Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

10 tips for mastering Microsoft Outlook 2013

Helen Bradley | May 14, 2013
Keeping track of emails, calendars and contacts can suck untold time out of any workday. If you use Outlook, anything that speeds up your workcan boost your productivity measurably. Imagine if your inbox only showed the messages you wanted to see. Consider if you could locate vital contact information in seconds. What if you finally knew why some of the hyped Outlook features aren't working as advertised?

On the other hand if you store incoming press releases in a special folder this may be a task for a Quick Step if you don't know ahead of time who these emails will come from. Without a way to uniquely identify an email as containing a press release you can't write a rule to automatically process the message. However, you can create a Quick Step that you can click to move any selected message to a specific folder. The Quick Step can't identify that an email contains a press release -- you have to do that - but it will speed up the process of moving the email if you decide it needs to be moved. You can create Quick Steps and Rules in the Mail area of Outlook using the tools on the Home tab.

9. Make use of the Favorites
If you have a few email accounts your folder pane can become crowded with folders making it time consuming to navigate to find those folders that you use most of the time. You can simplify finding these folders if you add them as Favorites. Favorites appear at the top of the Folder list when you are in the Mail module.

If the Favorites area does not appear switch to Mail and choose View > Folder Pane and click to enable Favorites. Now you can add any folder to the Favorites by right-clicking it in the Folder pane and choose Show in Favorites. You can even set a Search Folder to be a Favorite so it is easy to find and use.

10. Understand the consequences of using IMAP
If your email account uses the IMAP protocol, certain common functions won't work in Outlook 2013. This will be an issue for an increasing number of Outlook users, since IMAP is used for accessing email from any device. Most people using services like Hotmail and Gmail for example, use IMAP for email.

When you are using IMAP email, in Outlook you can no longer download only the message headers, and decide from there which messages to download. Instead, now all the emails download automatically. In addition, with IMAP you can't add detailed flags to messages. Flags are either on or off, and can't be set to mean different things. You won't be able to allocate messages to Categories either, except for Hotmail account messages. If you have a choice of using POP3 or IMAP and if you don't need to have access to your email from multiple devices you may consider using POP3 in preference to IMAP.


Previous Page  1  2  3  4 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.