Like it or not, Microsoft Outlook is still the dominant email client in most office settings. Thunderbird, emClient and Inky are just a few of the alternative email clients available to users. The tips listed below are available (with some variation) in almost all email clients, but for the sake of popularity we will focus on the processes for Microsoft Outlook

In this article

Part 1. Setting up rules in Outlook to automatically organize your your email messages.

Part 2. Repeat email with a template

Part 3. A few keyboard shortcuts for Outlook


Part 1. Manage email messages by using rules

What is a rule? A rule is an action that Microsoft Outlook runs automatically on all incoming or outgoing messages, based on conditions that you have specified.

Create a rule based on senders or recipients of a message

You can create a rule from any message. The advantage of this method is that rules are suggested based on the message, sender or recipients. For example, when you start with a message, one rule that is suggested moves all messages from that sender to a folder that you choose.

  1. Click the message for which you want to create a rule, and then on the Home tab, click Rules.

Suggested rules appear based on the message sender and recipients.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • Click one of the suggested rules, click a destination folder, and then click OK.
    • For more rules options based on the sender, recipients, or subject of the message, click Create Rule.

If you chose Create Rule in step 2, the Create Rule box appears. Continue with the following steps.

  1. Under When I get e-mail with all of the selected conditions, check the boxes for the conditions you want.
  2. Under Do the following, check the boxes for the action you want the rule to take when the specified conditions are met.
  3. Check the Move the item to folder
  4. Click Select Folder and pick an existing folder or click New to create a folder to store the messages.

To add more conditions, actions, or exceptions to the rule, click Advanced Options, and then follow the rest of the instructions in the Rules Wizard.

  1. Click OK.

Each time your email connects to the server to send and receive emails your rules will be applied. If you have emails from a certain person or group sent to a folder (as a rule you created) be sure to check those folders rather than just your in-box.


Part 2. Repeat emails with a template

If you are tired of using copy and paste or constantly rewriting the same or similar emails such as reminders, notices or invoices, well there is a solution for that. Creating a template email will save you countless hours on these repetitive assignments you may be tasked with each day, week or month. The following steps will walk you through it easily.

  1. Create an email that you will need to regenerate on a regular basis.
  2. From the Menu at the top of Outlook click on File – Save as – Outlook template
  3. Name the template and click OK or Save.
  4. To use the template simply click on New Items – Choose Form – and browse your “User Templates in File System” to find the email template you created.

Quicker tip – if you know the location (folder) that you saved the template to, simply browse to that folder and find the template that you created and double click on it. Note: the file will have an OFT extension. For example if you named the template file “notice1” then you will look for a file named “notice1.oft”.


Part 3. Keyboard shortcuts for Outlook

Listed below are a few short cuts for navigating in Outlook

Ctrl + 1 = Mail

Ctrl + 2 = Calendar

Ctrl + 3 = Contacts

Ctrl + 4 = Tasks

Ctrl + 5 = Notes


Ctrl + R = Reply to email

Alt + R = reply to all in email string or switch to the work-week calendar view

Alt + W forward email or switch to the weekly calendar view

Ctrl + M = F9 – send/recieve all

Alt + S = Send email

Ctrl + G = open the “go to date” dialog to jump to any date in the calendar


Most of the options and shortcuts listed above are fairly generic across the board on all email clients, but the exact process may vary a little. If you are running Thunderbird or a similar paid for or free email client, consult your help files for instructions on how to accomplish these tasks. If you have any questions or comments on things you would like to know more about, simply email me at pailwriter@outlook.com. I will make every effort to respond to all emails as quickly as possible.

Also visit my new “About me” blog at https://www.aubreywlove.com


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s