Top tips for Microsoft Outlook

Another Learning Over Lunch (LOL!) session today. We talked about Outlook this time – again, great questions and interesting conversations.

OutlookWhat is Outlook actually?

Outlook is the front end of a Microsoft service called Exchange. Outlook is an application that provides all of the elements below in one package:

  • Email (also accessible at
  • Calendar(s)
  • Contacts
  • Tasks

You’ve gotta use shortcut keys!

For me, the key to quick Outlook use is shortcut keys. You can speed up your workflow massively by not touching the mouse or trackpad so often:

  • ctrl-f: forward
  • ctrl-r: reply (ctrl-shift-r: reply all)
  • ctrl-Enter: send
  • ctrl-n: new
  • insert: flag

Easier on the eye (and ear)

Customise Outlook using the following menu items:

  • Change the colour scheme (Options/General/)
  • Turn reminders off (Options/advanced/)

You can also change how Outlook behaves when email arrives at Outlook/mail. We discussed how much some of us hate the mail noise, and how some people don’t like the on-screen mail alerts.


If you add an Exchange account to your smart phone, it can be remotely erased.
Almost all outlook functionality is available on your device – so make use of tasks (reminders), calendar, contacts.


I hope you enjoyed today’s session, and if you weren’t there, I hope you found these notes useful. If you have anything to add, or you’d like to discuss any of my points, please leave a comment.

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