Outlook 2013: 8 New Features That May Win You Back

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Outlook used to be the go-to email client. Until people began to realize how Web mail services such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail made managing and reading emails easier.

Outlook suddenly looked old and slow.

But things are changing with the release of Outlook 2013. Microsoft has added a number of features to simplify email management.

Here are the top eight.

1. Easily manage your unread emails

Problem:

When we read email, we sometimes leave some unopened while attending to more important ones, which can make it easy to miss an unopened mail.

Solution:

Outlook 2013 now displays all your unread mail in just one click — no more going through the menus just to see the email that you have missed.

Once you are done, you can easily see all your mail by clicking the “All” button.

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2. Preview your email

Problem:

Outlook users have often complained that they had no choice but to open their emails to read them.

This wasted a lot of time as people wound up opening emails that they could have ignored.

Solution:

Outlook 2013 offers you a preview of your emails right on the message list. The preview shows up to three lines of the email’s body without having to double-click it. This way, you can skim through the emails and decide whether it goes to a special folder, stays on the inbox or whether it goes straight to the Deleted Items folder.

3. Make your schedules easier to manage

Problem:

When somebody invited you to a meeting or event via email, your first instinct was to switch to your calendar to check your availability.

Solution:

Outlook 2013 allows you to take a peek at your schedule right inside the program. On the navigation bar, you can mouse over calendar and you see appointments, important dates, and even tasks you have that day.

You can also dock your calendar on your Outlook window. This way, you can easily glance at your schedule even without having to mouse over anything.

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4. Centralize Your Contacts

Problem:

Contacts weren’t integrated with email.

Solution:

Outlook 2013 incorporates contacts into its interface, allowing you to centralize all the information you have on your contact. Each card has the person’s name, company details, position, photo, contact details, birthday, and other information.

What’s more, you can instantly schedule a meeting or send an email right from the card. You can even call, chat or give them a video call.

As a bonus, your contacts are instantly filed alphabetically and are fully searchable.

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5. Remember that attachment

Problem:

People forget to include the files they wanted to send.

Solution:

Outlook reminds you.

How does it work? Outlook 2013 searches for words and phrases such as “here is”, “attached with,” “enclosed,” and similar words that indicate an intent to attach a file to the email. It will then detect whether or not an attachment was sent.

If you did forget to attach anything, Outlook 2013 will notify you.

You can enable this feature by clicking on “File” > “Options” > “Mail.” Look under the Send Messages heading the following option: “Warn me when I send a message that may be missing an attachment.”

If you get tired of pop-up reminders, you can click on “Don’t show this message again” when the attachment reminder appears.

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6. Delete, mark, and flag right on the message lists

Problem:

You couldn’t mark a message as “unread” or “read” right from the message list.

Solution:

Now you can. You can also delete the email or flag it for follow-up later.

7. Make your emails pretty

Problem:

Outlook mails could be a bit … homely.

Solution:

Microsoft Outlook 2013 comes with the option to apply backgrounds or stationery to your emails. There are pre-sets available, but you can create your own customized stationery for use.

You can apply the background or stationery to a single message or to all of your outgoing messages.

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8. Manage add-ins better

Problem:

In the past, add-ins slowed down the program or made Outlook perform badly. And some add-ins simply did not work the way they were intended to.

Solution:

Outlook 2013 now automatically disables all add-ins that can slow it down or make it less reliable. If an add-in you find very useful is disabled, you can enable it manually via the “Manage Add-Ins” button..

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