3 Productivity Tips for Outlook 2011 for Mac

Email seems to be eating up more and more of everyone’s time. What you need is a way to use Outlook 2011 easier and quicker, so you can get through your emails and get on with your day.

There are better ways of doing a lot of the common tasks in Outlook 2011. Below are three of the best practices for maximizing your use of Outlook 2011.

1. Back up your Outlook 2011 Emails

Whether you need to keep a backup of your emails, or you want to archive your old emails to free up space in your inbox, it’s easy to back up your messages in Outlook 2011.

First, click on the File menu, then Export.

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In the window that appears, choose the options shown below to back up everything in Outlook 2011. You can deselect any item you don’t want saved. Click the arrow in the bottom right corner to continue.

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Outlook 2011 can delete your backed up items, but generally you want them to stay where they are after backup. Make sure No, do not delete items is selected. Click the right arrow to continue.

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You now get the option to give the file a name and choose where to save it. Once you do it, click Save to finish up.

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Your data will export and save to a file. Keep this file in a safe place and you’re all backed up!

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2. Use Schedules to Automate Tasks

You can schedule many common tasks in Outlook 2011. This can include sending, receiving, emptying deleted Items, and deleting junk mail. You can choose to do these tasks manually, at a set time, or when Outlook 2011 opens or closes. This can make things like keeping your deleted items clear without even thinking about it.

To access Schedules, just click on the Tools tab of the Outlook 2011 Ribbon. Next, click on the Schedules button and select Edit Schedules from the menu.

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A few items will already be present. To edit one, double-click on it. To add a new item, click the + in the bottom left corner of the window.
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After you double-click an item or add a new one, you can choose when the action runs, and what the action is. Just tailor this to what you need. For me, I have Outlook 2011 set to clear my Deleted items that are older than 5 days whenever Outlook 2011 closes.

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Make sure to check the Enabled box to have this new schedule run.

3. The Power of Mailing Lists

Do you email the same group of people over and over? If you do this often, it can be easy to forget to add someone to the message when you do it manually every time. Outlook 2011 gives you the ability to save mailing lists so you can quickly email a group of people with one entry in the TO line of an email.

To access Mailing Lists, click on the Contacts button in the left sidebar (or hit CMD+3)

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Next, click the Contact Group button in the Home tab of the Outlook 2011 Ribbon.

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In the window that appears, give the group a name that is memorable and distinct so you can use it again later. If you don’t want people to see the others on the list, click the Use Bcc… checkbox to hide the member addresses.

Enter the email addresses for the list and a note mentioning what the list is for, and click Save Close to continue.
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Now, when you send a message, you can start typing the name of your new group and it will appear. When you send the message all the people on the list will receive it.
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There are tons of other tips and tricks inside of Outlook 2011, but if you implement these tips, you will be exposed to many other areas of Outlook that you may have never touched. Have a look around each of these tips and you’re sure to find a ton more to help you work more productively.

Quick Facts

Here are a few quick facts about Outlook and Mail on the Mac.

First for Apple – Microsoft Outlook 2011 is the first full-featured Outlook client for Apple’s OSX operating system.
First Outlook Ever – The first version of Outlook was for MS DOS and was bundled with Exchange Server 5.5.
Mail for Mac – Apple’s OSX, unlike Microsoft Windows, comes pre-installed with a full-featured email client, known as Mail.

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