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Email Tips & Tricks

>>Home >>Tips & Tricks

Create an Email Signature
If you send a few basic messages over and over again, such as a reply to a request for product information, consider saving those responses as signatures that can be inserted into email so that you don’t have to retype them.

For a majority of messages, create a default signature that includes your full name, position or title, phone, website, and other contact information. To create signatures in Microsoft Outlook:

  1. Tools > Options, click on Mail Format tab.
  2. Click on Signatures..., choose New...
  3. Type a name for the new signature, enter content for signature and choose Font... and Paragraph... to format the text of the signature.
  4. Finish to complete the signature.
  5. Under the Mail Format tab, optionally specify your choice for "Signature for new messages" which sets your default signature for every time you create an email message.
  6. Choose OK.

Inserting a Signature
To add a signature to a new message or response, choose Insert > Signature and pick a signature from the list.

Streamline with Categories
Categories help to organize active messages in your Inbox. To group related messages with categories:

  1. Edit > Categories > Master Category List.
  2. Add new categories to describe groupings for your business or personal email.
  3. OK twice to save and exit out of Categories.
  4. Categories can be applied to email, calendar entries, tasks, and other Outlook items. Your list of categories won't be in effect until you apply a category to a message or filter incoming messages to a specific category. Then, to organize your email by category, create a view that groups by category (described below).

Apply Categories to Current Messages
Categories can also be assigned to existing messages:

  1. Just right-click on any message, left-click on Categories...
  2. Assign a category by checking one or more of the choices in your list.
  3. OK to apply.

Groups of messages can be more quickly categorized by sorting and selecting first, and then by following the steps above.

Displaying Messages by Category
To more easily organize messages, customize the View of your Inbox. For instance, you can add or re-order displayed fields such as sender, date, subject, size, and more.

To view messages grouped by category (Microsoft Office Outlook 2003):

  1. View > Arrange by > Categories
    To view messages grouped by category

(Microsoft Outlook 2002 and 2000):

  1. View > Current View... > Group By...
  2. Customize Current View...
  3. Choose Group items by and pick Categories from the list.
  4. OK twice to apply.

Now your Inbox is organized by useful categories which make it easier to focus on your most important messages.

Filter with Rules
Rules are instructions or filters that automatically categorize messages based on conditions that you set. As new messages are received in Microsoft Outlook, right-click on the message and left-click on the command "Create Rule." (In Outlook 2000, choose Tools > Rules Wizard..., and pick New to create a rule).

Pick specific conditions, such as the sender email address, and assign to an existing category, such as "Clients." New, incoming messages will be assigned a category based on the new rule.

Color Code to Identify Key Messages
Color code key messages to quickly identify email from your most important contacts such as clients, staff, your boss, or team members. This has been a huge timesaver me and helps to insure that I don't miss key messages.

To color code in Outlook:

  1. Highlight a message from a contact.
  2. Choose Tools > Organize. This opens a new window at the top of your Inbox window.
  3. Choose the option Using Colors (found at the left of the window).
  4. Pick from option, Choose color for selected message and Apply Color.
  5. Additionally, you can also pick Show messages sent only to me as a way to highlight messages that are not part of a group distribution.
  6. Optionally, choose Automatic Formatting (upper-right corner of window) to view coloring choices or even to apply a different font.
  7. Close the Organize window when you are done. All messages in your Inbox from the selected contact are now color coded.

You can color code email messages in Outlook 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you don't see it, the Organize command might
be hidden due to a terrible "feature" called Personalized Menus
and Toolbars which limits your initial view to select toolbar
buttons and menu commands. >>How to Turn off Personalized Menus and Toolbars.

>>More Microsoft Outlook Tips & Tricks

>>More Tips & Tricks

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Hot Outlook Tip
To close an open message, just press [Esc]
Did You Know?
Bcc=blind carbon copy; activate this option while creating a message by choosing View > Bcc Field; use this field to hide lengthy distribution lists.
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