Microsoft Outlook is widely used, but there are still some features that most people aren’t aware of. Make sure you’re using Outlook to its full potential. We’ve compiled our favorite and most used “hidden gems” for you. These are five Microsoft Outlook tricks that will make your life way easier.

You can schedule your emails in Outlook.

Writing up emails to send to clients is a big part of my job. If you’re the same, you understand the struggle of delivering emails at exactly the right time. Thankfully, Outlook has a solution to this. To set a specific date and time for a message to send

  1. Open a new message. Write your email as you normally would.
  2. Instead of pressing Send, go to the Options
  3. Click the Delay Delivery button above your address bar. (If you do not see it, click to expand the More Options toolbox).
  4. Fill out the pop-out form. Be sure that the “Do not deliver before” box is checked.
  5. Click Send.

Delete an Address from the Auto-Complete List

The auto-complete list feature is a lifesaver, but sometimes it’s super inconvenient. If you’ve got past clients or coworkers on this list that you no longer need to email, you can delete their addresses easily.

  1. Open a new message.
  2. Start typing the name or address you want to remove.
  3. Press the down arrow key to highlight the address.
  4. Then, hover over the address with your mouse and click the X on the right. Alternatively, once the address is highlighted by your down arrow, you can press the delete button on your keyboard.

Note: While this is the standard way to remove addresses, most of us don’t remember to clear out unwanted email addresses until they become a nuisance. The easiest way to use this trick is by deleting addresses as you see them. For instance, if I need to send an email to Michael Smith, and happen to see an old email address for Michael Jones, I can delete it then.

Organize Outlook Categories by Color

Organization and color coordinating are two habits of mine that I use to stay productive. My Outlook is no different. Assigning colored categories is a simple way to see what an email is related to with just a quick glance.  To assign colors and categories to emails

  1. Right click on the email in your inbox you want to sort.
  2. Select Categorize from the menu.
  3. Choose the color/category you want, and you’re good to go.

You can select multiple emails at once by pressing down on the Ctrl key while clicking on the emails. You can also change or rename the categories as you see fit.

  1. Click on the Categories button on the top navigation bar.
  2. Select “all categories”.
  3. When the window pops up, you will be able to change colors, add and remove categories, and rename categories.

Customize your Font

Is your Outlook’s message list font too hard to read? Too small or too large? You can change that!

  1. Click the View tab on your top navigation bar.
  2.  Then press the View Settings button on the top left.
  3. A pop out window should appear. Inside, press the Other Settings
  4. Another pop out window will open. Click the Column Font and Row Font buttons to change the font style and size. (Column Font will change the headings (like “Today”, “Yesterday”, “Last Week”, etc. while Row Font will change the font of the preview text in your message list.)
  5. Press OK.

Avoid Malware and Ransomware

The biggest tip I have for you is to avoid downloading malicious viruses onto your computer. Viruses are everywhere these days, and while antivirus software is pretty good about blocking it, hackers are getting smarter. They are capable of designing new viruses that can get around certain software. Think of it like the flu shot. This year’s flu shot was created using strands of last year’s flu virus. While it blocks the worst of the virus, it doesn’t block everything because the flu virus has mutated. The best thing you can do to keep viruses from infecting your computer is by learning what to avoid. Just like you wouldn’t drink after a family member with the flu, you should take precautions when it comes to your computer to avoid getting a virus. Do not open email attachments and links from unknown sources. This includes attached resumes from applicants you aren’t expecting, invoices you didn’t request, and PDF advertisements. If you’re ever unsure of any attachment, contact Preferred IT Group (or your local IT support) and we will look into it for you. It will take us a few minutes, and save the both of us a huge headache.

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