Most people know the basic functions of Outlook such as sending and scheduling emails, however there are many convenient features built into the app which aren’t commonly known.

Here are a few of our favourite Outlook features:

1. Share your calendar using your Microsoft Exchange Server Account

When you’re working in a large team, scheduling a meeting at a time which suits everyone can be a lengthy process of back and forth. Using the default Outlook features, you can only see if a person is busy or not, but you will not be able to see any meeting details.

Through the ‘share calendar’ function, team members are able to view each other’s calendar and subsequently be able to find a meeting time which suits everyone.

In order to share your calendar simply right click on your calendar >share calendar

Once your calendar is shared, everyone will be able to access all of your meeting details. If you would like to prevent certain meetings and events from being accessed by other people, scroll down to private and flag the meetings that only you want to have access to.

2. Use Multiple Time zones

If you’re working across multiple time zones, it’s important to know the time on the other side of the world to ensure you’ve scheduled meetings at a time appropriate for all parties. Instead of fumbling around Google trying to figure out time differences, Outlook enables you to set two time zones on your calendar.

To enable a second time zone, simply go to Options > calendar > time zones > tick ‘show a second time zone’

3. Recall a sent message (Outlook 2013)

Have you ever accidentally sent a work email to the wrong person? Or have only realised after you hit the send button that your email was riddled with spelling errors and typos?

Fortunately, the Outlook 2013 Recall Send feature allows you to replace or remove a message that you have sent to another Microsoft Exchange Server user within your organisation- as long as they haven’t read it.

To retrieve a sent email:

Go to your sent messages folder

Double click on the message you want to recall > go to actions> recall this message

Select delete unread copies of this message. Outlook will warn you that you won’t be able to recall the message if it has been read by the recipient.

If you simply want to add an attachment or fix a typo, select “Delete unread copies and replace with a new message” instead. This opens a new window with your message already in edit mode so you can quickly correct your mistake(s).

Click ok and wait for Outlook to notify you if the email was successfully recalled, If the recall was successful, you should receive a message which looks something like this:

4. Familiarise yourself with Outlook’s shortcuts

Shortcuts are a great way to increase efficiency and productivity.

Outlook has over 50 keyboard shortcuts, but we’ve narrowed it down to the 6 we use most:

  • Ctrl+R: Reply to email
  • Alt+R: Reply to all in email or switch to the work week calendar view
  • Alt+W: Forward email or switch to the weekly calendar view
  • Ctrl+M+F9To Send/Receive all
  • Alt+S: Send email
  • Ctrl+G: Open the “Go to date” dialog to jump to any date in the calendar

To view the entire list of Outlook shortcuts, click here

5. Use Post-IT Notes for Reminders

One of the features in the Outlook desktop client you may not have come across, is virtual Post-it notes.

Great for reminders, to-do lists and key information, Post IT notes are most easily created using the Ctrl+Shift+N keyboard shortcut.

You can position notes anywhere on your screen but if you need to relocate them quickly, simply scroll down to the bottom of the navigation pane and click on the three dots.

These handy portable Post-its can be assigned to categories too, where you can colour code each note based on its category.  To add categories, click on the icon in the top left hand corner and follow the prompts.

Hayden McMaster