Outlook is the popular email client used in many large-scale organizations. It is a fact that around 80% of the time people need to do same activities repeatedly when using Outlook emails. It could be sending an email to your manager in predefined format or auto forwarding emails to folders for organizing. Doing same action repeatedly is a time consuming task and Outlook offers a solution called Quick Steps. In this article, we will explain how to setup Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook.
Accessing Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook
You have two ways to use Quick Steps in Outlook – one is to use the default actions and the second is to create custom actions for your need. Outlook offers a range of predefined Quick Steps, which you can access from the ribbon under “Home” tab.
Click on the down arrow to expand the list. Though there are predefined Quick Steps, you still need to setup the action for the first time.
Let us say you need to forward emails to your manager frequently. Without Quick Steps, you need to follow the below steps:
- Open the email and click on the forward option. Alternatively, right click on the email item and choose forward.
- After that, you need enter the email address of your manager.
- Finally, click send email to finish the task.
You can do all these steps in a single click using Quick Steps. However, you first need to setup the steps for first time.
First Time Setting Up for Predefined Quick Steps
Click on the “To Manager” option in the predefined Quick Steps. If you do not see the option, read the next section on how to create a new Quick Steps.
- Enter the email address of your manager in the To field. If you want to customize, click on the “Options” button to open “Edit Quick Steps” pop-up.
- In the “Edit Quick Steps” pop-up, you can change the subject, add Cc, add Bcc, setup flag and importance.
- You can also add a text and schedule the message after 1 minute delay.
- Click on the “Add Action” button to add additional action like after forwarding, replying to the email or moving the email to a specified folder. You can create a new folder like “Email Sent To Manager” and add the second action to move the email to this folder. In this way, you can easily track the emails forwarded to your manager.
- Setup a shortcut and tooltip for the action.
- Click “Save” buttons on the pop-ups to apply your changes.
Now that you have completed the first time Quick Steps setup for using it. Before going to use the Quick Steps, let us also discuss on creating your custom actions.
Setup Custom Quick Steps
If you want to do something not listed in the predefined Quick Steps, then click on the “New Quick Step > Custom” option.
You will see the same “Edit Quick Step” pop-up.
- Enter the name for your Quick Step.
- Click on the “Choose an Action” dropdown to view the list of available options.
- Let us say, you want to setup a Quick Step for “Mark as unread”. Select the option from the dropdown.
- Click on the shortcut dropdown and choose the existing shortcut for revoking your Quick Step. Outlook offers the shortcut range from “Control + Shift + 1” to “Control + Shift +9. Unfortunately, you cannot create a custom shortcut for revoking your Quick Steps.
- Enter tooltip text which will be shown when you hover the mouse over the Quick Steps name in the ribbon.
- Click “Finish” button to complete the setup.
- You can see the newly created step appears in the ribbon like below.
Applying Quick Steps
Now that you know how to setup default Quick Steps for the first time as well creating new one for your need. You can use them in one single click.
- First, select the email and click on the Quick Steps in the ribbon.
- In the above “Mark as unread” example, you can use “Control + Shift + 1” shortcuts to make the email unread. Similarly, you can forward the email to your manager and move the email to specified folder in single click.
Managing Quick Steps
You may get confused when you have lot of Quick Steps. In order to manage all your existing Quick Steps, click on the small icon on the lower right corner of the Quick Steps group in the ribbon. You will see a “Manage Quick Steps” pop-up like below.
Here you can view all available Quick Steps on your Outlook.
- You can edit, duplicate or delete a Quick Step.
- Create a new Quick Steps by clicking on “New” button and select the required option.
- Use the up or down arrow buttons to move the items and rearrange the order. In this way, you can keep the most important Quick Steps at the top of the list on your ribbon.
Quick Steps Vs Rules
Note that, Outlook also has rules to move the emails to specify to folders. However, Quick Steps are a helpful addition to the existing rules in Outlook. The difference between Quick Steps and rules is that you need to call Quick Steps manually while rules work automatically.