4 Outlook Tips That Can Improve Your Business Processes

Monday, July 13, 2020

4 Outlook Tips That Can Improve Your Business Processes

There are some productivity applications that can do more than what they seem. Often it just takes working with the right provider that can solve everyday IT challenges by knowing how to fully utlize these tools.

A good example is Outlook in Microsoft 365. While most people immediately think of it as an email program, it can improve your business processes in a number of ways – beyond just email.

Need a better way to handle meeting room reservations? Are you suffering from a mountain of sticky notes attached to the edge of your computer screen?

Outlook can help with both those challenges plus help you improve business processes in a number of other ways. And when business processes are improved it can free up time for employees, making them feel less overwhelmed.

Employees are 68% less productive when they feel overwhelmed by their tasks.

Work Smarter with These Microsoft Outlook Productivity Tips

If you’re looking for a way to improve efficiency, why not let Outlook take some of the task burden off your shoulders?

Here are some of our favorite Outlook productivity tips and tricks.

Use a Resource Mailbox for Scheduling Assets

Have you ever had two employees book your meeting room at the same time? What about not being able to track down who checked out the A/V equipment last (and still has it)?

Scheduling of shared assets like meeting rooms and equipment can be time-consuming and a mess when things go wrong.

Did you know Outlook can streamline the process?

In Microsoft 365’s admin center, you can set up what are known as resource mailboxes. You can set up a mailbox for each asset you have that needs to be reserved, such as:

  • Meeting rooms
  • Equipment (scanners, projectors, etc.)
  • Company vehicles

Once a room or equipment mailbox is set up, you can then add the resource as a user to your scheduled meetings to reserve them.

For example, say you wanted to reserve a meeting room and a projector. Here are the steps you’d take:

  • Schedule your meeting in Outlook
  • Add the meeting room and projector just as you do any other meeting attendees
  • Add your date/time information
  • Check the Scheduling Assistant to see if the resources are free
  • Click to send your meeting invitation (both resources will show as reserved for your meeting)

Improve Your Sticky Note Process

The problem with manual sticky notes is that they can be disorganized and they can’t be searched by a keyword. They are also unsecure… anyone walking by your desk could see them.

Use the notes feature in Outlook to upgrade your sticky note process to a digital one.

Just click the three dots at the bottom of the left-side pane in Outlook and choose Notes. You can now create as many sticky notes as you like, and they’ll be neatly organized within Outlook.

Bonus, they’re secure and you can also keyword search them to find one easily.

Streamline Your To Do List

Creating, keeping track of, and checking off tasks can take a good part of your day if it’s not efficient.

For example, many of the tasks you’re given are sent via email. If you have to copy/paste or retype that information somewhere else to add it to a To Do list, that could take unneeded time – giving you less time to actually accomplish those tasks.

Use the tasks section in Outlook to keep track of your To Do list and easily bring in tasks sent via email without retyping or copy/pasting.

When you get an email that has a task on it, simply highlight it in the window and drag it with your cursor down to the Task icon at the bottom of the left-side pane in Outlook.

This will automatically open a new task with the content of the email already inside. All you have to do is set your task parameters (start and due dates, reminders, priority) and save.

This can significantly reduce the time it takes you to create and manage a task list.

Reply to Email When it Works for You

Email is one of those things that can eat away at your productivity, especially if you have to send emails, like those to do with reporting, at a certain time each day.

Get control of your replies and do them when it works for you by using the Delay Delivery feature. This allows you to schedule a “Do not deliver before” time for any email that you draft.

So you can use a chunk of time during your day that works for you to draft emails, and for any that need to be sent at a specific time, preschedule them to go out when you need them to.

Do You Need Help Optimizing Business Processes?

NMX IT Solutions works with businesses in the Thames Valley area to improve their processes for better efficiency and lower costs.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation! Call 01628 232300 or reach out online.

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