Oct 14, 2014
I was speaking with a Learning Solutions Advisor, Sean, at New Horizons about being able to efficiently respond to his clients through email. While discussing, I came up with 3 easy ways to send a standard email very quickly in Outlook.
1. Use a “Quick Step”
A Quick Step is a way to short cut an action you commonly perform in Outlook. Once you’ve set it up, you can then use a single click (or keyboard short cut) to perform that particular action.
To set up a Quick Step, go to the ‘Home’ tab of Outlook, click on the drop-down of the ‘Quick Steps’
group and choose New Quick Step
and then Custom.
This is where you can set up the action or actions you want the Quick Step to perform.
Give the Quick Step a name and then click the ‘Choose an Action’
drop-down and choose Reply
, Reply All
, or Forward
depending on what type of email response you want to use. Click on the Show Options
Fill in the body of the email with your message and any other fields such as CC or BCC, then click on Finish
Note: I personally wouldn’t tick the ‘Automatically send after 1 minute delay’
tick box, because I might need more time than that to adjust the email.
Now, you can click on an email and then click on your Quick Step to quickly reply the email with your standard text in it.
While Sean thought this would be quick to use, he noticed that the Quick Step couldn’t have text formatting in it. (Sean is a hard bloke to please.)
2. Use a signature
Normally, a signature is a pre-set piece of text at the bottom of an email. However, a signature can be as big a piece of text as you need, even a whole email message!
While in an email, click on the ‘Signature’
button and choose ‘Signatures,’
then click on the ‘New’
button. Give the new signature a name and then fill out the bottom of the menu with the text of your email. If you already have the text prepared, copy and paste it in. Click on Save
and then OK
Now, whenever you want to reply or send a new message with that text, simply insert it as a ‘signature’ in the email.
Sean liked this one because he could use it both as a reply or as part of a new email, but he did notice that while you can do some formatting (bold, italics, etc.), it is tricky to put in tables or other fancy formatting as part of a signature. Signatures are usually stored on the local hard disk of your machine as rich text files, so you could go and edit them and add extra formatting. However, if you move to a new computer you would want to send a copy of your signatures to yourself first.
3. Use a folder of Outlook Items
Sending basically the same email repeatedly can be done easily using this little trick. When you create an email, you can always close the email before you send it and save it. The saved unsent email goes into the ‘Drafts’ folder.
The only problem is that when you open the email from the Drafts folder and send it, the draft email is removed from the Drafts folder. If it wasn’t, then we could simply open up a copy of that email item, fill in any extra details, then click on ‘Send’
, and be able to do this repeatedly, leaving the original in the Drafts folder for later use.
The trick is this: select the email and copy it
(Ctrl+C on your keyboard). The email gets removed from the Drafts folder of Outlook, but not from a normal folder (like the Documents folder) on your computer.
So if you go to your local disk (or a network drive) using Windows Explorer and then create your own folder, maybe calling it ‘Standard Email Responses,’ then you can paste the email item into the folder.
Now when you simply double click on one of these .msg files, you can fill in the details, such as the people you are sending it to. When you click on Send, the email is not removed from that folder, making it easy to reuse.
Sean liked that one the best because he could use all the formatting he would normally use in an email.
So there you go, three different ways to quickly send a standard email letter out.