Join Karen Fredricks for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating Quick Steps, part of Outlook 2010 New Features.
As its name implies, a Quick Step is a quick and easy way to perform a task in Outlook. You might be a bit confused between an Outlook rule and a Quick Step. A rule is designed to process incoming items automatically, and a Quick Step is designed to be used when it's needed. For example, you might get really excited when you receive a new e-mail that tells you that you've gotten a sale from a top client, and you want to make sure that you let your manager know about that sale, so that you can get a nice commission. You might also want to make sure that you move that message to a special place, so that you are sure to take action immediately.
Now that's a Quick Step. We find our Quick Steps by looking at the Home tab on our Ribbon, and we see our Quick Steps group. We start with a number of quick steps, but I would rather learn how to modify some of these existing quick steps, and make them my own. So I'm going to start by clicking on the More button, which we find down here, that down pointing arrow, and I'm going to manage my Quick Steps. You notice that I can make a New Quick Step, which is what I'm going to do.
First quick step, I'm going to make sure that any mail that comes in, that I mark it as Important. So I am going to create a New Quick Step. You notice I have a number of choices. I can move it to a folder, I can categorize it, I can flag it, I can send a new e-mail to someone, I can forward it to someone, or I can set up a meeting. So I'm going to just call this a Move to Folder. I'm going to call this the Gotta Do, because that means an incoming e-mail is coming in, and I got to make sure I do something with it right away.
So I am going to be prompted to move it to the folder. I am going to choose the Gotta Do folder, which I've already created in the past. I click on Finish, and OK. You notice I now have a new Gotta Do rule. So when something comes in from Ken Snyder, and I want to make sure that I act on it right-away, I can simply click on Gotta Do. You notice it disappeared from my Inbox, and it's now in my Gotta Do folder.
Using that technique, I can go, anytime I see an important message, with a single-click, move it into that Important folder. Now we're going to take that concept one step further. We're going to create a new Quick Step. Now previously, I gone down here, under Manage Quick Steps, and that was a good way to start on a very basic Quick Step. When I click on Create New, I'm going to see lots of options. I am going to call this Quick Step I've Gotta Sale, because there are a number of things I want to do with these incoming orders.
So the first thing that I'm going to do is I am going to move it to a folder. Again, the folder I'm going to choose is the I've Got a Sale! folder, which I had set up previously. But that's not enough. Not only do I want to move that to the folder, but I'm going to choose another action. I am going to categorize it, because I take advantage of Outlook's Categories. So I'm going to Categorize this as a Red item to mean it's something I really have to take care of, but that's not enough.
I'm going to add another action. What I'm going to do this time is scroll all the way down to the bottom of this list. I'm going to forward this message to my boss. So here in the To area, I can type in the e-mail address. What's really nice is normally, when I forward a message to someone, it starts with the letters FW in the Subject line to indicate that it's a forwarded message. What I'm going to do here is change that message a little bit.
So when I forward this to my boss, it's not going to include that FW, just the original subject. I'm going to add a little spin to it. Again, I can add as many actions as I want to my Quick Step. When I'm all done, I click on the Finish button. You see I've now got my I've Gotta Sale Quick Step. So one information comes in pertaining to a sale, all I have to do is highlight the message, click I've Gotta Sale and the fun begins. The message gets forwarded to my boss.
It gets moved to the I've Got a Sale! button, and it's categorized in red. And again this is the way that I can quickly take any of these orders, and process them. Now you might have liked this system so much that you think, wow, I like it so much, I'd like to do that again. You can start all over, or you can go down here to your More button, go into your Manage Quick Steps, and actually take an existing Quick Step and duplicate it. So I am going to click on Duplicate. This time, instead of I've Gotta Sale, this one is not quite as important.
So what I'm going to do here is instead of I've Gotta Sale, I'm just going to change the name slightly to I've Got a Little One. Maybe this time I'm not going to categorize it in Red, so I can remove that category. Now I can add another category, which in this case is going to be Blue. See that I now have my two Quick Steps up here. If I don't like the order of them, by the way, I can simply click on the More button, go back to Manage Quick Steps, and change the order.
So I'm going to move that Gotta Do up, and click OK. Here I have got my Quick Steps. Outlook 2010's Quick Steps feature provides you with a quick way to organize that mountain of e-mail that can seem so overwhelming at times. After all, why spend three or four clicks getting a job done, when you can do it with one.
- Customizing the look and feel of the Ribbon in Outlook
- Creating Quick Steps
- Using the enhanced search functionality
- Viewing multiple schedules
- Reading email via threaded conversations
- Using the new inbox clean-up tools