I.T. consulting to Denton and Wise counties clients, we look for ways they can better deploy tools like Microsoft 365 and Outlook to reduce their dependency on other apps and manual processes.
We’ve put together several helpful tips below for using Outlook for things other than just sending email.
How Else Can You Use Outlook at Your Business?
Too many companies leave features on the table in their cloud services. Get the full use out of your Microsoft 365 subscription by diving deeper into what Outlook can do for you.
Move from Paper to Digital Sticky Notes We all know those colleagues that have sticky notes stuck to the side of their monitor. It’s just “their process.” But it’s inefficient, unsecure, and can be done much more easily in Outlook. You can create, organize, and search digital sticky notes in Outlook, eliminating those inefficient paper notes, but keeping a process that works for you and is much more secure. How To:
Click the three dots at the bottom of the left-side mail folder panel in Outlook.
This will take you to the digital sticky note area of Outlook
Use Outlook for Meeting Room & Equipment Reservations Trying to keep a spreadsheet or paper sign-out form for meeting room or equipment reservations is time consuming. Someone has to go back and manually enter information each time an asset is reserved as well as check availability whenever an employee wants to reserve a projector or book a conference room. There’s a much better and more automated way to do this in Outlook. Once, you set up this process, Outlook’s Scheduling Assistant keeps track of these shareable assets for you and employees can check availability on their own. How To:
In the Microsoft 365 Admin Center, Resources area, set up Room and Equipment Mailboxes for your shareable assets.
To reserve, users will schedule a meeting in Outlook
Add the asset you want to reserve as you would any other meeting attendee
Click “Scheduling Assistant” to check asset availability
When ready, click “send” on your meeting to save and book the asset
Make Task Management Easier When you receive an email from a client or supervisor with a “To Do” item, do you then copy and paste that into your task management software? Why not keep it in Outlook and skip the copy/paste? Using Outlook for your task management allows you to easily bring emails into the task area of the application without any data needing to be transferred to another app. Plus, you can easily forward a task, add a task to a meeting agenda, and share and organize your tasks in multiple ways. How To:
Click on the Outlook email that has the information for your task.
Drag the email down to the Task icon at the bottom of the mail folders panel.
This opens a new task window with the email text included and allows you to add due date, importance flag, and other details.
Use Read Aloud as a “Personal Assistant” Do you wish you could have someone read an email for you while you do something else away from your computer? You can use Outlook as your “personal assistant” using the Read Aloud feature. Using this can allow you to hear your emails read to you and can also be a great way to proof important emails before you send them out. How To:
Make sure your sound is up.
Highlight the email text that you want to have read.
Click “Read Aloud” in the Speech area of the Home menu
Connect Outlook and OneNote to Stay Organized OneNote is a powerful way to organize notes, websites, audio recordings, images, and more. You can connect OneNote and Outlook to help you stay organized and clean messages out of your inbox. For instance, if you have several emails relating to a project, rather than having to search for them in your email, you can offload them to a OneNote project-related notebook where they’ll reside along with all your other project notes. How To:
Check that OneNote is connected by going to File > Options > Advanced
Under the “Other” heading, make sure there is a check in the box next to “Use Send to OneNote with OneNote for Windows 10, if available”
On the top ribbon click “Send to OneNote”
Chose the desired notebook, and click “Save”