Outlook tips and tricks

Up Your Email Game with These 6 Outlook Tips

Outlook is a tool that students, faculty and staff use daily, but are you using it effectively?

Outlook can be the most powerful tool on your desktop and mobile device. Follow these six tips to navigate, manage and store email like a pro.

Schedule Emails

Working late on a project? No need to interrupt your colleague or instructor after hours. Schedule the email to be sent at 8 a.m. and the following morning you’ll look like the early bird! Once you’ve written your email, choose “Send Later” then choose your delivery date and time.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl + say no more! Use these quick commands to move through your inbox at a rapid pace. Visit the Microsoft support website for more quick shortcuts.


  • Switch to Mail: Ctrl + 1
  • Switch to Calendar: Ctrl + 2
  • Switch to Contacts: Ctrl + 3
  • Reply to a Message: Ctrl + R
  • Create a New Email: Ctrl + Shift + M


  • Switch to Mail: Cmd + 1
  • Switch to Calendar: Cmd + 2
  • Switch to Contacts: Cmd + 3
  • Reply to a Message: Cmd + R
  • Create a new Email: Cmd + N

View it Your Way

Outlook provides several options for viewing your inbox. Turn on conversation view to view messages in threads of conversations. Through conversation view, it’s easy to see the order of messages in a thread. Turn on focused inbox to see what’s most important first.

Let Your Colleagues See When You’re Free

A major benefit of students, faculty and staff being in the same email environment is the ability to share free/busy calendar information to quickly and easily schedule meetings. Review your calendar permissions so that others can see when you’re available.

Review Your Junk Email Occasionally

Microsoft provides robust spam filtering. Occasionally, good email can be marked as junk. Regularly review your junk folder to make sure you’re not missing any emails. Additionally, if a junk email sneaks into your inbox, be sure to mark it as junk. This trains your inbox to better recognize what’s good and what’s junk.

Archive and Delete for Quicker Inbox Loading

Archiving mail offers a folder to store older mail you wish to keep. An archive mailbox is a specialized mailbox that appears alongside your other folders in Outlook. To enable online archiving, log into your email account at outlook.com then right-click the folder you wish to archive. From the pull-down menu that appears, select Assign Policy. From the Archive Policy drop-down menu, choose “Personal 1 year move to archive” (1 year).

For mail you don’t want to keep, simply click “Delete” for each unwanted message. Then regularly empty your “Deleted Items” folder. By keeping your inbox light, it will load more quickly.

Remember the Red Flags of Phishing

Because of the recent increase in the risk of phishing and scam emails, it’s more important than ever to keep a careful watch over your inbox. Beware of urgent and threatening language in messages, and do not click on links from senders you do not know. Always review the sender’s email address and remember that emails external to UA are tagged with [EXTERNAL] in the subject line.

Additional Outlook best practices are available on the OIT website.