This article will explain various email efficiencies you can build into Outlook 2016.

To use these efficiencies, you will need Outlook 2016 on your computer.  Note: you would need to set each of these up on each instance of Outlook 2016.  For example, if you get these set up on one computer, they will not show up on another computer unless you set them up there as well.

Set up Outlook 2016

  1. In your Windows Search bar, at the bottom of Windows, search for. 
  2. Select the Outlook 2016 program from the search. 
  3. Follow the set up wizard.  At some point, you will be asked to log in (this often pops up behind the open windows).  When you put in your credentials, check the box that says “remember my credentials”.
  4. Continue with the set up wizard after you log in.
  5. Outlook 2016 will open up and begin to load your inbox and folders.
  6. Suggestion: pin Outlook 2016 to your task bar.  Right click the Outlook icon at the bottom of windows and select “Pin to Taskbar”.  This will allow for easy access to Outlook 2016 from the taskbar at the bottom of windows.  This can be done with almost any program on your taskbar. 

Conditional Formatting

If you would like to customize the color of unread messages, or the font from a specific sender, etc. then Conditional Formatting is for you!  Note: this formatting will only work in the specific folder you are in when you set it up (inbox, other folders).  So, it would need to be set up in all the folders you want it to apply in.

To set up Conditional Formatting:

  1. Click on the View tab.  Then click on View Settings. 
  2. Choose Conditional Formatting in the pop up window. 
  3. Here, you can either edit the pre-set formats, or create your own.  So:
    • Choose one of the rules listed OR,
    • Click the Add button on the right. 
  4. At the bottom of the window, you will see the formatting settings.  If you chose to Add one, start by entering the name of the rule.
  5. Click the Font button. 
  6. Customize what you would like the font to be: font, font style, size, effects, and script. 
  7. Click OK
  8. Back on the main pop up screen, you can move to the condition only if you are adding a new rule.  If you are altering a pre-set rule, you cannot alter the conditions.  So, click on the Condition button
  9. Enter the conditions for when you want the rule to apply.  This can be when:
    • Specific words show up in the subject or message body (new registration emails for example)
    • Sent from or to specific people (sent from Carol for example, or
    • And more… (see the More Choices and Advanced tab) 
  10. Click OK.
  11. On the main pop up window, click OK when done and your changes will be applied: 

Set up Rules to Organize your Inbox

Rules are things that can help automatically move emails to folders for you to check later.  A good rule to have is any emails from your online course (assignment submissions, etc) can get moved to an “Assignments to Mark” folder (you name it whatever you want).  That way, you can easily find all of your online course submissions instead of wade through the rest of your emails to find them.

  1. Create the folder you would like to move the emails to – this is with the specific rule of moving emails to a folder automatically.  If you don’t want to create this rule, move on to Step 2.  To do this:
    • Right click in the folder navigation pane on the parent folder you would like the new folder to exist in (inbox for example). 
    • A new folder will be created and Outlook 2016 will be waiting for you to name it. 
    • Enter the name of the folder.
  2. In the Home Tab, click on Rules, then Manage Rules (you could also jump right create new rule, but I don’t like the user interface… your call!) 
  3. Click on the New Rule button at the top of the pop up window. 
  4. In the next pop up, you will begin customizing the rule.  For example, select Apply the rule on messages I receive. 
  5. Click the next button.  You will now begin customizing the rule based on the conditions, actions, and exceptions you want.
  6. On this page, select your conditions.  For example, choose from people or public group and/or with specific words in the subject.
  7. Now look to the bottom and start by clicking on the blue links.  For example, click on the people or public group link: 
  8. With any of the blue links above, you will need to customize what you want.  In the case of moving notifications from your online course, I would suggest adding the email noreply@saskDLCca in the From box.

Other suggestions for this example would be to add phrases in the specific words in the subject option like: “has completed” or “has updated their submission”.  Basically, take a look at the emails you get for submission notifications and put in phrases you see in the subject line.

If you wanted to create a rule for the registration emails you get, you could create a rule for emails from Carol Lewis and add a condition in Step 6 for specific words in the body.  In this step, you can include the specific words “you have a new enrollment”.

  1. Click Next.
  2. Now you will be choosing your action.  So, choose something like move it to the specified folder.  There are lots of great functions in this step:  
  3. Now look to the bottom and click on any blue links you see, like specified folder – you would choose the folder you created.  becomes:
  4. Click Next
  5. Check any exceptions you might like in the rule and click on any blue links to define the exceptions.
  6. Click Next
  7. Follow the steps on this page (name the rule, ensure the rule is turned on, and if you want check the box next to “run this rule now on messages…” which will scan all of your emails and apply the rule you just created.
  8. Click Finish.  If you ever want to turn this rule off, just un-check the rule in the list of rules.

Quick Steps

Quick Steps apply multiple actions at the same time to email messages. This helps you quickly manage your mailbox. For example, if you frequently move messages to a specific folder, you can use a Quick Step to move the message in one click. Or, if you forward messages to your colleagues, a one-click Quick Step can simplify the task.

The Quick Steps included with Microsoft Outlook 2016 can be customized. You can also create your own to make a Quick Steps gallery of mail actions that you take most often.

Default Quick Steps

You can customize any of the default Quick Steps. When you use some Quick Steps for the first time, you are prompted to configure them. For example, if you want a Quick Step to move messages to a certain folder, you must specify the folder before you can use the Quick Step.

Default Quick Steps in Outlook 2013 include the following:

Quick Step
Move to:
Moves the selected message to a mail folder that you specify and marks the message as read.
To Manager
Forwards the message to your manager. If your organization uses Microsoft Exchange Server, your manager's name is detected in the Global Address List and inserted in the "To" box, or you can specify the recipient.
Team E-mail
Forwards the message to others in your team. If your organization uses Microsoft Exchange Server, your team members names are detected in the Global Address List and inserted in the "To" box.
Moves the message to a specified mail folder, marks the message complete, and then marks it as read.
Reply & Delete
Opens a reply to the selected message, and then deletes the original message.
Create New
Create your own Quick Step to execute any sequence of commands, name it, and then apply an icon to help you identify it.

To configure or change existing Quick Steps, do the following:

  1. In Mail, click Home.
  2. In the Quick Steps group, click the More arrow at the side of the Quick Steps box, and then click Manage Quick Steps.
  3. In the Quick Step box, click the Quick Step that you want to change, and then click Modify.
  4. Under Actions, change or add the actions that you want this Quick Step to do.
  5. If you want, in the Shortcut key box, click a keyboard shortcut that you want to assign to that Quick Step.
  6. If you want to change the icon for a Quick Step, click an icon next to the Name box, click an icon, and then click OK.

Create a Quick Step

  1. In Mail, click Home.
  2. In the Quick Steps group, in the Quick Steps gallery, click the Create New Quick Step.
  3. Click an action type from the list or click Custom.
  4. In the Name box, type a name for the new Quick Step.
  5. Click the icon button next to the Name box, click an icon, and then click OK.
  6. Under Actions, choose an action that you want the Quick Step to do. Click Add Action for any additional actions.
  7. To create a keyboard shortcut, in the Shortcut key box, click the keyboard shortcut that you want to assign.


If an email comes in that includes an action item, or you would like a reminder for the email, you can flag it which automatically turns the email into a task.

  1. Include tasks as part of your Outlook 2016 view.  Click the View Tab, then the To-Do Bar button, then Tasks.  You can also include your calendar in this view. 
  2. On an email, hover over it and you will see the shadow of a flag appear above the time: 
  3. Click the flag.  It will fill in and you will see the email appear in your Task Bar on the right side of Outlook 2016.  By default, the due date of the task is Today.
  4. To change the due date for the task you can right click on a case by case basis, or select a new default by right clicking and selecting Set Quick Click.  
  5. To mark a task as complete, either click the flag again on the email, or click the flag in the task bar.  The flag will convert to a check mark.

Note – there is an in depth task manager at the bottom left of Outlook 2016 

Calendar: Scheduling Assistant

Finding a meeting time for multiple people can be tough!  However, if everyone has their calendar up to date, this can easily be done through Outlook 2016’s scheduling assistant!

  1. Navigate to your calendar using the bottom navigation bar on the left side. 
  2. Create a new Appointment either by clicking the New Appointment button in the top left, or double clicking on the day you want to schedule it: 
  3. Add the people and rooms you would like to include by clicking the Invite Attendees button, then include them in the To: line: 
  4. Add a subject for the meeting.
  5. Click the Scheduling Assistant button.  
  6. The Scheduling Assistant will display all attendees and rooms on the left hind side, and a booking space on the right hand side.  Each colored bar indicates unavailable time while blank cells indicates free time.  You want to find a column (time) that is white for everyone.  A quick indication of when time is free for everyone is the top row.  If there is a cell that is not colored in the top row then that time is free for all attendees.  See below, the time from 12:00pm – 1pm is free for all; however the time from 1pm – 3:30 is not free for at least one person (in this case, multiple at various times). 
  7. To add attendees, add their names to the bottom of the attendees list (use CTRL + K if the name is not recognized -> this does a search of your contacts).  You can also click the add rooms at the bottom if needed.
  8. Click on a cell where everyone is free and drag for the duration of the meeting.  This blue indicator will alter the times for the meeting based on how large it is.  Below, it is 1 hour long, and the times for the meeting matches. 
  9. From here, you can click the send button in the top left of the Scheduling Assistant, or click the appointment button at the top of the window to go back to review. 

If you want to check who accepted or declined a meeting:

  1. Select the Calendar icon in the bottom of the left hand navigation pane.
  2. Double-click the meeting you want to check.
  3. Under the Meeting tab, select the “Tracking” arrow, then View Tracking Status.

Calendar: Adding Calendars

You can add calendars of rooms (or people if they share theirs with you) to see availability. 

  1. Navigate to your calendar using the bottom navigation bar on the left side.  
  2. At the top of the screen, click the Open Calendar button.  Then choose Room List
  3. In the pop up window, select the room(s) you would like to add.  By default, all rooms start with “MR-DLC”.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Their calendars will now display alongside yours.  You can toggle them on and off in the left menu where all of your other calendars are listed.

Search Folders

If you frequently search for the same things, like the registration emails from Carol (from: “carol lewis” body: "view student profile") then you can create a new folder that populates with this search every time you open it.

  1. Click on the Folder Tab, then New Search Folder.  
  2. There are some predetermined options, but you can also create your own.  To create your own, scroll down in the list and select Create a custom Search Folder.
  3. At the bottom of the window you will see a place to specify the criteria.  Click the Choose button.  
  4. Give the search a name.  For example, Registration Emails.  Then click on the Criteria button.
  5. In the pop up window, add your criteria.  For example, see below to continue with our registration email search.  
  6. Click OK.  It will take you back to the previous pop up.  Click OK again.
  7. You should now be back on the New Search Folder pop up.  Click Ok.
  8. The Search Folder can be found near the bottom of all of your other email folders in a folder called Search Folders.  

If you click it, you will get a search based on the criteria of that folder in your inbox.  It will not search other folders.

Drag and Drop to Calendar

You can take any email and quickly turn it into an event on your calendar.

  1. Drag an email down to the calendar icon at the bottom left of Outlook 2016.  You will see a + sign once you hover over the icon.  
  2. The Appoint creation screen will appear with the email in the description of the event.  Customize the appointment as needed.

Quick Parts

If you frequently type the same thing in an email, or include the same graphics, you can save those phrases or combination of phrases as a Quick Part.  Then, start typing and Outlook will recognize that you want to insert this content.  For an even quicker way to do this, but with text only, see Custom Shortcuts.

  1. Type out or create the frequently used phrase, images, or combination.
  2. Highlight it.
  3. Click on the Insert Tab, then Quick Parts, then Save selection to Quick Parts gallery  
  4. Make a brief name, and description (optional).  Browse the other options if you like.  
  5. Click OK.
  6. There are two ways to insert the Quick Part:
  • The next time you start to type the beginning of your new Quick Part, Outlook will recognize it and prompt you to hit enter.  
  • Click the Insert Tab, then the Quick Parts button, and select your Quick Part.  
  1. If you need to edit or delete a quick part, right click the Quick Part as seen in Step 6ii above, and click on Organize and Delete.


If you have a frequent phrase or paragraph that you use in an emails, you can save the phrase as a short cut, and use the short cut to insert the text.

  1. Write the text that you would like to save in an email.
  2. Highlight it and copy it (CTRL + C)
  3. Click the File Tab, then Options.
  4. In the pop up window that appears, click the Spelling and Autocorrect button.  
  5. Then click into the Proofing page, then click on the AutoCorrect Options button.  
  6. In the chart near the bottom of the page, type in your short cut.  For example *A.  The next time you write *A and hit the space bar, *A will be replaced by your phrase.  
  7. Click the Add Button
  8. Click OK.
  9. Give it a try!