Here’s a quick tip that you can use to get Outlook to automatically display special emails in a different colour so that they stand out in your Inbox (or any other folder)
In this example we will be using this technique to display in green bold any emails that you have added notes to (using Email Notes for Outlook).
Step By Step
1. Go to the Folder in which the emails are. This can be the Inbox or any other folder.
2. In Outlook 2013/2010, Click View on the Ribbon and then click View Settings.
On all other versions of Outlook, on the menu at the top, Click View – Arrange By – Current View – Customize Current View to display the Customize View screen.
3. In Outlook 2013/2010, Click the Conditional Formatting… button
On all other versions of Outlook, click Automatic Formatting… button
4. Click the Add Button
5. Enter a name e.g. “Emails with Notes”
6. Click the Font button and using the resulting screen to choose how you want emails to be highlighted (I chose the colour Green and Bold). Click OK to return to the previous screen.
7. Click the Conditions… button to display the Filter screen.
8. Click the Advanced Tab
9. Click the Field button > User-defined fields in Inbox > EmailNotes
10. For the Condition: drop-down, select “is (exactly)” and for the Value: enter “Yes”.
11. Click Add to List
12. Now OK your way back to the Outlook Inbox
You should now notice that any emails with notes would appear in the format you have defined.
In this example we have used this technique to highlight emails with notes linked to them. You can also use the same technique to highlight any emails that are important to you (e.g. emails from you main clients/manager etc).
I was at a friends office yesterday and observed him rummaging through his desk looking for email printouts… on which he had hand-written notes. We got into a discussion on why we need to make notes on emails at all… and a way of making notes on emails directly in Outlook.
Why do we need to take notes on emails?
It turns out that many conversations are started via email… and then get added to by our own thoughts or phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Adding notes (handwritten or electronic) to emails just makes it easier to refer to the FULL conversation or take action later.
1. Emails from people outside our own companies are often followed by phone calls… it is convenient to record follow-up notes directly on the email so that all the information is in one place.
2. We often delegate things to other people in our team via email… and then clarify them via phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Recording details directly on the email makes it easier to check if a delegated task has been fully completed.
3. Similarly we may have work that has been delegated to us via email initially but then followed up by phone calls or face-to-face meetings. Recording details directly on the email improves our chances of carrying out the delegated tasks fully.
4. Like many people I have a habit of quickly scanning through my emails… if an email relates to something I can do easily, I take action… otherwise I work on it later but… I may have ideas immediately and it is useful to record it with the email… ready for me to use later. This way I don’t lose thoughts or ideas related to an email.
One way of writing notes on emails is to do what my friend used to do… print out the emails… handwrite on them… and hope you can find them later.
The downsides of this method are that we waste a lot of paper… and the emails and notes are difficult to find when we need them
There is an easier way… use Email Notes for Outlook… an Outlook addin that adds a button inside Outlook for you so that you can easily add, view, edit and print notes on emails… all from inside Outlook.
You can learn more about and download a fully functional version of Email Notes for Outlook from our website.
Here are what some existing customers say about Email Notes for Outlook.
I help people with insurance and Email Notes makes it so much easier for me to work. I make the note on the email lead and it makes it so much easier to keep myself organized. Those notes have made a difference in my closing ratio. – Jim Lambert
EmailNotes gives me an immediate way to jot a reminder to myself connected with the e-mail. Absolutely hassle-free installation and use with Outlook. Wonderful utility!! – Pam Rolph
I don’t have to print the email message, hand write a note on it, and then keep track of it on my desk. Eliminates extra desktop paper and the info doesn’t get accidentally put in a job folder lost forever. – Patrick J. O’Leary, Estimator/Project Manager
Hope you find this tip useful.
Let us know what you think about the tip or Email Notes by leaving a comment below.
A few weeks back we received an inquiry from a customer which read:
“do you have a simple , inexpensive bulk mailer program which I can use to send schedules , newsletters etc to targeted customers including an opt out option. I want a once off purchase – not a subscription service and I definitely don’t want to SPAM my customers as this will lose me business?”
A lot of you may already know what solution we would have offered the customer… Any Guesses?
Yes… our very own Email Merge for Outlook which basically meets all the requirements.
One of the most commonly asked question we have had recently is…
How to add unsubscribe links to the mass emails sent using Email Merge?
In this post I will be showing you just how to add unsubscribe links and also managing your unsubscribe list using Email Merge.
Adding Unsubscribe links to emails
With the method of unsubscribe that I will be showing you, there will be a link in each email that you sent out, when the link is clicked, a new email will be created with pre-filled content and the subscriber can send that back to you. Here is how:
- Open Outlook
- Start the Email Merge wizard, move through the steps in the wizard till you reach the step to edit/compose your email
- Start typing your email
- Once done, please your cursor where you would like to add your unsubscribe link (I personally recommend right at the moment of your email)
- Enter a text of your choice for the subscribe link for example “To cancel your subscription please click Unsubscribe”
- Highlight all the text that you would like to create as a hyperlink. In this example I will only highlight the word “Unsubscribe”
- Now click the Insert tab > click Hyperlinks. This will open the following screen:
- On the right side under “Link to:”, select E-mail Address
- In E-mail Address:, enter the address on which you could like to receive the unsubscribe notification.
- In Subject:, enter “Unsubscribe from Newsletter” or something similar with the word Unsubscribe in it
- Click OK
This will now create a hyperlink in your emails. Your newsletter subscribers can request to opt out by simply clicking on the link and sending the notification email to you.
How to Manage unsubscribe using Email Merge
You will now be required to use the Do Not Send To list feature to manage your unsubscribe requests.
To Open the Do not Send List:
In Outlook go to your Inbox, click on the little arrow beside(below) the EmailMerge button on the Toolbar/Ribbon.
Click Do not Send List. The application will open the following screen:
1. Add an email-address to Do not Send List:
Click Add, the application will display the following screen:
You can add email address(s) to the Do not Sent list using 1 of the 3 options below:
- Manually add the new items to the list – Select this option if you would like to type-in the email addresses manually. (Enter 1 email address per line)
- Email address (sender) of currently selected email(s) – Select this option if you want Email Merge to automatically add email addresses for the emails you have already selected in the current folder. The email address of the sender will be added to the Do not Sent List.
- Emails in current folder with unsubscribe/bounce back words in subject
For the purpose of this example, I will select the last option as the unsubscribe email will have the keyword “Unsubscribe” in it.
You may also find that certain emails addresses on your list are no longer valid as emails you send are bounced back. EmailMerge can automatically add addresses of the above to the Do not Send List by comparing words in the Subject fields.
You can edit the list of words by clicking on Maintain Word List to add, delete or reset the Word list to default.
Now click Next and Email Merge will automatically add all email address with the keyword Unsubscribe in the subject to the Do Not Send To list.
You can repeat the above steps after each newsletter or email campaign to ensure that people who have unsubscribed are added to the list and not contacted further as this could really annoy them.
Here are a few reasons why you maybe want to try Email Merge:
- It’s a simple tool that works directly inside Outlook
- It’s one of the most inexpensive bulk mailer program
- It allows you to send newsletters and even schedule the time for sending emails
- There are no monthly subscription fee’s… just a once off purchase
- It lets you send out personalized emails therefore reduces the chances of SPAM
- Lastly the new “Do Not Send To List” feature even allows you to manage unsubscribes.
Hope you find this tip useful
Let us know what you think of this tip or Email Merge by leaving a comment below.
Setting up reminders on Task is simple and quite handy because with so much to do, we are likely to miss or forget about other important tasks that might be due.
BUT the overwhelming part is when you are in the middle of something very important and the Reminder Pop-up comes with several tasks. There is two things you might do at this point:
- Click on the red X button to close the Pop-up screen or
- Select each individual task and set a snooze time for it to reappear later
The second option is time-consuming and frustrating when you’re in a middle of something important and have no time to waste.
Get frustrated no more, here is a simple tip that will let you “Select All” Tasks and snooze them all at once:
- When the Reminder Pop-up appears:
- Select the First item in the list
- Press Shift on your keyword
- Select the Last item. This should now select all the items in the list as shown below:
- Set the Snooze time from the drop-down
- Click Snooze
This should now snooze all the items in the list to the time specified by you so you can continue with your important task on hand.
Did you find this tip useful? let us know by leaving a comment below.
Looking for a simple Task Management tool for Outlook… try our eeminders for Outlook addin.
In the last post I showed you how most Outlook users were changing the subject of the emails to make the email findable later.
I don’t personally change the Subject of emails. Instead I use Email Tags to tag my emails with keywords for searching later.
My suggestion appeared to grab the attention of a lot of Outlook user’s who were till date changing the subject of their email BECAUSE there was no other way of making the emails findable. They requested me to elaborate more on what EmailTag was and how to use it.
I realized there might be others facing the same problem so thought to do a blog post explaining about Email Tags.
There has been a shift away from filing things into folders and to using tags/categories over the last few years. This can be seen in programs such as EverNote, Gmail, Picasa… Here is a simple way that you can apply tagging to your emails in Outlook.
Outlook’s built-in categories provide a good start to email tagging because they allow the same email to have more than one category.
Here is how Email Tags makes it even better.
How to tag an Outlook email using Email Tags
Email Tags adds a couple of buttons to your Outlook ribbon/toolbar.
Click Tag It to display the Email Tags screen.
Email Tags has built in intelligence to recommend tags to you. Alternatively you can type in a new tag or select a tag from your list of tags directly on that screen.
You can even choose to file the email out of your Inbox with the tag, all in one step.
Email Tags will also prompt you to tag your Sent Emails so that all your emails are organized properly.
How to search for emails that you have tagged in Outlook
The main reason for tagging emails is so that they are easy to find later. Finding tagged Outlook emails is easy if you’re a Email Tags user.
Just click the Search button on the Email Tags toolbar to display a full list of your tags.
Click on a Tag (in the list) and Outlook will carry out a Search and display all relevant emails to you.
If you haven’t tried Email Tags yet, you can download a fully functional 30 day trial to see just how easy it is to organize and find emails using tags instead of folders.
This again is NOT something that I do or recommend. I prefer to leave received emails exactly as they are. However several users asked if it was possible to change the Email Subject so that it is easier to find the email later.
- Open the email by double-clicking on it.
- In Outlook 2013/2010 , go to the Message tab > click the Actions button under the Actions group > click Edit Message
- For Outlook 2007 > Click Other Actions -> Edit.
- For Outlook 2003 > click Edit -> Edit message.
- Now make any changes that you need to (The Subject can also be changed even though it appears to be read-only).
- Click Save (or close the email and you will be prompted to Save it).
NOTE: I don’t personally change the Subject of emails. Instead I use Email Tags to tag my emails with keywords for searching later.
Let us know of any other ways you use to easily find your emails in Outlook by leaving a comment below.
If you use the Outlook Calendar or Tasks List to get your work done, here’s a quick tip on how to convert emails to appointments or tasks.
Why might you need this? Like me, you probably get a lot of requests to get things done via email. You also probably send many emails that you want to follow up on. I personally do not use my Tasks List or Calendar for this (I use eeminders for Outlook addin which lets me use my Inbox as my To Do list. However if you use your Tasks List or Calendar, this is what you can do.
Options 1: (FREE) Create a Task or Appointment from Emails
To create a Task or Calendar item from an email…
1. Make sure that your folders are displayed in Outlook.
2. Right-click on the email (and keep the right button pressed) and then drag-and-drop the email into your Calendar or Tasks folder. Three options will be displayed (Copy with Attachment, Copy with Text and Move with Attachment).
3. I normally select Move or Copy with Attachment. This allows me to open the resulting task (or calendar item) which has the email attached to it. I can then double-click on the attached email and Reply or Forward it as needed.
Option 2: File and create the appointment/task automatically when you click Send
If you send out a lot of emails that you need to follow up on, I would recommend QuickFile for Outlook. It automatically prompts you every time you send an email out. The email will be filed to the correct folder after it is sent and your follow-up task or calendar item will be created for you.
Option 3: Get your reminders at the top of your Inbox on the correct day and time
I have personally found that I forget to look at my Calendar and Task List and as a result many actions get left undone. I have started using eeminders which shows me what I need to work on at the top of my Inbox. You can watch a demo video or download a trial version of eeminders for Outlook from here.
I hope you find this tips useful.
Do you know of other ways to schedule your work and complete them on time?
Share it with us by leaving a comment below.
Welcome back folks… today we are sharing with you another tip which was shared by a Outlook user.
This is not something that I do myself but I am sharing this as several users indicated that they use these technique. Some background first…
Several readers said that they prefer to have emails that they need to follow up on in their Inbox i.e. after they have sent an email; they would like to have a copy of the email in their Inbox too. The two techniques shared by users were:
BCC Yourself on emails that you need to follow up on
This is easy… simply BCC yourself on emails that you are sending out and you want/need to follow up on.
After the email is sent, you will also receive a copy in your Inbox. Because you have BCC’ed yourself, the other recipients will not know that you were also a recipient.
Or Use a Rule to copy sent emails to your Inbox
You can also setup a Rule to copy ALL emails that you send to your Inbox. Once the email copies arrive in your Inbox, manually Delete the emails that you don’t need to follow-up on.
As mentioned earlier… I don’t use this technique myself but users say that the extra Delete step takes almost no time.
I personally think having copies of emails in your inbox that you will not be working on immediately can be distracting and unproductive… having so many emails in the inbox makes me feel I haven’t done my work today (when in fact I have)
How I personally organize my Follow-ups in Outlook you may ask?
Well in my most biased opinion… I personally use eeminders for Outlook and like the fact that it automatically pops a reminder for emails that I need to deal with on the day that I actually need to deal with it.
- This does not cause my Inbox to be cluttered with follow-up emails and
- I don’t have to scroll through emails to find the one I need to deal with. Eeminders reminders me when I need to work on a email.
There is no right or wrong way of doing this… it’s just a matter of preference so I leave the choice to you to choose the best method that suits your style of work.
If you are interested to try eeminders, you can download a fully functional 30 day trial from our website.
Let us know which method you prefer by leaving a comment below.
In one of our earlier tips from the 8 Simple tips for Email Management in Outlook series… I had mentioned to you that Outlook is configured (by default) to eventually corrupt itself and lose some or maybe even all your data?
Backing up your Outlook data is one way to avoid data loss but here is another way that you can ensure your data file size remains small and compact.
If you are following the email filing tips in our first report, then you are moving emails around a lot. When you move emails around, your Outlook data file (PST) ends up with a lot of empty space in it which makes the file bigger and performance slower.
To fix this…
- Open Outlook and display mail folders.
- Right-click over the PST file that you wish to compact
- Click Properties.
- Click the Advanced button.
- Click Compact Now.
This will now compact the data file and get rid of the empty spaces which is caused by moving emails.
This will result in your Outlook data file remaining small in size, faster Outlook performance and ultimately reduce the chance of losing your previous data.
I hope you find this tip useful.
Till next time… have a better Outlook.
Earlier this week we released our free special report titled: 8 Simple Tips for Email Management in Microsoft Outlook.
I was truly overwhelmed by the feedback I received from readers. Hundreds of users wrote back saying how the tips discussed in the ebook was already helping them.
“I have implemented your suggestions and it has improved my work flow already”
Norman (This was received few days after release of the report)
Other users (who were already using similar techniques) wrote back with their own ideas to further fine tune the Outlook Email Management System.
If you haven’t read the first report yet, I recommend you download and understand the ideas in that first. You can download the report now from:
In the next few weeks… I will be sharing the additional tips that has been shared with me by Outlook users. Remember these are tips that are being used by actual users and it has worked for them.
If you are struggling to manage your emails in Outlook… stay with us and follow the tips to overcome this common email overload problem.
TIP #1: Use Rules for Non-Actionable Items (e.g. newsletters)
In the first report, I said that you should “Think carefully before using Outlook Rules”. The main reason for this is that Rules shift emails out of your Inbox before you’ve had a chance to see them.
Like me, you probably use your Inbox as a To-Do list i.e. emails are kept in your Inbox until you have carried out the required action. This means you should avoid using Rules except…
We all receive emails that do not require immediate action (or for that matter any action)… how many email newsletters do you subscribe to that you want to read in your spare time. Getting those emails into your Inbox can be a bit of a distraction.
For those non-actionable emails, it makes sense to use Rules to move them out of your Inbox.
How to create a Rule
BEFORE creating the Rule, create a folder inside Outlook where you want the newsletter emails to be moved to. Then…
- Go to your Inbox
- In Outlook 2013/2010, Click the File tab > Click Manage Rules & Alerts. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, on the E-mail Rules tab, click New Rule.
- In Outlook 2007/2003, click Tools > Click Rules & Alerts > Click New Rule to display the Rules Wizard
- “Move Messages from someone to a folder” will already be highlighted. (This example assumes that the newsletters come from the same email address – otherwise you can use one of the other predefined Rule Templates)
- Click “people or distribution list” to display the Rule Address screen.
- Choose a name from the list or type in the name in the “From” field and then click OK.
- Click the hyperlinked word “specified” to bring up the Choose Folder dialog. Select the desired folder from the list and then click OK.
Now that the Rule is created, any emails coming from the list will automatically be moved to the chosen folder.
You can also apply it to any emails that are already in the folder by going back to the Rules and Alerts screen and clicking the “Run Rules Now” button.
Try this tip… it surely has saved me several hours of time that was wasted moving or deleting this emails manually one at a time.
Hope you find this tip helpful… let us know if this works for you or not by leaving a comment below.
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