For those that know me, you know that I am busy work challenged. One of the best tools I’ve found is Microsoft Outlook (I heard you!). I know many of you would rather shove a dull pencil in your eye socket rather than use one of Bill Gate’s products; but lets face it, Outlook is the norm in the business world. A co-worker of mine, Ralph, who was really into Outlook, offered to show me how to use it to improve my efficiency and reduce my rework. I don’t like having to re-invent the wheel to do a job, so needless to say, I took him up on the offer.
I have used Outlook templates before; but never to the level that he uses them. I have many templates in Outlook, each grouped by client and subject. I have a particular client that wants a weekly status report, OK, easy enough, create the email template and voila – done. Not so fast jet rider; this particular client likes to, “update” the information he tracks frequently. While it may be easy enough to just create a new template; there is an easier way. Basically, there are four steps:
- Open your template like you normally would.
- Delete your auto inserted signature, if you use one (I do).
- Update your template to reflect new information/format.
- Save it right over your old template (don’t forget to change the type from message to template).
But wait, there’s more….
I often use the Outlook Web App (OWA) in Microsoft Office 365 web version of Outlook. I have been having a dickens of a time trying to figure out; but thanks to an article by the universe of Iowa, you can make templates for the web version of Outlook too. Its as simple as….
- Click the New Message button to create a new message.
- In the lower right corner in the New Message window, click on the ‘My Templates’ icon.
- Click on the + Template and type a Template Name and the body of the template. I recommend cutting and pasting from the body of an already written email you want to use as the template. If you do that way, you’ll keep the formatting.
- Click Save.
- Click on the Template you created and it will appear in the body of the new message.
This is one of the best little tricks I’ve learned; not sure why I haven’t already done it. I would always end up with multiple templates and signatures within my template; frustrating and unprofessional. So, thanks Ralph!! Maybe I should by him lunch? Naw…
What say you, do you have any tips to use Outlook more efficiently? I’ll be sharing more later…