Question: How many mouse clicks and keyboard finger tappings does it take to categorize an email message, move it to a folder, add a follow-up flag, reply to it, and create a meeting request about it?
Answer: One, if you’re using a Quick Step.
Quick Steps, new in Outlook 2010, is a feature that applies multiple actions at once to an email message. I like to think of Quick Steps as rules that I apply when I want to (rather than setting something up in Rules that is usually applied automatically). Frankly, I like the control that Quick Steps allow me because I’m looking at each mail that comes in and, with one click, I can have it take any number of actions. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
First off, there are some pre-made, self-explanatory Quick Steps such as Move to:, Team Email, and Reply & Delete.
For me, those are great starting places but I am all about customization; my needs are different from your needs, yours are different from your grandma’s, and hers are different from her twin sister’s needs (love those techie grannies). There are a few ways you can go about creating your own Quick Steps. You can:
— Change an existing, pre-made Quick Step.
— Create a new one that starts you off with an action (see image to the left).
— Start from scratch and create a Custom Quick Step.
What I’ve done is create my own “Quick Steps gallery” of actions that I take most often. Then I added it to my Quick Access Toolbar, like I’ve done here:
I’m always tweaking this gallery because I’m always undertaking new projects, working with new people, and well, I tend to get bored with the same-old thing and like to see how many actions I can cram into one mouse-click… I’d like to know how many actions YOU can cram into one mouse click (and you have to name each one).
Want to know more?
- Read about how you can automate common or repetitive tasks with Quick Steps.
- Take a look at Outlook MVP Dian Poremsky’s blog post that explains Quick Steps.
Are you not yet convinced that using Quick Steps is a must? Create them and use them and you’ll never lose a message, miss a meeting, or forget to follow up on anything ever again. You, my friend, will be (or already are) a model of consistency, competence, and class (not to mention efficiency, effectiveness, and equilibrium).
More info on Quick Steps: