Use Outlook's Quick Steps to Process Emails Faster
Using Quick Steps to process messages
A Quick Step is a neat feature in Outlook in which you can manually trigger a sequence of events to process the message. It's like a Message Rule in which actionable items occur and there can definitely be more than one actionable item, however, unlike Rules, which trigger automatically, you can easily trigger a Quick Step on whatever emails you want manually, and whichever ones fit your need at the time. You can find Quick Steps in the Home Ribbon Tab under the Quick Steps Category. You can hover your mouse over them and it'll tell you what they do. For example, this one will forward a selected email that you specify to your Manager.
The first time you click on a Quick Step, it's going to ask you who your Manager is and you can put in their email address and it will remember that and next time you'll never have to put it again, it'll just automatically forward it to that person. We can actually create our own Quick Steps if these aren't enough for you. For example, here's a newsletter; I have already created a Folder called Reading List so I'm going to create a Quick Step that will automatically take things and put them in my Reading List manually. So let's expand the Quick Steps dialog box and this time, I'm going to select New.
There are a couple of built in ones, so I'm going to choose Move to Folder. I can give it a name, I'm going to call this one Reading List. For Actions, I'm going to move it to Folder and I can choose a Folder. Now I'd already created this Folder called Reading List, so I'm going to select it. I can mark it as Read or not, in this case, I'm going to uncheck Mark as Read, because if I did have one that was unread and I moved it to my Folder, it'll remind me that I have things to read in my Reading List. I can click Finish and OK and now you'll see my Reading List is in my Quick Steps.
So here's something that I want to add to my Reading List, so I'm going to highlight it and click Reading List. As you can see, it removes it from my Inbox and now if I come to my Reading List Folder, there it is. Now you can actually get a little bit more complex. I'm going to go back to my Inbox and you'll see that I have a lot of New Product Releases, in this case, let's say that there's a bunch of different actionable items that needs to happen whenever I get a New Product Release. For example, I have to send out an email saying that I approve it and then I need a meeting to talk about a product catalog design.
So I'm going to go down to my Quick Steps Dialog again, click on New, and this time instead of all this canned ones, I'm going to go down to Custom. I'm going to give it a name, and here's where I get to choose all the actions that's going to occur whenever I click on this Quick Step, in this case, I'm going to do more than one action. The first one is, I'm going to move it to a Folder. Just like last time the Folder has to be made already and I've already done that, so I'm going to select my Product Releases Folder.
I'm going to add another action by clicking Add Action. This time, I'm going to fire off an email, so I'm going to down the Respond Category and choose Forward. I'm going to forward it to somebody in my office and I can click to on the two down arrows and add more things. For example, I can append the word Forward, I can keep the original Subject or I can change it and I can actually add my own text. And then I'm going to come down and add one more Action.
I'm going to create a meeting with somebody to talk about the Product Catalog Design. So I'm going to create a New Meeting, I can specify who I want to create the meeting with, and I can click on the two down arrows again and put in things like a Subject and Location. Once I'm all done, I can click Finish, click OK and our New Product Release Quick Step is done.
Now whenever I get one in my Inbox, I can click the button and all my actions take effect. I can choose the time and the date for my meeting, choose Send. Here's my email saying that I approve the release, I can click Send on that one and if I come to my Product Releases Folder, there it is. So I can now apply this Quick Step whenever I get a New Product Release, so I'll never worry about missing a key step in a Product Release process.
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