Microsoft Outlook has been one of the most widely used email platforms since it was first introduced, and many companies choose to rely on it as their main business communication tool. Although Outlook may seem daunting, it can be a valuable addition to your small business operation if you know how to use it effectively. Use these tips to get the most out of Outlook and improve your organisation and efficiency in the process.

Organise your inbox

Organising your inbox can feel like a daunting task, but it is one that will pay dividends in the future. Set up filters so emails get sent to appropriate folders, reducing clutter. You can add a rule that will sort your emails by right-clicking a message, selecting Rules, and creating a rule. You can select an existing folder to send future messages to, or set up a new one. You can also manually drag and drop messages into specific folders, or select multiple messages to move more than one at a time. If there are emails that require a follow-up, you can flag them for a visual reminder. Simply select an email, select Follow Up, and choose an option. To keep your inbox looking clean without deleting emails, you can archive them. Archiving emails allows them to be searched, unlike deleted messages. 

Utilise the calendar

The Outlook Calendar is deeply integrated into Outlook email. You can create multiple calendars, making it easy to separate personal and work schedules, and choose to view each separately, side-by-side, or as a blended calendar. Calendars are also shareable, making it easy to coordinate with colleagues, and you can adjust permissions, allowing them to view only or edit. A useful feature is the ability to customise calendars–you can add work hours, change default appointment durations, and choose a format for calendar sharing. You can also integrate other calendars to Outlook, including Google and iOS. 

Add a delegate 

If you want to share the responsibility of replying to emails with another person, you can assign a delegate. The delegate will receive your emails and meeting requests, having the access and authorisation to respond on your behalf.