Working With Messages in Outlook

Group By Conversations

The thread of conversations back and forth initially will be in your Inbox, Sent Items folder even filed away in folders. Currently, you would need to search through all three of these areas to find the latest conversation. With Microsoft Outlook you can turn on the Conversations feature and view by Date. All the conversations back and forth about a particular subject will be grouped together. What you have to look out for is if someone starts a new conversation in a fresh email rather than press reply or if they change the subject line. I change the subject line often as clients send an email with the subject line reading “Training “or “are you available”. I would change these to say, “Excel Intermediate Sydney” or “Excel Training Taren Point – One on one”. It’s best to put as much information as you can in the subject line but be clear and straight to the point (3 to 4 words).

By grouping your messages by conversation, it makes it more efficient when it comes time to delete the entire thread or tidy it up by keeping the latest message which has the history and getting rid of the others.

Turn on Conversations

1. View tab in desired folder
2. Select Date (Conversations)
3. You can collapse and expand conversations by using the triangles on the left

Clean Up Conversations

If you keep your messages intact by reply rather than creating a response from a fresh message. The “Clean up folder” and “Conversations” features will make the deletion of unnecessary history emails easy. Just double check it has not moved a message that has an attachment you wish to keep to the Deleted Items when using this feature.

When I use this feature, I ensure the Deleted Items folder is clean, this way I can cross check quicker that I’m comfortable with the items it found to delete, and I tend to sort by attachment in case there is an attachment I wish to keep.

1. Move to the folder to delete history emails
2. Folder Tab
3. Select Clean up Folder

clean up folder

Why Re Label A Subject Line Of An Email?

Sometimes it’s necessary to re label the subject line in an email to make it easier to search by later. Keep in mind this does break the history chain with conversations. Open an email and change the subject line simple as that.

Set Reminders By Flagging Messages

I don’t use the flags in Outlook labelled today, tomorrow, this week. They don’t make sense to me since it is difficult to tell when the flags are not next to each other which one is which. I do however use the Custom Flag. It’s a great place to add brief notes like, “$80 direct debit”, “TBA”, “Still interested”, “Call after Easter”. To see these notes, you will need to add the field called “Follow up Flag” to every folder you would like to use this feature. I then sort by flags so that they are at the top. If it’s a bill I set my self a “Due Date” and I remind my self a week before it’s due. Gmail doesn’t have this feature. This is one of the reasons why I stayed with Outlook and the way it keeps the thread of conversation with the latest at the top.

Adding The Field Chooser

  1. Right Mouse Click at the end of a message where the flag appears
  2. Select Custom
  3. Type your message in Flag to “Still interested”
  4. Set a Due date and Reminder
  5. Press Ok
  6. Right Mouse Click on the message headers ie; Received
  7. Select Field Chooser
  8. Ensure you are in Frequently-Used Fields
  9. Drag and Drop Follow Up Flag in line with Received
  10. You will see a set of red arrows this is where the field will display.

Don’t Miss Sending Attachments

In Outlook when you are creating a new email message and need to send an attachment. You press the paper clip icon for attachment as you always have but what I found nice was that it lists the recent files and further to the bottom of the list it has Browse Web Locations and Browse this PC. For more on attachments visit “Time Management Techniques In Outlook” – Never Send Another Email Without An Attachment.

Opening Outlook In Safe Mode

Sometimes Outlook just won’t open or is taking an extremely long time to open.
Try opening in Safe Mode. This will allow you to get to File /Options and make any changes.
Hold Ctrl While pressing the Outlook Icon to open it.

I recently could not send emails after I had freshly re created my Microsoft Outlook profile. Outlook had become corrupted. You can run a repair on any Microsoft Office application.

Run A Repair On Your Outlook Emails

1. File Tab
2. Select Account Settings
3. Select your email
4. Press Repair

Pictures Not Downloading And Display With A Cross

I have come across this situation a few times and it is so annoying when you just want the pictures to display. Initially you could Right Mouse Click to download a picture in your Outlook email but, you would have to do this for every email that has a picture. Try the following solution.

1. File Options
2. Select Trust Center
3. Select Trust Center Settings
4. Automatic Downloads
5. Untick Don’t download pictures automatically in HTML email messages

Can’t Find View Settings On Outlook 2016

From View Settings you can sort, group, change font and size of your incoming emails, set conditional formatting so that when emails with a particular criteria change colour, like expired emails.
1. View Tab
2. Select Change View
3. Right Mouse Click one of the views, such as Compact or Preview
4. Click View Settings

Change Font And Size Of Your Messages

1. Select Other Settings
2. Under Message Preview
3. Press Font
4. Make the necessary changes

Set Up Blind Carbon Copy Emails

Did you know that you should protect your client and co-workers emails particularly when sending out bulk emails? If you need to send out a memo or generic email to multiple people you should be putting all the email addresses in the BCC field. If you can’t see this field, it should be below the CC. To, CC then BCC. If you still can’t see it, you need to turn it on. Other features you might enjoy here are Voting Buttons, Save Sent Items To, for more detail visit my blog on “Time Management Techniques In Outlook”.

1. Ensure you have opened an email
2. Select the Options tab
3. Select BCC
4. If you send emails on behalf of others turn on From

Exporting Contact From Outlook To CSV To Gmail

I use Outlook when I’m on my desktop because I like the feature like custom follow-up setting the due date and reminders. I use this feature a lot for reminding me to pay bills. I create a folder called Bills and as the bills come in via Email, I mark them with Custom Flag – I put the $ value and a quick note in the custom label, then set the due date and reminders and file it away into the Bills folder. For instructions on how to set up custom flags visit “Set Reminders By Flagging Messages”.

I like the way you can send an email and reply back and forth, and I can easily follow the history of the message this feature frustrates me in Gmail because the first message in Gmail is at the top. I lose my train of thought in the conversation. Where as in Outlook the original message is at the bottom. In Gmail you will be scrolling for ages to get to the last conversation to then reply. For this reason alone, I stuck to Outlook on the Desktop. Even though it plays up and says Not Responding every so often. I have had to open Outlook in Safe Mode so many times. For instructions on how to open in Safe Mode visit “Opening Outlook In Safe Mode”.

I link my Gmail and Outlook email together so when I’m on my mobile I’m reading them through Gmail because I got sick of the synchronizing not working, I bought software to try and help with this issue, but it also played up. So now I just put up with Gmail to read my messages but wait till I get back to the office to reply for in depth important emails.
There are times when my contacts from Outlook haven’t transferred over to Google Contacts, so I need to do this odd one manually. First go to the specific contact and open it up in Microsoft Outlook.

1. Open Outlook
2. Contacts tab
3. Select Forward
4. Select “In Internet Format(vCard)“. This will put it in an email for you to send to someone, except you copy and paste or Save As and put it on the Desktop.
5. Open Google Contacts

Google Contacts

Ensure you are in Google Contacts to perform the following steps.
1. Go to Google Contacts
2. Select More
3. Import
4. Select your files and Import.

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• Struggles
• Takes Longer
• Is inefficient
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• Completes less tasks in a day
• Is not confident

The skilled worker
• Is productive
• Happy
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• Has confidence
• Is proud of their work

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Conclusions

Learn to work efficiently and productively using Outlook features like flagging, conversations, what to do when Outlook goes wrong.

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