10 Best Outlook Tips and Tricks for Power Users

by Parth

Even though Gmail outshines Outlook in user numbers and popularity, Microsoft’s email service remains the first choice among enterprises and millions of consumers invested in the Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Now, Microsoft is working on Project Monarch to build one Outlook for Windows and Mac based on the current Outlook Web App (OWA). This means a uniform Outlook UI and experience across platforms. Let’s learn more about the best Outlook web tips and tricks to boost your productivity. 

Best Outlook Tips and Tricks

The post will be focused on the Outlook web so that you can use the mentioned tips and tricks across Mac, Windows, Linux, and even Chromebook when Monarch rolls out.

Also, we won’t be talking about those usual tips for forwarding and scheduling emails, etc. Instead, we will focus on relatively unknown add-ons, new features such as Outlook Spaces, and explore Outlook’s integration with other Microsoft apps and services. Let’s get started.

1. Use Microsoft To Do Integration

Microsoft allows you to access the Microsoft To Do task management web app through the Outlook web interface. We are not here to talk about that though. 

flag an email in outlook

In Outlook, you can flag any email and the service will send that email to the Flagged email section in the Microsoft To Do app. We use this trick all the time to send an email with important receipts and credit card bills to the Microsoft To Do app. 

flagged email in outlook

2. Explore Sticky Notes Integration

Sticky Notes is another important add-on in the Microsoft ecosystem. The company has neatly integrated Sticky Notes in the Microsoft Outlook web app. You can either click on the OneNote icon at the upper right corner or use the Notes section in the Mail menu to access, edit, and create new Sticky Notes. 

sticky notes in outlook

You can access them using the OneNote app on iOS and Android or the native Windows Sticky Notes app. 

3. Add Google Calendar

Even though Outlook Mail comes with a calendar functionality, most people prefer and stick with Google Calendar. You can easily access, view, and edit Google Calendar entries using the Outlook web though.

google integration in outlook

You can either integrate Gmail in Outlook and access the Google Calendar data or go to the Calendar > Add Calendar > Subscribe from the web and add the Google Calendar URL to view Google Calendar in the Outlook.

Most users add their Gmail Inbox to Outlook, so you won’t need to go with the later. 

4. Add Sports and TV Calendar

We know, we are not supposed to talk about sports events in COVID times. But hear us out. Outlook allows you to follow Sports events by adding the upcoming schedule in the calendar app. 

Here is how to do it. 

1. Open the Outlook web on your desktop. 

2. Navigate to Calendar > Add calendar

3. Select Sports or TV calendar. 

add sports calendar in outlook

Outlook will offer you to add major sports leagues or follow your favorite sports or team to keep track of upcoming matches. 

5. Explore Outlook Rules

Outlook Rules is Microsoft’s version of IFTTT (If This Then That) to keep your inbox clean and junk-free. No matter how hard you try, those spam mails will find their way to your inbox. 

Using Outlook Rules, you can make sure to auto-delete or auto-archive those irrelevant emails without any manual input. 

outlook rules

Go to Outlook Mail Settings > Rules and create a custom rule based on your preferences. As you can see from the list, we have created a rule to archive those emails that have coronavirus written in the email body or subject. 

6. Unsubscribe Email Accounts

We are all tired of those marketing  and spammy emails by sketchy companies. By default, Outlook does an excellent job to send them right into the Junk folder. However, you will still receive some irrelevant emails in your Inbox. 

unsubscribe email in outlook

You can either unsubscribe them individually or even better, go to Outlook Mail Settings > Subscriptions and unsubscribe from all those emails from a single screen. 

7. Outlook Spaces

Codenamed as Project Moca, Outlook Spaces is Microsoft’s take on modular productivity app through Outlook web. Currently available in beta testing, Outlook Spaces can work as the perfect alternative to a bunch of tools with Microsoft 365 integration. 

outlook spaces

Go to Outlook Spaces and start exploring Microsoft’s vision with a bunch of templates. You can read more about Outlook Spaces in our dedicated guide.  

8. Change Outlook Theme

By default, Outlook uses the same boring blue theme with a white background. Microsoft is jazzing up the Outlook feel and look by offering a dark theme as well as a bunch of banner wallpapers. Microsoft 365 users get even more choices with premium banners.

outlook theme options

We hope Microsoft allow users to import a wallpaper from the device storage. 

9. Add Outlook Signature

That standard email reply will look much more professional if you add a personalized signature at the bottom. 

outlook web signature

Go to Outlook Settings > Mail > Compose & reply and add a custom Outlook signature that will be automatically added to your email address. You can use a picture or create a professional signature using the built-in word editor. 

10. Use Automatic Replies

We know this is one of the oldest tricks in the book but we can’t end the post without mentioning Outlook automatic replies. 

automatic replies in outlook

Open Outlook Settings > Mail > Automatic replies and add the timeframe in which you are not in the office and add a personalized automatic reply for those incoming emails. You can also suggest Outlook send automatic replies to only your contacts. 

Wrapping Up: Use Outlook Like a Pro

Every feature mentioned above will eventually make it to the native Outlook app on Windows and Mac next year. Till then, we would advise you to go with Outlook web as it’s the most-feature Outlook version out there. While you are at it, don’t forget to apply these tips and tricks to improve your daily workflow.  

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