How to Use Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is everyone’s favorite email client. It’s easy to use, with plenty of productivity-enhancing features regularly used in an enterprise setting. You often carry out actions repetitively throughout the day within Outlook.

Luckily, Microsoft has included a nifty productivity-boosting feature called Quick Steps to help automate a series of steps. Read on as we tell what Quick Steps is and how you can make the most of it to get more productive in Outlook.

What Are Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook?

Quick Steps is an easy-to-use productivity feature available in Outlook 2013 and onwards. It makes it possible to automate a series of multiple repetitive actions quickly. Automating these tasks has the added benefit of making it easier to manage numerous mailboxes at once, while also saving you precious amounts of time daily.

You can use Quick Steps for different scenarios. An everyday use case might be automatically moving an email into a specific folder while simultaneously forwarding an email to a colleague and flagging it as crucial in just a single click.

By default, Microsoft Outlook provides you with some commonly used Quick Actions. You can use them as is or customize the default Quick Steps according to your needs. If that’s not enough, you can create a custom Quick Step to enhance your routine workflow.

Using Default Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook

On Microsoft Outlook, you can use the default Quick Steps easily on the fly. There are four predefined Quick Steps in Outlook (as part of Office 365): Move to, To Manager, Team Email, and Reply & Delete.

You will have to configure these with the correct recipient email addresses and preferred folders before you can use them for the first time. To use the Move to Quick Step, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Home tab, click on Move to from the Quick Steps section.
  2. In the First Time Setup dialogue box, choose the folder to which you want to move emails and rename the Quick Step if required.
  3. Click on Save, and you’re ready to move emails quickly.
  4. Select the email you want to move to another folder and click on the saved Quick Step from the Home tab. Outlook will directly move the email into the configured folder.

You can configure the other default Quick Steps in a similar way. You may also be interested in learning how to archive your emails in Microsoft Outlook on your computer.

How to Create a Custom Quick Step in Microsoft Outlook

If you find the default Quick Steps unable to fit your workflow, you can easily create a custom Quick Step. It can be just a simple action, such as deleting or forwarding an email, or a series of actions, such as forwarding an email to a coworker and then moving it into a dedicated folder.

Once set up, you can automate these stringent tasks in just a single click. For this example, we’re going to create a custom Quick Step in Microsoft Outlook that:

  • Moves an email into a different folder
  • Marks the email as unread
  • Forwards the email to a coworker
  • Flags the email as important

Here’s how we’ll set it up:

  1. Select the Create New option from the Quick Steps tab group under Home.
  2. Give your Quick Step a name under the Name field (we’ll name it Demo).
  3. From the dropdown under the Actions section, first, select Move to folder and will choose the destination folder.
  4. Click the Add Action button and select Mark as unread.
  5. Once again, click Add Action to set up email forwarding and choose Forward.
  6. In the To… field, enter the email address to which you want to forward the email, or select one from your address book.
  7. Finally, we’ll click on Add Action to include the flag status.
  8. Optionally, you can also set up a Shortcut key from the dropdown.
  9. Once you’re ready, click on Finish.
  10. You can use your custom Quick Step from the Quick Steps section or the configured shortcut key.

Microsoft Outlook Is as Productive as Ever

Quick Steps in Microsoft Outlook are a testament to Outlook’s reputation as a professional email client that makes routine work easy. If you’re ever thinking of switching from Microsoft Outlook, you may be pleasantly surprised by the features of other email clients.

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