Manager (to display Email Merge’s built-in template manager)
Click the Import button and select the zip file that was downloaded in one of the earlier steps.
Click OK. The 5 templates will be imported into your Email Merge for Outlook template list into a category named Christmas Templates.
Click Close to close the Template Manager
Sending Personalized Emails from Outlook using the Templates
Click the Email Merge button on the Outlook Ribbon.
Select the appropriate template (Christmas Template 1 to 5) from the list on the first step of the Wizard.
Click Next and follow the rest of the steps in the Wizard.
The Email Merge for Outlook software can send out emails using contacts stored in Outlook, Excel and many other sources.
Happy Holidays from the team at Standss
We hope that this year has been good for you and we wish you and all our customers and readers a Very Merry Christmas.
And remember… it’s still not too late to send out your Holiday emails and invites.
As the year comes to an end, you probably need to do some planning. How will you finish this year in the best way possible… and how will you make the next year your most productive year yet?
One of the things that I find very useful in my planning is BLANK PRINTED CALENDARS. I print out one page per month and use that for planning. It really helps that I can have multiple months spread out in front of me on the table.
In this post I will show you how you can print out blank monthly calendars from Outlook (and also how you can print out calendars for any particular date range).
How to Print a Blank Calendar from Outlook
Go to the Calendar in Outlook.
Go to the Home tab of the Ribbon (if you are not already there)
Click Open Calendar – Create New Blank Calendar.
Enter a name for the calendar.
Ensure that your existing Calendar is selected for “Select where to place the folder” and click OK.
On the navigation pane on the left, you should see that the calendar that you just created added to the list of Calendars.
Tick it so that it is displayed (you will also need to untick the name of your normal Calendar).
Click File –Print.
Under Settings, select Monthly Style (or choose an alternative style if your prefer)
By default the current month will be printed. If you want to print a longer date range (you may plan for the first quarter…or even the whole year), click Print Option and enter the date range in the space provided.
I hope that you find your printed blank calendars useful for your planning. It may be old school but it works.
Do you have a list of email addresses in Excel to whom you want to send emails? Here are step-by-step instructions on sending out personalized individually-addressed emails to each person.
Step 1: Make sure that your data is correctly setup inside Excel
Check your spreadsheet to ensure that it has data similar (it doesn’t have to have exactly the same columns) as below. Things to be careful of are listed under the image.
The first row should have the names of columns/fields. You can have just one field (Email address) or as many different fields of data as you want.
You need to (obviously) have the email address in one column.
Rows after the first row will have the actual data.
Step 2: Install Email Merge for Excel
EmailMerge for Outlook is the fastest, easiest and safest way to send out personalized emails using data in Excel. You can try it free for 30 days.
If you haven’t done so already, download and install Email Merge for Outlook.
If you have installed the software properly, you should see the EmailMerge button on the ribbon inside Outlook.
Step 3: Click on the Email Merge button inside Outlook(shown above) to open the Email Merge menu
Click on “Create a new merge”
You can start your email merge process with a Blank email or using an Email template (pre-set email) from the list. Make a selection and click Next.
EmailMerge can use data from many sources including from inside Outlook and Excel. In this case select “Excel File” and then select the Excel file you want to use.
Step 3: Where are your Contacts?
The screen will now show you a list of all the sheets in your Excel workbook.
Select the sheet in which your contacts are and Click Next
Step 4: Who do you want to send this e-mail to?
The screen will display all the contacts on the selected sheet.
Select (tick) the people to whom you want to send this email and click “Next”
Step 5: Confirm Your Mailing List
EmailMerge will display a list of all contacts you had selected to send your email to.
If you need to make any changes, click on the “Back” button. Otherwise click “Next” to continue with the remaining steps of the Wizard.
The remaining steps of the EmailMerge Wizard allow you to:
- Preview how each customized email will look on both computers and mobile devices
- Send all the emails at once or in smaller batched.
- Send the email immediately or scheduled at a later time or date
- Track opens and clicks on your emails
- Choose the account to send the email out from… and much more
Click “Finish” to send out your emails.
EmailMerge for Outlook is the fastest, easiest and safest way to send out personalized emails using data in Excel. You can try it free for 30 days by clicking on the image below.