Follow along with this Microsoft Outlook tutorial to learn the ins and outs of using Outlook for emailing tasks.
Introduction to Microsoft Outlook
Let’s look at how you can use Microsoft Outlook before getting into its tools.
What is Microsoft Outlook?
Microsoft Outlook is a management software that helps keep emails sorted to enhance the link between you and your contacts. Although Gmail works fine, usually, the setup may not provide the full set of organizational tools you need. Outlook may even provide tools you did not know existed.
How does it work?
Microsoft Outlook comes with your Microsoft Office 365 account. Find it by searching in the Start menu or use the shortcut on your desktop. When you launch Outlook, it will connect to your email account and provide easy instructions for setting up your information. To learn how to add a new email account to Outlook, keep reading this tutorial.
What is it used for?
Microsoft Outlook provides a calendar that you can sync with other people, quick accessibility to Microsoft Teams for business calls, task management tools, and document sharing as an alternative to email attachments.
How to Create a New Outlook Email Account
The first time you open Microsoft Outlook, connect to your Gmail by selecting your email address from the list that appears or type it. All your contacts and emails sync with your Outlook account.
To add another email to MS Outlook, go to the File tab, select Account Settings, and Account Settings again from the drop-down menu. From there, a window will pop up that shows the currently linked emails, data files, internet calendars, address books, and so on.
To create the new Outlook email account, click the option that says “New…” and type the address in the space provided. When you finish typing, press Connect. It will then connect to Google and ask for a password.
How to Archive or Delete All Your Outlook Emails
Instead of permanently deleting emails, set them to archive to a file on your computer automatically.
To set up AutoArchive, go to File > Options > Advanced. Select the AutoArchive Settings button. A small window will appear with options for using AutoArchive. Check the first box to run AutoArchive, then change the settings below it to meet your needs. You can tell the AutoArchive tool to move old emails to a specific folder after they become old or delete them permanently.
To delete all the emails in a folder, right-click on a folder and select Delete All. This will keep the folder in-tact but moves all emails within it to the Deleted Items folder.
How to Quickly Delete Your Outlook Account
You can delete an Outlook account by removing it in the Account Settings section of the File tab. It will double-check that you want to delete the account, and that is it! Consider backing up the account to your computer first.
How to Compose and Send New Emails with Microsoft Outlook
To quickly start a new email message, click New Email on the Home tab.
If you have Grammarly and want to use that to make sure the Grammar in your email is acceptable for business emails, go to the Grammarly tab and choose Reply with Grammarly. This tab is only visible if you have a Grammarly account.
Another option is to use one of the Quick Steps tools set up on the Home tab. Automatically, your Outlook account should have come with a Quick Step for a Team Email. Click Team Email to enter the setup. You can specify the people who you want included in a team email, and then each time you pick that Quick Steps option, it will automatically start a group thread with those people.
How to Create Rules in Microsoft Outlook to Auto Sort Emails
Instituting rules in Microsoft Outlook will help the software to automatically sort your incoming emails to the correct folders and send automated responses.
To create a new rule, right-click on an email and then select one of the suggested rules or hit Create Rule, like you see here:
In the Create Rule window, choose an option for where to apply the rule. Then, decide what the rule does. Change all settings according to your goal and then look at the Advanced Options to make sure you are not missing anything useful.
How to Organize Your Outlook Email Inbox
A great way to organize your Outlook Inbox is by viewing emails in groups. Under View, use the Arrangement tools. To quickly see automated groups of emails in the current folder, choose one of the options such as Date, From, To, or Size to see the emails grouped by that element. If your emails do not show in groups when you pick one of these options, make sure to expand the Arrangement tools, and select Show in Groups.
How to Add a Professional Outlook Email Signature to Your Email
Email signature templates make your emails look professional and legitimate.
Click here to get signature templates from Microsoft; copy the elements from a signature template and then paste it in the body of a new email with your information.
To save the new signature, go to the Message tab. Click Signature, then Signatures… Now, you can name the signature and paste the previously copied template in the Edit Signature box. Hit OK to save and automatically use it with all future emails.
How to Set an Out of Office Message in Outlook
Some versions of Outlook have an Automatic Replies (Out of Office) button on the File tab. However, if your version does not, then you can follow these steps to create one.
Go to File > Manage Rules & Alerts. Here you will find a place to create a new rule. Make sure to check the box for “Apply rule on messages I receive,” then hit Next. Leave Step 1 and Step 2 boxes alone, then hit Next again. Select Yes to apply the rule to all messages.
Now, under the next Step 1, select “reply using a specific template.” In Step 2, click the underlined text for a specific template. In the Look In box, choose the option “User Templates in File System.” Open your template and go to Next. Add any exceptions, Next. Name the rule, make sure it is on, then select Finish, and you should be good to go.
Microsoft Outlook Calendar: How to Add, Share and Use it the Right Way
Open your Outlook calendar by clicking the small calendar button at the bottom of the left task pane. Open the Folder tab and click Add Calendar. Name it and then select where it goes on the folder pane.
To share a calendar, you can use the Share Calendar under the Home tab. Choose the correct one from the drop-down list and then Add. You can add people from your address book in the settings that appear and change the level of details they see. Sharing this way sends via email.
You can remove permissible persons by going to Calendar Permissions under the Home tab and removing users.
How to Organize Your Outlook Contacts
Next to the email button at the bottom of the left pane, there is a People icon. Click the icon to see your contacts. You can organize contacts by color categories. Right-click on a contact and select a color.
You should also consider formatting individual contact names or adding them to Favorites, by either editing the contact or right-clicking and selecting Add to Favorites.
How to Use OneNote With Your Outlook Calendar
Most people who have Outlook can already see a OneNote button on the Home tab of their main Outlook screen. If you do not, go to Options under the File tab. Go down to Add-ins and check to see if OneNote is under the Inactive list. If so, select “COM Add-ins” next to Manage and hit Go.
Select the checkbox for OneNote. Press OK.
When you add a new task in OneNote, you can use the Outlook Tasks tool (in OneNote) to pick when the task adds to Outlook. You can schedule and customize the start date and due date of each task, which will tell Outlook to set a reminder – remember to select the Reminder checkbox when prompted. Watch: Microsoft OneNote – Designed for the New User
How to Email Large Files as Attachments in Microsoft Outlook
You can send large files is by uploading them to OneDrive or Dropbox. Copy the file link and paste it into a new email. That way, you are not sending a giant file; instead, you are sending an access point to the file in the cloud.
How to Find Missing Emails in Microsoft Outlook
Always check the Trash folder first. Use the arrow next to your email address in the Inbox to find Trash.
Your email settings can cause missing emails, as well. Go to File, Options, Mail. Scroll down to the Save Messages section to make sure there is a checkmark next to “Save copies of messages in the Sent Items folder.”
If the missing email was archived, try searching for it. When you conduct a search, it scatters through all mailboxes, not just your inbox.
How to Back Up All Your Microsoft Outlook Emails
Export a backup file by going to File and Open & Export, then Import/Export.
The Import and Export Wizard will ask you to choose an action. Click “Export to a file,” hit Next. Then, select Outlook Data File (.pst) and hit Next. You can then choose where to export the file on your computer. Finish.
Another way to backup your emails is by setting up AutoArchive (instructions in previous section).
How to Filter Emails in Outlook to Specific Folders
The Filter Email tool allows you to search your mailbox based on specifications. The Filter Email tool is in the Find group on the Home tab. Select the tool to see a short list of filter options or choose More Filters.
When you choose a filter, such as Unread, it will pull up related emails.
After selecting a filter, hit the X next to the statement in the search bar to clear it and go back to the inbox.
How to Secure Your Account and Encrypt Emails
Encrypting emails ensures the security of your email messages. When you encrypt an email, it scrambles the data until the receiver removes the encryption.
First, make sure you have a valid Digital ID on your computer. This Digital ID is not just for encryption; it proves your identity and helps to secure your Outlook account. Microsoft Support offers advice on where to find a Digital ID—they come from a website outside of Outlook.
Import your new Digital ID to Outlook. Open the File tab, Options, Trust Center, then Trust Center Settings. In the Email Security section, there is a place for the Import and Export of Digital IDs. If you are going to want encryption on all emails, select the checkbox for “Encrypt contents and attachments for outgoing messages.”
You can encrypt a single email by going to the Options tab and hitting the launch button of the More Options group on the ribbon.
Through the Security Settings button, check the first checkbox for “Encrypt message contents and attachments” in the Security Properties window and press OK. If you want to add a digital signature, you will do that here, too.
How to Protect Outlook Emails With Strong Passwords and Security Settings
On the File tab, visit the Options button and go to the Trust Center. Here you can find the Trust Center Settings, where you can adjust permissions, macro settings, privacy options, and email security. The level of security you use depends on how tight you need the security to be on an email.
Shortcuts and Tips to Save You Time
Follow these quick tips to save you loads of time when using Outlook and increase the professional appearance of your emails.
1. Delay Delivery
Set up emails to send automatically on a specific date and time.
With a new email open, go to your Options tab and tap the Delay Delivery button. In the Delivery options section on the bottom of the pop-up window, change the date and time to when you want the email to send.
Close the Properties box and send the email. It will now wait in the Outbox folder in your email until the set day and time.
2. Drag and Drop Calendar
Add emails from your inbox directly to your Outlook calendar by clicking and dragging. Drag the email to the small calendar button at the bottom of the sidebar on the left.
If you right-click to drag the email to the calendar, you will see options for how the email copies.
3. Create an Email Signature in Outlook
To add an email signature to a new email, use the Signature tool, and choose one of your pre-made signatures or create a new one. The signature templates we previously discussed have the most professional look and are free.
4. Insert Calendar
Share your calendar as an email attachment by clicking the Calendar tool on the Insert tab while you have a new message open. Choose what date range from the calendar you want to share and the level of detail. Hit OK. The shared link adds as an attachment, plus an image in the email itself.
5. Change Reply Address
Change the reply address in a new email by selecting Direct Replies To. Change the email next to the box – Have replies sent to – and then check the box and hit Close.
6. Quick Access Toolbar
Add frequently used tools to the quick access toolbar. That way, you never have to navigate through the tabs to find the tool you need. To add a quick access tool, click the down arrow in the very top left corner of the window. Choose a tool or click More commands to customize the toolbar further.
7. Change View
Create the best setup for your Outlook account by changing the view. On the View tab, use the Change View button and select the view you want to see.
Using This Microsoft Outlook Tutorial
This Microsoft outlook tutorial is just the start of what you can do in Outlook. Keep learning and come back for more helpful Microsoft tutorials.