Creating and using custom Quick Steps
Video: Creating and using custom Quick StepsAfter you've used the built-in Quick Steps in Outlook 2010, you'll probably want to create a few Quick Steps of your own that don't already exist. For example, if you've used team e-mail and you like it, you'll probably want to add another type of team e-mail that would let you work with a second team, or a project team. It's really easy to create new Quick Steps in Outlook 2010. Before we create some Quick Steps, I want to point out what you shouldn't turn into Quick Steps. For example, you don't want to create Quick Steps that simply move an e-mail from one location to another, because there are easier ways to do that.
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In Outlook 2010: Effective Email Management, author Gini Courter demonstrates techniques to streamline the Outlook mailbox workflow. The course covers strategies for customizing views, adding filters, utilizing flags, and creating and organizing folders. The course also shows how to automate tasks as well as make effective use of QuickSteps to process email, and more.
- Viewing messages by conversation
- Tagging messages with flags and categories
- Understanding flags and the To Do list
- Sorting and filtering email
- Creating a search folder
- Creating QuickSteps and email rules
- Using automatic replies
Creating and using custom Quick Steps
After you've used the built-in Quick Steps in Outlook 2010, you'll probably want to create a few Quick Steps of your own that don't already exist. For example, if you've used team e-mail and you like it, you'll probably want to add another type of team e-mail that would let you work with a second team, or a project team. It's really easy to create new Quick Steps in Outlook 2010. Before we create some Quick Steps, I want to point out what you shouldn't turn into Quick Steps. For example, you don't want to create Quick Steps that simply move an e-mail from one location to another, because there are easier ways to do that.
You can move very easily using the Move dropdown, or if you want to move e-mail automatically, you'll find out how to do that by using rules in later videos. However, if you want to do two things to one message, or if you want to maintain a group of folks outside of a distribution list that you can e-mail to, Quick Steps are a great way to do that. We're going to create two specific sets of Quick Steps. The first is simply similar to sending it to your manager and also similar to reply and delete.
It's a third option called forward and delete. Olivia receives a lot of e-mails into her mailbox that are simply sent on to someone else, newsletters in particular. She doesn't need to keep them; she just needs to send them to the right person and then get them out of her Inbox. So we're going to create this forward and delete Quick Step. Let's choose Create New, and it says, "Add actions that will be performed when this quick step is clicked on." So let's name this Forward & Delete.
We could also put newsletters, but that might be confusing to someone else, or to us, if we're not being attentive, and we're going to choose some Actions. So the first thing that we're going to do is we're actually going to forward this e-mail. Now, if we always want to forward it to the same person, we can actually put their name in here, and it will be preaddressed, but we're going to have to choose different people, so we can't do that. Then we're going to add a second action, and the action that we're going to choose is one of two: we could delete the message, and then there's another choice that says, permanently delete the message.
If we delete the message, it will be moved to the Deleted items folder. If we permanently delete the message, it bypasses the Deleted items folder and is just plain deleted. I'm going to choose delete message, because then it will behave in a way that we're used to having items behave when we delete them. We can also add a shortcut key, if we wish. Notice that all of the combinations are Ctrl+Shift. So if we like using shortcut keys, you can choose a combination of keys that you'll need to remember. And you can also add some text to it, so I could add the text that says, "Opens a message form to forward, then deletes item," for example.
So I have a name, I have the actions that I want to take, and the order in which I want to take them, and I'm going to click Finish, and you'll notice that Forward & Delete has been added to my list in the Quick Step group, on the Home Tab of the Ribbon. Notice also that the text that I typed as the description appears when I point to this. So if I choose a message, for example this message from Kyle, and I choose Forward & Delete, it opens a form, so I can send this to someone specific, for example to Judith.
I can enter some text, like I thought you might like to see this, and then when I click Send, the message will be sent, and the original message that I had selected is automatically deleted. So again, a very easy way to create a new set of Quick Steps. Let's create another. When we receive these requests for vendor information that we set up in a prior video, we'll need to reply to them, attach a file, and then move that request that we've fulfilled.
So I've set up a folder for Vendor Information Requests. I've also set up a folder for Vendor Information Sent. So the idea would be that I have a vendor information request, I select it, and then I click on a Quick Step that would allow me to reply to that message, and when I was done replying and had sent the information pack that was requested, the Quick Step would automatically move that message to Vendor Info Sent. So I don't have to remember to do it. So let's go ahead and create a quick step that manages those items.
Let's choose Create New, and it says My Quick Step, as it did last time, and I'm going to say, Vendor Info Sent, or Send Vendor Info I like even better. And the first thing that's going to happen is that we actually want to reply to the message that's coming in from the Vendor. So we're going to reply. What if the message came from one person and they had copied someone else in their organization? I think they would want me to reply all. So we're going to Reply All.
Once we've executed that Reply All, then the next thing we want to do is we want to have that message moved to a particular folder, because I will have sent the Vendor Info. So I'm going to open the message to Reply. When the Reply is done, when I click Send, the message that I've selected originally will automatically be moved to the Vendor Info Sent folder. I can enter some information here that says, "Open reply message, after reply move original message to Vendor Info Sent folder." Now, remember that this appears in a message that will have some wrapping in it, so it doesn't matter that I want to be a little verbose; I'd like to be able to actually explain this.
So I have my new Quick Step, and I'm going to go back, and I actually need to select a message. I'm going to choose Bagel Day to test this, because I don't really care about Bagel Day; its already passed last week while I was on vacation. So I'm going to choose Send Vendor Info. When I point to it, notice it says, open reply message, after reply. This is the text that I provided. I'm going to click Send Vendor Info. Notice that it does a reply, and I could enter text that says, "The information you requested is attached." I could attach whatever information I wanted to, apply whatever signature I wish.
But when I send this message, my original message has been moved, and it has been moved to the Vendor Info Sent folder, so that I can track all of the information that I sent automatically. You can create Quick Steps to perform any one of a number of actions. After you start using them, spend a moment and take a look at all of the different kinds of actions you can take, from creating appointments, to moving messages in an entire conversation, to flagging items, adding categories, and so on. I think you'll be pleased with these new Quick Steps and the power that they afford you, in Outlook 2010, to organize your e-mail and work efficiently.
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