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CMI Blog

BTA’s Top 5 Tips for Outlook 2016

microsoft-office-outlook-2016.pngMost of us live in Outlook. It controls our diaries, our email and to-do lists.  Without it, we would have to walk down the hall to verbally deliver messages and put a paper calendar on our wall!  Yet with each new version of Microsoft Office, dozens of new features are added that nobody but the IT manager bothers to learn. We say: better late than never. Here are our IT experts top 5 tips and tricks for Outlook 2016.

Quick Parts

Are you repeatedly typing emails with the same spiel for a product or service?  Or are there support instructions that you find yourself regularly copying and pasting into emails from a support manual? With Outlook's Quick Parts you can save yourself the hassle. Simply type the text you would like to use frequently, highlight it, and head to Insert > Quick Parts > Save selection to commit it to Outlook's memory.

You can then use Insert > Quick Parts to add the text in, or just begin typing it in the composer window. Outlook will offer a visual indication, and you can simply hit the Enter key to instantly add it to your message.

Delay Mails

Outlook allows you to schedule emails for delivery at a specific time. This is useful for timed releases, communicating to different time zones, or just making it seem as if you are working when you aren’t!

Whatever your reason, all you have to do is write your email as usual, then go to Options > Delay Delivery. Enter the date and time that you would like the message to be delivered, and hit OK. (Note that this is one for Exchange users, or those of us who don't mind leaving our computers on 24/7.)

Use Encryption

Your name may not be 007, but adding an extra layer of security for emails with sensitive information is something you CAN do.

Head to File > Options > Trust Centre, then click Trust Centre Settings. Click Email Security and click Get Digital ID to open a browser window which will point you towards various services that will provide you the relevant credentials to encrypt your mails.

After you have signed up, go to the email security tab and switch on the appropriate encryption option.  Then just make sure your recipient has the key, or your mail won't get through.

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Banish winmail.dat

You may not be aware of this, but sometimes when you send an email, certain recipients get a mysterious attachment – winmail.dat – which they are unable to open. They get it because you are sending email in RTF format—Windows’ way of packaging up all the fonts and attachments you have included.

To stop this, either use plain text or HTML to send your messages. Head to File > Options > Mail, scroll down to Message Format, and make sure Outlook is set to convert Rich Text messages to HTML format to hopefully prevent it from happening again.

Calendar Tweaks

Outlook's calendar view can break your day down into whatever time chunks you need it to, not just 30-minute increments. To do this, right click an empty calendar space, select View Settings > Other Settings, and alter the timescale to whatever you prefer.

We also like combining our Tasks list with our calendar view for a good overall look at the day's business. Just open-up the calendar, head to the View ribbon, and use the Daily Task List button to place it wherever suits you.


About BTA

BTA is a leading Managed Services Provider based in London with over 20 years of experience. BTA provides IT services ranging from outsourced IT to network design. With a strong focus on customer service and a track record of happy clients, you will quickly see BTA is not like other IT companies. Learn more by emailing enquiries@bta.com or calling 020 8875 7676.


Topics: microsoft, Tip-of-the-week

Scott Bartlett

Written by Scott Bartlett

Scott is BTA's founding partner and resident IT Networking Wizard.

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