Setting up Quick Steps in Outlook

Step To SuccessThe Quick Steps feature of Outlook 2010 enables you to efficiently manage email by applying multiple actions to messages.

Email remains a vital communication tool in most organizations, so managing email effectively is critical to both collaboration and productivity. Although the email clients on Apple iOS devices have surged in popularity, now garnering more than 35 percent of the market according to Campaign Monitor, Microsoft Outlook remains a major contender. Together, Microsoft Outlook desktop clients and Outlook.com more than 33 percent of the market.

With Outlook 2010, Microsoft introduced a new feature called Quick Steps. This handy tool enables you to quickly manage your inbox by applying multiple actions to an email message. For example, if you always forward certain types of messages to your manager, or automatically move or delete certain types of messages, you can set up a Quick Step to perform those tasks with one click.

Outlook 2010 includes five default Quick Steps:

“To Manager”: Forwards the message to your manager

“Team Email”: Forwards the message to others in your team

“Done”: Marks the selected message as complete and read, and moves it to a specified folder

“Reply and Delete”: Opens a reply to the selected message then deletes the original message

“Create New”: Creates a new Quick Step

You will find these Quick Steps in Mail, on the Home tab in the Quick Steps group in the Quick Steps gallery. The first time you use one of these Quick Steps, Outlook will ask you to configure it. For example, to move a selected message to a particular folder, you will have to specify that folder.

To create a new Quick Step, follow these steps:

  1. Click on Create New in the Quick Steps gallery.
  2. In the Name box, enter a Name for the Quick Step.
  3. Choose an action type from the dropdown menu. Click Add Action and choose additional action(s) as needed.
  4. If desired, select a shortcut for the Quick Step. The shortcut is a series of keys you will press to apply the Quick Step to a message.
  5. If desired, enter Tooltip text. This text will appear when you hover over the Quick Step in the gallery.
  6. When done, click Finish.

To configure our change an existing Quick Step:

  1. In the Quick Steps group, click the “More” arrow at the lower right of the Quick Steps box to open the Manage Quick Steps dialog box.
  2. Select the Quick Step you want to modify and click Edit.
  3. Change or add the Actions you want the Quick Step to do. You can also change the name, add or remove a shortcut, and change the Tooltip text.
  4. When done, click Finish.

The Manage Quick Steps dialog box allows you to perform other tasks, such as duplicating or deleting a Quick Step. You can also create a new Quick Step in this dialog box — click on the New dropdown menu and select one of the presets or “Custom” to create your own Quick Step. The Reset to Defaults button enables you to restore all Quick Steps to the preconfigured settings.