Email Tips and Techniques

For every email you send, you are likely to receive 3 back! Check out these Email Tips and Techniques to help you process emails more effectively.

For more detailed training, see this Microsoft Office 2007 Tutorial.

Use tags in your subject title, for example:

  • FYI: changed travel procedures
  • ACTION: Respond by 23rd May
  • REQUEST: Q1 Budget Figures
  • FYI: Recent business offer
  • Ensure the subject is meaningful, for example instead of “INFO: Notes” you could put “INFO: Notes from Team Meeting 18/6/01 re Marketing Plan”
  • Avoid unnecessary use of distribution lists, CC and ‘Reply All’. Ask yourself if all recipients really need to know this?
  • Get yourself removed from old or irrelevant distribution lists
  • Ask yourself why you are receiving this?
  • Use Inbox Rules ..instructions overleaf
  • Summarise important points of attachments
  • Don’t converse via email — pick up the phone! Be sure that email is the right tool
  • Use your ‘Out of Office facility ….
  • Inform senders of emails that you don’t need
  • Take time to understand Outlook functionality
  • Above all ….set an example for your team

Prioritise messages using colour coding

Click on the Organize button on the toolbar or choose Organize from the Tools menu Select Using Colours

Make messages from some senders stand out

  • The name of the sender of the message currently selected appears in the box
  • Select the desired colour
  • Click on Apply Colour
  • Click the Turn On button

Using Out of Office

  • On the tools menu, click ‘out of office assistant’ and then ‘add rule
  • Fill out the necessary conditions
  • If you would like this to be the last rule applied check the ‘do not process subsequent rules’ box

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Use the Rules Wizard to reduce the number of messages in your Inbox

  • Consider setting up rules to automatically move certain messages into another folder. For example you could create a folder called “Weekly Finance Report” and automatically redirect all weekly messages from finances into that folder
  • From the Tools menu choose Rules Wizard and follow the steps through the wizard

Find messages using Advanced Find

  • From the Tools menu select Advanced Find
  • Type the word(s) you wish to search for and choose whether you wish to search in the subject or in the subject and the message body. You can also search for messages from particular senders

Get your Inbox under control with flags

Flags can be used to set action reminders for messages

  • Open the message and click on the Flag for Follow Up button
  • Choose the flag type e.g. Call, Follow Up or enter your own text
You can also set a reminder date

Displaying the flag text

  • From the View menu choose View, Customise Current View
  • Click on the Fields button
  • In the list of available fields select Follow Up Flag and click on the Add button
  • Click OK

If you have any questions or suggestions about our Email Tips and Techniques, please contact us.

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