Two different companies using the same application, can have different levels of productivity. One team sees a small improvement, while another completely transforms their workflow.
Often, application features get left on the table and not fully explored. Companies end up doing things the hard way rather than optimizing processes in an app they use every day.
One cloud solution that has several hidden productivity hacks is Microsoft 365. From Word to Outlook, these tools can often do more than meets the eye.
In this article, we’re taking a look at Outlook to uncover some tips that can improve business processes. If you’re only using Outlook for email, you’ll want to read on to see how much more it can do for you.
Outlook Productivity Hacks to Improve Your Workflows
Looking for ways to do more and reduce manual processes? These tips can cut wasted time, keep your office organized, and streamline your work.
Use Outlook to Manage Room & Equipment Scheduling
Who had the company video camera last? Why is someone in the large conference room when you thought you had it scheduled for your meeting?
Managing sharable resources can be time consuming and fraught with miscommunication. If the system you’re using isn’t working, here’s a time-saving way to do it in Outlook.
Set up a resource mailbox for all your sharable resources in the Microsoft 365 admin center. This can include things like:
- Meeting rooms
- Company vehicles
- AV equipment
- Tools (paint sprayers, etc.)
- Trade show banners
Once these resource mailboxes are set up, it’s simple for the system to keep track of who has which one scheduled.
Here’s the workflow your users will take to reserve a meeting room or sharable equipment:
- In Outlook, schedule a new meeting
- In the Attendees area, add the equipment/room as you would a user
- Add your meeting details, including the day/times
- Click the Scheduling Assistant at the top of the window to check resource availability
- Click “send” to send your invitation and reserve the item
Resource mailboxes do not need a separate user license. Once added, they show up as any other user (see screenshot from Microsoft below).
Simplify Your Task Lists
Creating and managing a task list can mean hours retyping tasks from an email. You can shortcut this by using Outlook to manage your tasks.
Tasks for various projects often come in via email. Why retype all that information? All you have to do is drag the email down to the Task icon, at the bottom of the mail folders panel.
The email then automatically creates a new task. Just enter your due date, desired reminder, and similar task details and save. It’s now added to your Outlook task list with all the data from the email inside.
Free Your Desk from Sticky Notes
Sticky notes are great to jot a quick reminder for yourself, so you won’t forget it. But users can also use them for things like passwords or other sensitive information.
The problem with sticky notes is twofold:
- They can end up all over the edges of your computer screen, disorganized
- Anyone passing by can see them; they’re not secure!
You don’t have to give up the speed and ease of jotting a sticky note, just do them digitally instead. This makes them searchable, cleans up your monitor, and secures them inside an app.
In Outlook, click the three dots at the bottom of the email folder panel. Then click Notes. You’ll find the electronic sticky note area of Outlook and can use this for a better sticky note workflow.
Offload Project Details to OneNote from Outlook
Here is another tip to eliminate the need to retype information or copy/paste. It also makes your project notes easier to find and cleans up your inbox.
Use Microsoft OneNote to create “catch-all” notebooks. They can be used for any projects you’re working on. When you receive a project-related email, click to send it to the appropriate OneNote notebook.
The feature is usually enabled by default. If you don’t see it, you can click File > Options while in Outlook.
Click Advanced and look for the Other heading. You’ll see a place to check “Use Send to OneNote with OneNote for Windows 10, if available.”
Now, just double-click to open the email message you’d like to save for your project. Look for Send to OneNote on the top ribbon of the open message.
Select the appropriate OneNote notebook and click Save. The notebook will add the email to the other notes in your notebook.
Learn More About Optimizing Your Cloud Applications
Our cloud experts at ZZ Servers can help your Norfolk area business optimize cloud use to drive productivity.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 800-796-3574 or reach out online.