According to research, the average person spends 28 percent of their work week on email, that’s more than 11 hours per week. Most of us use Microsoft Outlook as our work email client, but how many of us are using all its time-saving features? With so much of our productivity being dependent on how we manage our emails, here are a few Outlook hacks you should know about:

Connect Zoom to your Outlook account

As more people are now working remotely, video conferencing has become an essential tool of communication. You have most likely heard of or are using Zoom, a popular video-conferencing program. Using video, phone and text messaging, Zoom users can conduct virtual meetings and webinars from multiple locations and time-zones. If you use Outlook to organise Zoom meetings on a frequent basis, you can save time and make your life easier by integrating the two programs. It only takes a few simple steps:

  1. Download the Zoom add-on from the Microsoft app store. This is available for free, you simply need to click on the “Get it now” button to start the automatic download.
  2. Once the Zoom add-on has been downloaded, a pop-up will appear, enter your Outlook account information and then click “Sign in”.
  3. The terms and conditions will appear, click “Continue”.
  4. Your Outlook email client will open in your internet browser. Click “Install”.
  5. Then you’ll see instructions explaining how to use the add-on. Click “OK”.

You’ve now successfully installed the Zoom add-on for your Outlook account. Now you can use it to simplify how you schedule meetings in Outlook.

Export contacts from Outlook

No matter what device or program you’re using, it’s always wise to back up your data. This is especially important when it comes to your Outlook contacts list. Imagine losing all those contact details that are such a key part of your business. Fortunately, it only takes a few clicks to create a backup file for your contact data in Outlook:

  1. Open Outlook and click the “File” tab at the top-left of the screen, then click “Open & Export” near the top of the left menu on the next screen.
  2. Click “Import/Export” on the next screen, then select “Export to a file” in the popup window.
  3. On the next window, select “Export to a file”, then click “Next.”
  4. Select “Comma Separated Values” (CSV).
  5. If you have multiple Outlook-linked accounts, choose the account you want to export contacts for. Select “Contacts” under and then click “Next”.
  6. Name the file you’ll create to backup contacts and choose the location you want to save it to, which should usually be the desktop, then click “OK.”
  7. Click “Finish” then “OK”.

Outlook will save your contacts as a .csv file. This file can be opened in several different programs including Excel, Sharepoint, Google Sheets, and more.

Schedule an email in Outlook

Although you’d usually want to send an email as quickly as possible, there are times when you’d want it to be delivered at a specific time. For example, you may be writing a work-related email in the evening and want to appear in your recipient’s inbox the next morning. Here’s how to use the “Delay Delivery” feature to set a specific time for an email to be sent in Outlook:

For PC users

  1. Open Outlook and create a new email message as you normally would – but don’t send it.
  2. At the top of the email message window, click “Options” to switch to the Options ribbon.
  3. In the Options ribbon, click “Delay Delivery.”
  4. Make sure there’s a ticked checkbox next to “Do not deliver before” and specify the date and time that you want the email to be sent. When you’re done, click “Close.”
  5. Click “Send” to send the email message as you usually would.

For Mac users

  1. Open Outlook and write an email as you usually would, but don’t send it.
  2. Next to the send icon in the top-left, there will be a small arrow pointing downwards. Click it, and then select “Send Later.”
  3. Enter the time and date that you want the email to be sent at.
  4. Click the send icon. Your message will stay in your Drafts folder until the specified date and time hit, at which point it will be sent.

Your Outlook email will then stay in your Outbox and not be sent until the specified send time. As a powerful business email platform, Outlook is designed to help you work smarter. You can learn how to make the most of powerful features from Microsoft programs in future blog articles. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, so you get our latest tech tips sent straight to your inbox.