12 Gifts from Kiefer to you!

The holiday season is upon us! As we find ourselves rushing around, it becomes clear that the greatest gift anyone could possibly give us would be the gift of “time”. In this blog, Kiefer Consulting share 12 of their favorite Office 365 tips and tricks. These little-known features and capabilities of Microsoft Office 365 will save you time and help you be more productive.

Gift 1: The joy of dragging and dropping – Save time in Outlook

By dragging and dropping in Outlook, you can both save time and reduce errors. I’ve learned that there are a number of drag and drop actions in Outlook. I’ve learned some of these tricks by watching my colleagues in Outlook. I’ve also had my co-workers laugh hysterically when I go through 3 or 4 steps to schedule a meeting when it could be done in 1. It’s a miracle that I haven’t had the mouse stripped from my hand on more than one occasion. Here are just a few tips that can save you time in Outlook.

Drag and drop an e-mail to the contact icon to create a new contact

Drag and drop the email onto the bottom left “Contacts” symbol on the Navigation bar.  Outlook will grab contact information and will create a new contact with the email address and name automatically entered.

Outlook icons - Closeup

Drag and drop an e-mail to the calendar icon to schedule an appointment

Drag and drop the email onto the “Calendar” icon and an appointment will be created. Information from the e-mail is added to the appointment so you don’t have to re-type details that might be relevant.

And yes, you can drag and drop an e-mail onto the “Tasks” or “Notes” to create a new task or note.

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Gift 2: Outlook shortcuts you can use everyday

The pros use shortcuts… and so can you!

Type less and use more shortcuts. Here are a few that are easy to remember and ones that you can use every day! They all use the “Ctrl” key. 

Reply to an email:  Ctrl + R
To create a new email:  Ctrl + Shift + M
To open your email:  Ctrl + 1
To open your calendar:  Ctrl + 2
To open your contacts:  Ctrl + 3
To open your tasks:  Ctrl + 4

Print out this blog and use it as a cheat sheet. In no time, you’ll be switching between windows in Outlook using only shortcuts.

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Gift 3: Sending links instead of files

Every day at Kiefer, I’m surrounded by Office 365 experts. And, they work differently than any other team that I have worked with. The thing I learned when I got to Kiefer is that NOBODY sends attachments. EVERYONE sends links.

If you haven’t started using Office 365’s cloud storage and are not sharing links instead of attachments, you should. With documents in the cloud, you can share documents for co-authoring.

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By uploading documents to Office 365’s cloud storage, you can simply send designated recipients a link to the file. Outlook will allow email recipients to edit, add comments, or make changes the document you have shared. You can always change permissions on shared documents.

Gift 4: The IGNORE feature in Outlook

The dreaded reply-all conversation. You already know that you have been assigned potato salad for the holiday potluck, but you’ve now received 8 more e-mails that cover what everyone else is signed up to bring. It’s easy to get stuck in the noise of a “reply all” e-mail conversation. The most productive folks are using the Ignore feature in Outlook to automatically move undesired or irrelevant messages to the trash.

A closeup of the menu in Outlook with the Ignore button

It’s easy to enable the Ignore feature. Simply open the respective message stream, click ‘Home’, and choose ‘Ignore’ in the Delete group. If you decide that you’d like to rejoin the conversation, all you have to do is click the ‘Stop ignoring’ button to opt in.

Gift 5: The laser pointer in Powerpoint

​We love shortcuts… and this shortcut will bring you to the nifty laser pointer tool in PowerPoint. Just use (Ctrl + P) shortcut and your mouse can be used as a laser pointer during your PowerPoint presentations.

You can also use these “presenter mode” commands while using this feature.

Start a presentation from the beginning.               F5

Start a presentation from the current slide.           Shift+F5

Show the Presenter View.                                      Alt+F5 or Alt+S, B

Gift 6: Using rules in Outlook

Taming the inbox is something that the most productive people do. With inboxes spilling over, you have to prioritize! If you not established rules for incoming e-mail, you should. One of our consultants, Scott Roberts, uses conditional formatting to filter messages that he is CC’d on. He has customized his inbox to have CC e-mails display in a different font color. It allows him quickly look at his inbox and distinguish between communication that is meant specifically for him and e-mails that have been sent to him as an FYI. To format incoming e-mail to display in a certain way, follow these steps.

Outlook – View – View Settings – Conditional Formatting

Image of a conditional formatting dialog box in Outlook

You can create more specific rules to automate actions in Outlook. If the message meets certain criteria, Outlook will manage e-mail based on the rules you set. For example, if you get an e-mail from a vendor, you can set the rule to drop the e-mail in a specific folder. Our pals at Windows Central have a great how-to… Here it is. https://www.windowscentral.com/how-manage-rules-outlook-and-take-back-your-inbox

Gift 7: Transfer a Skype for Business call to your mobile

​If you sat through our Office 365 hacks webinar earlier this year, we shared this tip. It’s probably still one of our favorites. This tip will allow you to transfer a Skype for Business call directly to your cell phone. This feature is ideal for anyone that has ever found themselves stuck in a meeting that is running long and they don’t want to drop from the call… but they have to. 

For this to work, you must add your mobile number to your Skype for Business account. Simply go to the Settings > Phone and add your number into the mobile number field. Now, whenever you want to drop from the S4B call and pick it up on your mobile, press the # key and Transfer the call to your mobile number. You don’t even have to have the Skype for Business app installed on your mobile to do it.

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Gift 8: Using DocuSign in Office 365 – Improve workflow with digital signatures

The acceptance of digital signatures is common practice and now is the right time to integrate DocuSign with your Office 365 instance. DocuSign drives efficiency by making sign-offs possible anywhere and anytime. You can electronically sign a document at your desktop or on a mobile device. What is very interesting to me, is that nearly half of DocuSign transactions are completed within an hour! One hour! 

With this kind of workflow efficiency, it’s easy to see how DocuSign can speed up a signature dependent business process.

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Once added by an administrator, you’ll see the DocuSign option in all emails that include attachments in Outlook. You are able to drag and drop your signature and any other desired information (i.e. name, date, company, etc.). You can also send attachments that require signatures in Outlook.

Gift 9: Next level “Copy and Paste”

Have you ever had to take key information from one document and repurpose the content into another? It’s usually addressed by CTRL+C, go into the other document and CTRL+V. It works. But, depending upon how much you have to go back and forth to get, it might be an annoyance to have to keep going back to the original document and copy snippets one at a time.

Select the text that you would like to move to your clipboard and then hit COMMAND + FN + F3 (or CTRL + F3 on PC). The text will disappear and be added to the snippet clipboard.

If you don’t want to delete the content from the document, you can immediately hit COMMAND + Z (or CTRL +Z on PC) and restore the text. The content you copied to the snippet clipboard will stay there.
You can continue copying what you’d like to add to the snippet clipboard by using the COMMAND + FN + F3 shortcut. It’s capturing everything you clip.

When you’re ready to paste all of the content you added to the snippet clipboard, just hit COMMAND + SHIFT + FN + F3 (or CTRL + SHIFT + F3 on PC). This will paste everything you saved to the snippet clipboard. 

Gift 10: A faster and easier way to attach files in Office 365

In Office 365 applications, you can use the “Share+” function. Office 365 will provide you with a shareable link that can be sent to your fellow collaborators. You choose who has access to the file and what they can do with it (read-only or edit). Additionally, you can set permissions and designate whether or not the file is private or can be shared with other people.

The most significant benefit of Share+ is that all collaborators are looking at the same file. At one time, it was common practice to send one attachment out to multiple people and then aggregate all the changes that that were suggested. It was time-consuming and it typically resulted in many changes never being captured.

This feature is a real game-changer.

If your organization is making the move to Office 365 and are interested in learning more about how to get the most out of it, please reach out. We are here to help!

Gifts 11 and 12 were exclusive to our LinkedIn followers. Follow us for great tips and tricks like these!

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