Affinity Consulting Blog


Auto Text - Save Time with Standard Replies

Do you get emails that require a standard reply? Maybe you need to send out a list of next steps or required documents, or perhaps you need to inform someone that a document is ready for pick up or review? Whatever it may be, chances are you have some information that you duplicate and send to multiple people, many times a week.

One great way to save time is to use the auto text feature. Here’s the quick summary of steps when using Outlook 2010 and on:

1. Open a new email.

2. Enter the text you want to use in repeat responses. Highlight this text.

3. Go to the Insert ribbon menu.

4. In the Text section, select Quick Parts and then "Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery".

5. Next time you want to use this text, go back to Quick Parts and select the applicable auto text entry.

6. Viola! No more time wasted retyping the same reply or searching back for the old email you sent and copying and pasting the text.

Capture Delegated Emails & Follow Up Later

You often send emails to others in your office asking them to take care of something that has been emailed to you. But do you have a process to make sure it all gets done?

The solution – set up an Outlook rule to capture delegated emails. This way whenever you delegate something via email, a copy of that email goes into a delegated items folder – effectively creating a safety net where you can access these items to ensure they’ve been handled.

Operate From Tasks Not Email

Stop operating out of email. Instead of using your inbox as a way to capture and review everything you need to accomplish in the day, put this information into a task list or calendar. This is important to clear your head so you can focus and single task. If you’re not operating out of your inbox, you won’t be distracted by every new email that comes in and you’ll be able to better focus on the task at hand.

Consider turning off your new message notifications so that you aren’t distracted by that pinging every time a new email arrives. Here are the quick steps to make that happen in Outlook 2010 and on:

1. Go to the File Ribbon menu.

2. Select Options and then Mail.

3. In the “Message arrival” section, deselect the various alerts and notifications.

These tips come from a presenation to the Legal Education Society of Alberta.

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