By Shelley Fishel
Quicksteps? In Outlook? What do you mean?
When watching Strictly Come Dancing, I love seeing the Quickstep, the dancers cover so much ground in such a short space of time. I end up breathless just watching! What does this have to do with Outlook I hear you thinking?
Well in Outlook you can create Quicksteps to speed up many repetitive tasks. These are mini-rules (that is a topic for another day) which can make your life easier.
Quicksteps are made up of Actions
This makes building Quicksteps easy. Just combine the actions you want it to perform in the order they should flow and away you go.
Here is a list of some of the actions you can use and combine.
-Move to folder
What kind of Quicksteps are there?
The simplest one is one that moves email to a folder. I have a few of these set up for my most frequent clients. When working on a project and with email flying back and forth I like to keep things tidy. With a Quickstep for filing to the project folder, it is so much quicker to tidy up. When the project is done, I delete that Quickstep to make room for others in the Quickstep Gallery.
Reply and Delete
Or how about a Quickstep to Reply to an email and delete the original? When you reply the original text is in the body of the reply so you don’t really need to keep the whole thread. Create a Quickstep to set up the reply and then delete the email you are replying to. Replying and keeping your inbox tidy at the same time – what’s not to like?
Reply and Move
Reply and Move is like Reply and Delete except that it prompts you for the folder to move original email to.
You can combine the Flag action with many other actions, you could Reply, Delete and Flag or Reply Move and Flag.. the permutations are endless.
Reply and add an appointment
If Bob wrote and asked you for an appointment you can reply to Bob, file his email and set up an appointment in your calendar all at the same time. This is a brilliant use of Quicksteps.
One of my all-time favourite Quicksteps is the ability to create an email with Standard text. This is great for those times when you need to send the same body text out again and again. For example – let’s say that you send out a weekly report to several people. The text is the same just the addressee is different. To do this create the Standard Text Quickstep and then simply launch the Quickstep and add the recipient.
Alternatively, if you find that you are replying to people in the same way you can create a Quickstep that sets up a standard reply.
As you can see Quicksteps are extremely useful and you can even create Keyboard Shortcuts for them to speed them up even further.