Office 365: 5 handy tips to bring order to Outlook

Welcome to the dynamic world of Office 365, where efficiency and productivity go hand in hand. In this article, we dive deep into Outlook, an essential tool for anyone looking to streamline their daily email management. Discover five helpful tips that will not only put your inbox in order, but also transform your workday. Brace yourself for practical advice that will take your Outlook experience to the next level!

Office 365: 5 handy tips to bring order to Outlook

Tip #1: Prioritize your Inbox with the Clean Up feature.

Outlook can be overwhelming, especially if your inbox is bulging with unread, old or duplicate emails. Use the 'Clean Up' feature to streamline your inbox. This handy tool helps you consolidate or delete all emails that contain unnecessary conversations. This leaves you with only the most essential messages.


How does it work?

Go to the Home tab and click on Clean Up. You can choose to clean up the current conversation, all conversations in a folder, or all folders. Outlook analyzes the threads and retains only the most recent email with all relevant information from previous messages.


Case study:

Imagine receiving project updates via email. Instead of sifting through dozens of emails, 'Clean Up' consolidates everything into one clear e-mail with all the crucial updates. This saves you not only time but also the frustration of searching through endless threads.


Tip 2: Use rules to automatically manage emails

A tidy inbox is worth its weight in gold. 'Rules' in Outlook allow you to automatically sort incoming emails, saving you time and making you work more efficiently. Set rules to move emails to specific folders, flag important messages, or even send notifications when you receive an email from an important contact.


How do you set effective rules?

Navigate to the 'File' tab, choose 'Manage rules and alerts' and click 'New rule'. From here, you can choose templates or create your own rules. For example, you can set a rule to mark all emails from your boss as important and move them to a separate 'Urgent' folder.


Example of a practical rule:

Set up a rule that sends all newsletter subscriptions directly to a 'Newsletters' folder. This keeps your primary inbox free of less urgent emails, giving you instant visibility into what really matters. This keeps you focused on your work without being distracted by every incoming message.



Tip 3: Harness the power of the calendar for maximum productivity

A well-organized calendar is crucial to maximizing your productivity. Outlook offers powerful calendar features that help you plan your day efficiently. Be sure to update your calendar regularly and take advantage of the different view options to have a clear overview of your appointments and tasks.


Planning meetings effectively:

Use the Scheduling Assistant feature to see when colleagues are available, which simplifies meeting scheduling. In addition, add reminders to your appointments so you never miss an important meeting.


Avoid duplicate bookings:

Set your calendar to automatically detect and alert conflicts. This helps you avoid double bookings and ensures that you are always on top of your schedule.

By applying these diary techniques, make sure your day runs smoothly and you don't waste precious time. Regularly updating and checking your calendar also makes it easier to plan for the long term, keeping your work-life balance.



Tip 4: Organize your contacts with categories and groups

Managing your contacts efficiently in Outlook can significantly improve your communication. Use categories and groups to organize your contacts so you can quickly reach the right people when needed.


Apply categories:

In Outlook, you can assign specific categories to contacts, such as "Work," "Personal," or "Important. Go to your contacts list, select a contact, click 'Categorize', and choose a relevant category. This makes searching and filtering contacts more efficient.


Creating Groups:

Create groups for project teams or departments by going to the "Start" tab, "New Items," "More Items," and then "Contact Group. Add members by typing in their names or selecting from your contact list.


By using categories and groups, you can better navigate your contact list and optimize your communication flow. This is particularly valuable in a professional setting where quick response is often essential. It also helps in planning meetings and events by quickly targeting the right groups.



Tip 5: Reduce distractions with focus inbox

Focus Inbox is a powerful feature in Outlook that helps minimize distractions by separating important emails from the rest. This tool is ideal for anyone who wants to increase their productivity by focusing on emails that are really important.


How do you set focus inbox?

Go to the 'View' tab in Outlook, and click on 'Show Focused Inbox'. The emails are then divided into two tabs: 'Focused' and 'Other'. Emails that are considered important, such as messages from frequent contacts, are placed in 'Focused', while less important messages go to 'Other'.


The impact on your productivity:

By viewing only the "Focused" tab during work hours, you reduce the time spent searching through less relevant emails. This helps you keep your attention on tasks that require your immediate attention, making you work more efficiently.


Using Focus Inbox can be a gamechanger in your daily workflow. It provides fewer distractions and more control over your time and attention. Try it out and notice the difference in how you navigate through your workday.




We've gone through five powerful tips to transform your Outlook experience within Office 365. From streamlining your inbox with the Clean Up feature to efficiently organizing your contacts with categories and groups, these tips are designed to increase your productivity and make your workday more efficient.


Try these tips and see how they help you become a master at managing your emails and time. Take back control of your inbox and make Outlook work for you, not the other way around. We invite you to share your experiences or questions in the comments below. Your input is valuable and can help others optimize their e-mail management as well.


Thank you for reading and good luck applying these practical tips in your daily work with Outlook!

Frequently Asked Questions

To ensure that important emails always end up in your 'Focused' inbox, you can mark the sender as a priority. Right-click on a sender's email, go to 'Junk Email,' and select 'Never Block Sender.' This ensures that emails from this sender are considered important by Outlook.

Outlook moves emails cleaned up by the 'Clean Up' feature to the 'Deleted Items'. You can always check the deleted items and restore an email if necessary. In addition, Outlook retains the most extensive message in a thread by default, reducing the chance of losing important information.

Yes, you can set up rules to automatically filter emails based on criteria such as sender, subject or even specific words. This allows you to send emails directly to different folders, such as one folder for personal emails and another for work-related emails.

Make sure you enable the "Conflict Alerts" option in the calendar settings. When you try to add a new appointment that overlaps with an existing appointment, Outlook will automatically alert you so that you don't duplicate bookings.

Make regular time to review and update your contact list. Remove duplicate contacts, update outdated information and add new contacts to the appropriate categories or groups. This will make it easier to quickly find and access the right contacts when needed.

Don't want to miss a Blog or News article? Quickly subscribe to the newsletter

Shopping Cart