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In Outlook 2010 Power Shortcuts, author David Diskin shares an assortment of time-saving tips and tricks to maximize efficiency and productivity in Outlook 2010. The course covers tips for organizing and sending email, working with tasks, scheduling appointments, and maintaining contact lists. Also included are tutorials on email etiquette, Outlook customization, and much more. A quick reference guide to shortcut keys accompanies the course.
Earlier in the chapter, I explained the use of rules, and how they can be applied automatically to e-mails as they come in. Outlook 2010 introduces a related feature called Quick Steps. A Quick Step is a badge of commands that can be executed in a single click, like a macro. For example, a Quick Step might take the selected e-mail and forward it to someone else, mark it as read, and delete it. Another one might create a new e-mail, automatically address it to everyone in your department, and set up a pre-written subject and body.
Outlook comes with five pre-written Quick Steps, shown here, that you can customize or remove, and you can add as many more as you see fit. I'll start by showing you how to customize the five initial Quick Steps. We'll create a Quick Step that starts a new e-mail pre-addressed to your department with a prewritten subject line. From my Inbox, I'll click the Team E-mail Quick Step to launch it. Notice how the First Time Setup Wizard runs and prompts me for who the recipients should be.
I can enter their e-mail addresses here or click To and add them for my address book. I can also click Options if I want to specify more information. Let's try this out. Under Options, I'll first type by adding the recipients. I'd like my message to begin with a prewritten subject and body, so I'll click Show Options.
I can even change the Quick Step's name and icon up above. And if I want to, I can create a shortcut key that immediately launches this particular Quick Step. I'll assign it to Ctrl+Shift+1. After hitting Save, my new Quick Step is ready to go. I can click Weekly Update or hit Ctrl+Shift+1. Notice that my e-mail is already created with my subject, body, and recipients.
I just need to customize it and hit send, and I can do this very quickly, anytime I want to. The second Quick Step will take the selected e-mail and forward it to my assistant, automatically flagging it, marking it as read, and moving it away from my Inbox. The built-in Quick Steps don't have one like this, so I'm going to create New and make it from scratch. I'll call it To Assistant, choose an icon, and then begin adding actions. We'll forward the message to my assistant, leave the existing subject, flag it, then click Add Action, and create my second action to mark the message as read and another action to move the e-mail to a specific folder-- in this case my Deleted Items.
So now the Quick Step I'm about to create has three steps: to forward it to Greg--marking it as do Today--mark the message as read, and move it to my deleted items. When done, I'll click Finish, and my brand-new Quick Step appears at the top of the Quick Step gallery. Now I can select an e-mail like this one from Judith, click To Assistant, and the message is ready to go. After hitting Send, the original message is removed from my Inbox, to my deleted items, and now Greg has a new e-mail.
Note that you can also edit a Quick Step by aiming your mouse at it, right-clicking, and choosing Edit. If I want my message to Greg to automatically send without giving me a chance to modify it, I'll click Show Options and choose Automatically send after a one-minute delay. Now when I choose a new message and forward it off to Greg using the new Quick Step, the message is automatically created and placed in my Outbox for about a minute. Sooner it will leave. But if I need a modify it or delete it, I can.
So there you go, Quick Steps, new to Outlook 2010. And remember the difference between Quick Steps and rules: rules happen immediately as e-mails are received based on a set of criteria; Quick Steps are triggered only when you click a Quick Step icon or hit a shortcut key. And now to wrap up chapter 2 with a little social networking and the new Activity Feed feature.
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