Recently we looked at some productivity hacks, but we conspicuously failed to dive deep into email productivity. This week, we’re going to look at ways to use Office 365 business email for improved efficiency and communication. Office 365 business email is a full-featured email provider that allows you to access your email on the web, through a client, or on any of your mobile devices. Even if you’re a dedicated user, you may find some tips and tricks you’ve never used.
1) Pin and Flag Emails That Matter
If you right click on a message in one of your folders, you can pin or flag it. Pinning an email will make it visible at the very top of your inbox for easy reference. If you flag an email for follow up, it will also be listed in a separate folder for you to easily pull up later. When sorting messages, you can sort by flagged messages that need a follow-up, to quickly find actionable items or conversations.
2) Finding The Unsubscribe Link
How many emails do you immediately delete on a regular basis? You may be surprised on how much time you spend deleting unwanted emails. The good news is that you can usually unsubscribe. After the CAN-SPAM Act was passed in Canada, companies were forced to provide links inside of their emails to easily unsubscribe. You can usually find the link at the very end of an email, in the fine print. If you can’t find it readily, try using CTRL+F to find the word “unsubscribe”.
3) Ignore Unimportant Conversations
Office 365 business email and Microsoft Outlook have a unique feature called “ignore”. If you’ve ever been the victim of a long chain email or if you’ve been CC’d into an active conversation you didn’t need to be part of, you can understand that an “ignore” function could be useful. When you ignore a conversation, you delete it and ignore ALL future replies to the message. Be careful when you ignore a conversation because you will not be notified in the future of any further messages.
4) Save What Matters
Archive your most important email conversations. You may need them for reference in the future. If you need to find details of a conversation or specifications for a project, you can store them indefinitely in the cloud and access them from all of your devices. When you archive an email, it will be removed from your inbox folder. The contents, subject and people in the conversation will still be accessible with the search function.
5) Automate Efficiency
You can create rules and policies with Office 365 business email to automatically perform many of the functions we’ve already covered. You can have all emails from your boss go to a special folder or be automatically pinned to the top of your inbox. You can send emails from a certain client or company directly to archive, or even choose to have all messages archived or deleted after a certain amount of time. If you commonly send an email response, then create a template to save time.
6) Extensions and Additions
Consider using extensions or additions that add functionality and help keep your inbox clean. Boomerang, popular for Office 365 business email, allows you to “boomerang” emails so that they come back after a certain amount of time. Do you have non-urgent emails that you can put off for later? Boomerang it! Microsoft has a store where many of these additions are provided for free and there are community reviews, including feedback to help you decide. From spelling and grammar to Flesch-Kincaid reading levels, you can send and receive emails better with additional help.
7) Tag People Who Matter
Perhaps most familiar to users of social media, tagging has taken the Internet by storm. Office 365 business email allows you to tag people from your contacts in a conversation within a subject or message. This will give them a notification on their devices and bring them into the email conversation in an interactive way. Use this for easier project management, or to address people personally within a group message!
Hopefully, some of these tips and tricks will be useful in your office or at home. Even if you have another email service provider, some of these features may be included. If you’re an Office 365 business email user and have any other email productivity tips, leave it in the comments below. If you’re considering making the switch, consider reaching out to an expert to help you find the perfect solution for your business.