Microsoft Outlook Features For Easier Email Management

Microsoft Outlook features several useful tools that can assist users with email management, such as Conversation View, Quick Steps and Rules.

Set up a specific reference folder under your Inbox for messages you know need to keep, making your Inbox less cluttered. Arrange it so it displays messages due by date rather than arrival date.

Conversation View

Outlook’s Conversation View feature makes email threads with similar topics easier to manage by grouping them together, with follow-up messages easily located. This can reduce email clutter while making email chains simpler to follow. New users may take some getting used to, but its worth experimenting. You can enable the feature folder-by-folder until deciding if it should become your default setting.

Once Conversation View is enabled, emails with similar subjects will appear together in your Inbox or other message folder. When new conversations are added to one another they will move to the top of that Inbox/folder for easy viewing and clickable triangle icons can expand them for easier reading. Messages within conversations appear chronologically with their latest entry at the beginning; for those preferring other arrangements of emails there are options in Arrangement settings that let them customize how conversations appear.

Some settings, such as When reply modifies a sent message, don’t move original will automatically activate when Conversation View becomes your default view; while others like Always expand selected Conversations and Use classic indented view require manual activation.

Turn On Conversation Cleanup can save time when organizing your mailbox! Simply enable this setting so that when a conversation thread contains replies to a previous message, the original one won’t be deleted automatically – saving both effort and time in keeping everything neat! To enable or disable Conversation View, navigate to the View tab at the top of your home screen, check or uncheck “Show as Conversations Box”, and then apply this setting across all folders or just the current one – try testing out this feature first before making it your default setting so if it turns out not liking it immediately, simply turn it off before making any permanent commitment!

Quick Steps

Outlook features a feature called Quick Steps that enables you to automate multiple repetitive actions with one click, such as moving messages into folders and flagging them as important messages all at the same time. By taking advantage of this feature, Outlook helps manage mailboxes more efficiently while improving productivity.

To create a Quick Step, access the Home tab and then the Quick Steps gallery (Figure A). When customizing a Quick Step for yourself, you will be asked to name and select actions for inclusion (see figure below).

Once you’ve named and selected your actions, click Finish at the bottom of the dialog box to create your custom Quick Step. It will appear both in the Quick Steps gallery and ribbon (Figure B), so to use it simply select a message before either clicking its ribbon button or pressing its assigned keyboard shortcut to take effect.

Duplicating an existing Quick Step can be done by selecting it in the Quick Steps gallery and clicking Duplicate; this will create an identical copy that is also made available. To edit an existing Quick Step, select it first in the gallery before editing via Manage Quick Steps dialog box by highlighting and selecting its step.

Customize the Quick Steps gallery by selecting and removing buttons you frequently use; assign keyboard shortcuts so you can execute quick steps quickly with one key press; assign keyboard shortcuts so they’ll execute immediately if they appear; once customized, start managing email more efficiently by setting up Quick Steps that forward selected messages to multiple people and add them to a meeting agenda; all this and more are possible with this powerful feature! It is well worth investing time into learning its many uses!


Rules enable you to automatically file or take action on messages as they arrive or are sent, helping you stay organized by eliminating time-consuming manual processes such as filing every message manually and following through with their usual actions. Furthermore, rules provide a way of notifying someone when certain types of messages arrive – for instance when order status updates come through for clients that wish to stay up-to-date – making special clients feel like they’re receiving more attention from business owners.

Start Outlook and click the Settings (gear). In the pop-up window that appears, choose Mail on the left and Rules on the right, before choosing New Rule in the right pane. From here, the New Rule Wizard guides you through creating rules from scratch or using one of its premade templates.

First, establish the rules for your rule based on conditions like sender, subject, keywords and date and time of email received. Next step should be choosing an action when the conditions have been fulfilled – such as moving it to a folder, categorizing it or forwarding it as an email reply or forwarding.

Once you’ve selected all the conditions and actions for a rule, you can name and set its options. If you want to add exceptions – for instance “unless it has an attachment”, now would be an appropriate time to do this.

Once your rule setup is complete and ready to create it, select Finish. When asked to confirm whether to turn on the rule, select OK; your new rule will then appear under Manage Rules & Alerts in Manage Rules & Alerts list of rules, ready to run when emails arrive or send, depending on how it was set up. Depending on its configuration some rules will only work when Outlook is running; to prevent this you can either temporarily disable them, or permanently – another way is deciding whether this rule applies across all accounts or just one account at the moment!


Microsoft Outlook’s integrated calendar is an immensely useful resource. While its focus may lean more toward professional office workers than home users looking for an easier way to schedule events, its features such as color-coding events are useful to anyone navigating Microsoft’s calendar system – not to mention viewing multiple calendars simultaneously, adjusting timescales and viewing them all simultaneously!

Shared Calendar is probably the most useful feature, making sharing a calendar easy for others to access. Just two hashed URLs can be sent out so people can view your shared calendar in their Web browser; or give them the.ics file so they can import it into their own calendar so they’ll still see any updates made to it by you.

Your event can also be set to repeat automatically, which can come in handy if something needs to take place regularly without you manually having to add it each time. There are various repeat options, from never repeating to every day, every workday, a specific date each month or every other week and even year-long repeating based on an event type like team review or vendor meetings.

Other settings within your calendar can help you be more productive and organized, including automatically calculating your schedule and reminding you when it’s time for an appointment, as well as alerting or playing an alert before an event you created yourself – this feature is especially helpful if you don’t check it frequently enough!

One major drawback of Microsoft Calendar is its dependence on Outlook email service for use, which limits its appeal among those not already part of its ecosystem through work or school. Still, those already connected can take advantage of a solid calendar tool with ample integrations across other Microsoft solutions that is accessible across desktop, mobile and online devices.

Press ESC to close