Outlook Quick Steps: One-click shortcuts

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.

Create a new Quick Step from the choices given

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:

Quick Steps gallery added to QAT

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?

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).

— Annik

More info on Quick Steps:

Introducing Quick Steps

My Favorite Feature: Quick Steps

Outlook 2010 can save your hide: Use Quick Steps (Crabby’s Daily Tip)

Cut the email drudge work with Outlook Quick Steps: MVP #9 on Office 2010

Automate common or repetitive tasks with Quick Steps

Best practices for Outlook 2010