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Last week we announced that Outlook.com has over 25 million active users. This got me thinking about how much easier Outlook.com makes it for me to manage my email – so much in fact that I kind-of-sort-of love email again. I get a lot of information from email still – whether it’s from newsletters about new products from Best Buy (I’m a Rewards Zone member) or shipping confirmations of products I’ve ordered online (I’ve got a Hoverboard replica from Back To The Future on the way now!). I also use email to communicate with my dad and other family members. But when it comes down to it – it is super important to be able to manage the email I get. And Outlook.com does a great job with that so I thought I’d run through how I’m using Outlook.com to manage my email.
This is a new feature in Outlook.com rolling out now and is designed to make it super easy to archive email into whatever folder you want or have Outlook.com create an Archive folder for you. All you need to do is click on any message and then click the “Archive” button at the top (alternatively you can right-click on a message and choose “Archive” too). I like a clean inbox so whenever I receive an email I want to keep, I just archive it! Way better than having to manually drag-and-drop an email into a folder.
For emails that need immediate attention or follow-up, instead of archiving all I do is flag these emails and they stay at the top of my inbox where they are the first thing I see whenever I visit Outlook.com.
Outlook.com has the ability for you to create aliases. These are separate email addresses from the main email address you use for Outlook.com (your Microsoft account). For example – you can create an email address that is used specifically for online purchasing, another for all your social media websites, and another for bills and finances. This is what I do. This can be incredibly helpful in managing “traffic flow” of email especially with rules…
Above I mentioned creating aliases for managing email “traffic flow”. With rules in Outlook.com, whenever email is sent to any one of your aliases – you can have it automatically moved into specific folders. Essentially, you can use rules to automatically sort your email as it comes through.
I’ve configured messages rules for emails I receive from Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to go into a “Social” folder to help me keep track of all my social media stuff.
Sweep (Schedule Cleanup)
As I mentioned above, I like to keep my inbox clean. To help manage this and keep it clean, I schedule “cleanups” where my inbox gets “sweeped” based on specific messages.
I can have specific emails from certain people moved or deleted older than 10 days.
I share a lot of files and photos with my dad and do this via email. Outlook.com integrates with SkyDrive so when I send files and photos, I don’t worry about attachment size limits.
Here are a few other tips and tricks for Outlook.com that might be of interest to you:
By clicking the little gadget icon next to your name at the top right, you can customize Outlook.com by picking a color theme of your choice, turning off the reading pane (or having it appear on the bottom versus right of your screen). You can also go into more mail settings here too…
Turn on/off conversation threading
Some people like conversation threading. Others don’t. You can turn this off or on in your mail settings. I prefer having conversation threading on.
And one final tip: if you’re really into having keyboard shortcuts, if you press the “?” key on your keyboard in Outlook.com, you’ll get a list of keyboard shortcuts, including the same shortcuts used in Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.
If you haven’t already, I definitely recommend giving Outlook.com a try today!
Brandon LeBlanc, Thanks for the heads-up 8-)
Please consider the following suggestion in your ongoing efforts:
Using IE10 on Windows 7 and Windows 8 desktop, when we create a New email it loads the Silverlight component to attach files. If Silverlight is not present, it uses the HTML5 multi file upload as a fallback.
It should be other way around. The feature detection should first test if HTML5 multiple file upload is not supported then loads Silverlight:
if ( window.FormData === undefined )
// native HTML5 form
// load Silverlight
When we search something, the system doesn't show result count
Screenshot - Regular Search (wkpqja.bay.livefilestore.com/.../result_count.PNG)
Also, when we go to the advanced search, the To and From fields don't show auto-suggestions as we type contact name or email address.
Screenshot - Advanced Search wupqja.bay.livefilestore.com/.../advanced_search.PNG
Kindly incorporate these features to improve the UI.
if ( window.FormData !== undefined ) // native HTML5 multi-file upload is supported.
I'm in love with Outlook.com, great job guys.
However, when one of the main outstanding features of Outlook.com is its awesome design, it becomes a bit annoying when there are some design inconsistencies across different browsers. As a Web designer myself, I know this can be tricky sometimes.
The only thing however which annoys me is that those custom scrollbars (Windows 8-style) only show up when using Google Chrome. In Firefox (and also IE9!), the regular scrollbars appear (based on your OS, of course). I am using Windows 7 currently.
I've tried to provide feedback from within Outlook.com many times, but the "Feedback Form" just never loads for me; always saying "there was an error, please try again". You can look into that as well.
I've been using Outlook.com now more frequently than ever before. Would love to see a feature that allows us to insert inline images instead of just attachments.
Earl Migriño, nice suggestion! You can edit the HTML of the message (or edit in HTML editor) with inline styling etc. Outlook > New > Options > Edit in HTML.
I have observed few things:
Outlook offers multiple files upload and drag drop support. I disabled Silverlight and enjoying the full HTML5 Outlook on Windows 7 using IE10. Select multiple files and drag-drop on email. it will upload it in a very intuitive manner.
However, on same IE10, if you compose message in GMAIL, it will allow you to drag drop files in compose but it doesn't work! OTOH Outlook works on other browsers perfectly fine! Not to mention GMAIL is using browser sniffing too (tested with Compact inspector using Fiddler2).
Please provide multi-window support. I would like to open an email in a separate window of its own. Sometimes, this is required when you are composing a new email and would like to have two windows, one where you compose new email, and one where you view existing email.
I was impressed by Sweep feature, but after having tried Gmail's "Filter messages like this" I find that is more friendlier and feature-rich.
I like how hotmail.com has transformed into outlook.com. But you guys really need to innovate at the speed of Gmail or faster. Use gmail for a few days and see how so many things are much more intuitive and pleasure to use. Look at how fast they are innovating.
@Karun Biyani, click "sweep" then "manage rules", you will get lot more than what Gmail has to offer.
@abm, yes the search results count is missing and its a real pain. If they are using CAML, then there is a very thin chance of getting this.
Don't get me wrong. Like you I also wonder "how many minutes would it take for a developer, working at Microsoft, to write a count query and deploy in Hotmail/Outlook code!"
I like outlook.com but there are many flaws especially in the contacts, if you use only Outlook.com contacts you can not add Pictures to your contacts. the Synchronisation with Outlook2010 is not working like a charm, to much preferences for a usual user. and again the contacts not synchronising well. with the contacts app in Windows 8 still the same. so if you add Google contacts to synchronising you have Pictures in your contacts but some Trouble to Keep all clean without double entrys. even when contacts linked together the conatcts in Windows 8 will Show up double entrys.
I hope that this Synchronisation mess will be fixed soon. i bought a lumia 920 and Windows 8 but the Synchronisation is not what i was expecting. seems like Windows phone 8 and Windows 8 are not from the same Company. even android works better with Windows 8 as Windows phone 8 does
Outlook.com as a website is great, but the mail app in Windows 8 is horrible. It's frustrating to have to continually swipe up the app bar so I can see those options to synchronize and mark unread. I actually would prefer an option to have the app bar always present. That's it - the option.