Outlook 2016: Getting Started.
Microsoft Outlook has made its name as the premier tool for communication, collaboration and organization for millions of businesses and corporate entities, and not without good reason. You can do a great many things with Outlook than with most other mail programs currently in existence. And it is infinitely easier to have everyone on your team using the same program to organize meetings, set up tasks and deadlines, and communicate. Outlook 2016 works well even if you work alone, but its power is better felt when used to collaborate with others.
One of the main uses of MS Outlook is communication. Reading and sending emails has never been so easy.
When you open Outlook 2016, the first thing you will notice is there are three columns. The first one on your left is the Navigation bar. You can use this to switch between the various elements of Outlook, such as Calendar, Tasks and Contacts. The second column is where your list of messages appears. The third column is the reading pane where you will be able to read your messages.
To read a message, follow these steps;
If your email address is busy, it might get overwhelming having to scheme through the tens of emails you receive every hour and you could easily get buried in them.
In fact, experts claim that the average employee spends about two hours each day going through their emails; it could even be more.
To help sort out your inbox and save you time and energy, Outlook 2016 provides some great tools for organizing and filtering emails for your ease.
Responding to email
Whenever you read an email on Outlook, Reply and Reply All buttons appear on the top of the screen. Reply button will only allow you to reply to the sender only, while Reply All enables you to send a response to the sender and everyone who was copied in the email. To reply to an email;
It’s easy to get excited and quickly click on the Reply All button. Do not do it, unless you are sure that everyone copied on the email should get your response. Otherwise, you risk offending clients, co-workers and even your boss by revealing more than you ought to, or by sending a snide comment that you only intended to share with a colleague.
Creating email messages in outlook
Creating emails in Outlook 2016 has got to be tons easier than creating a Facebook profile, if the two can even be compared. In fact it is so easy; anyone could probably learn how to do it in under a minute.
If you do not see the New Email button, try these steps;
You can use these instructions to send a plain email message. However, Outlook 2016 does have options to make your email high-priority, or confidential, as needed.
You can also use the To button on the new email interface to add email addresses that you wish to send your email to.
To use this feature, you will need to have populated your contact list with names and email addresses of people with whom you frequently communicate.
In case you don’t remember your recipient’s exact email address, you can use the Check Names button on the New Email interface.
This button will allow you to type in part of the email address, then it will look through the contacts list and complete the address for your ease.
Remember to double-check the address that Check Names enters. It may enter the wrong address that looks similar to the one you intended, causing you quite a bit of red-face if the email ends up in the wrong inbox.
If you forgot to type a subject line, Outlook 2016 will open a new dialogue box to ask you if you really intend to send your message without a subject. If you do, click the Send Anyway button.
If you wish to include a subject, click on Don’t Send, go back to your message, enter a subject line and click Send.
One of the best things about Outlook 2016, (and they are many!), is that you can use the same tricks available in Microsoft Word to format your message in the text box. You can select text portions and make them bold, italics, highlight or color the text and do pretty much anything else.
These tools are found on the top of the message window on the Format Text tab.
Saving messages in Outlook 2016
In times of doubt or confusion, nothing is better than having documentary evidence of your actions. They can mean the difference between keeping and losing your job, in some instances. In this case, the evidence would be in form of emails and attachments sent.
You can save your sent emails in Outlook 2016 for future reference, like when your client pretends that you did not send them an invoice, you can easily produce the email in your sent folder showing what you sent and when you sent it.
Outlook already automatically saves sent items in the Sent folder, but this feature can be turned on and off at will. But in case you inherit someone else’s email address, which does not save sent emails, here are a few steps to follow;
To keep or not to keep
There are many reasons why saving your messages in Outlook 2016 may be the right move.
For one, you may want to keep emails for posterity. To show future generations how we used to communicate in the old days, because we know not what the future will bring in terms of communication for the next generations. Just as our parents who used the diskette (would never have imagined a world in which you could store all your information (sized in TBs, not MBs) in the Cloud, of all places!
You may also need to store valuable personal, family or even legal correspondence. Keeping legal correspondence in particular is of utmost importance. You never know when you may have to refer to something your lawyer said in an email several years ago, or a document that you signed and scanned. Family correspondence may be saved for sentimental purposes, especially if any pictures and memories were shared.
As with all arguments, there are those with a dissenting opinion, advocating for deletion of emails. The most common reason is to enable the computer to work at its optimum without having to go through thousands of mail dataset records. Another reason has also been touted is to enable the user to easily locate an email by scanning a list of 30 emails as opposed to 300. Also, some emails might not have any value over time and it makes sense to delete those.
Forwarding Email in Outlook 2016
Sometimes wires get crossed and you may end up on an email thread for projects that do not concern you. In this case, the best thing to do is to pass the message on to the parties involved.
As with all messages coming from your outbox to your employees/ supervisor/ co-workers, you must be careful to send to the correct email addresses to avoid further confusion and embarrassment.
Below are the steps to take when forwarding a message:
Please note that office email etiquette and home etiquette are vastly different. If the message you are forwarding is a funny meme or joke that you are sharing with your friends, you can be relaxed about the message. However, if you are sending a company email, be mindful about your company’s email etiquette regulations.
Blind Copying for Confidentiality
When you send an email message with addresses in the To and Cc fields, everyone who receives that message will be able to see the email addresses of everyone else to whom the message was sent. Some people get peeved when their email addresses are shared with the world without their prior consent. To avoid this kind of conflict, especially on a broadcast message, it is best to hide the copied email addresses using the Bcc tool.
Bcc is an abbreviation for Blind Carbon Copy, which some of you oldies will remember from the days of using carbon paper. This field is not always displayed.
To use it, click on the Options tab and the click on the Bcc button in the Show Fields group.
Add the desired email addresses to the Bcc text box.
Now everyone who receives the message cannot see the other recipient’s email addresses.
Setting message options in Outlook 2016
Most people who use Outlook for their communication only know how to receive, read, respond to emails and send new ones. But Outlook 2016 has a much wider list of things you can do, just on the message tab alone. There are so many settings you can take advantage of if you really want to enjoy your Outlook purchase to the fullest. We will touch on a few of them here.
You can prevent certain things from happening to your message using the Permissions button.
One of the most embarrassing things that can happen is someone forwarding your message to everyone on your contact list, especially if it is a private and confidential message.
You can find the Permissions button on the Options tab at the top of the Message form.
However, for it to work well, you and your recipient must both be using Outlook, or at the very least be set up to use a compatible email messaging system through the Information Rights Management Service. It is also unclear whether this will work with email services such as Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail. You can check at https://support.office.com to learn more about Information Rights Management.
The Properties dialogue box can be opened by clicking on the small arrow next to the Tags on the Message form ribbon.
You will notice some other options: Request a Read Receipt for This Message, which when selected, will send the recipient a prompt asking them to confirm that they have read the message.
There is also Expires After, which means that a message has expired should the recipient not open it within your stipulated time.
However, as with Permissions, these properties will only work if yours and your recipient’s email systems support these features. You both need to be on Outlook, or on a Microsoft Exchange Server for these options to work.
There are some processes that Outlook cannot perform alone. Therefore, most big companies using Outlook also have a program working in the background called Microsoft Exchange Server.
Outlook Users set up on the Microsoft Exchange Server can look at someone else’s calendar, or give someone else the permission to read their emails, and whole list of other uses. All these and more can be done without the user ever knowing that they are working with a program other than Outlook. All these are handy options to have, but cannot be done with Outlook alone.