Using Outlook for Maximum Efficiency

I love Outlook! Ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic but it really helps me stay on top of things. I put everything in my schedule. I add reminders for appointments, trainings, meetings or what have you. The account is on my Android so my alerts pop up there as well. Teachers usually work off of lesson plans and that’s ok, but if you really want to see where you spend your time use Outlook.

Getting setup with Outlook outlook:

Prior to or right when school starts you can create your calendar and add campus dates for the year, testing schedules etc. For your daily instruction I would just type in the subject at the time you plan to teach it. Your lesson plans will have the details. If you need to remember to bring a book for a lesson put that as a reminder in your calendar.

Sunday night add all of your weeks activities, assemblies, field trips, etc. in your Outlook calendar. Keep track of all last minute meetings, etc by adding them as they happen. That quick meeting with your principal, write that in with a note within a day of the meeting so you don’t forget.

Scheduling-Assistant-1

Print out a weekly and a monthly copy to have at your fingertips. Once a month print out your calendar to see if there are any areas to tweak for more time. This would be a good thing to do with your campus instructional coach. Or you can go to University of Oregon: How to use Scheduling Assistant to go step by step.

Templates:

Use email templates so you never write the same email twice. For those emails you send often, such as requests for information or reminders of due library books, field trip forms, Scholastic Book Orders, etc.

Here’s how:

My Templates

Use the My Templates add-in to quickly insert pre-loaded text into an email.

Use the My Templates add-in

  1. Select New in the top navigation bar to start writing a new email message.
  2. Type the recipient and subject in their respective fields.
  3. Your installed add-ins are located below the message body. Click the My Templates icon. If you have lots of add-ins, you may need to click the drop-down arrow to access My Templates.

    Screenshot of the lower area of an email message, below the body area, with the cursor pointing to the My Templates icon at the far right.

  4. Choose the My Templates add-in to display your templates.

    Select the My Templates add-in

    NOTE: The pre-installed add-ins you have may vary based on locale and subscription.

  5. Three templates are available in My Templatesby default. Select one to insert specific text into the body of your message. For example, if you select I’ll reply later, the message “Heading to a meeting. I’ll get back to you soon.” will be included in the email message you’re writing.

    Screenshot of My Templates 3 default templates: "I'll reply later" with text "Heading to a meeting. I'll get back to you soon.";  "I'm running late" with text "I'm running late," and "Lunch?" with text "Do you want to meet for lunch?"

  6. To edit the text in a template, select Edit Edit , add or modify text as needed, and then select Save.
Add a template to the My Templates add-in

  1. Select +Template.

    Choose from one of the available templates

  2. Type a title for the template and the text you want to have inserted in your email, and then select Save.

    Screenshot of the My Templates panel of Outlook on the web during creation of a new template. Example text for the template name is "Please review", and example text for message is "Could you review the attached materials, and email me your comments?"

  3. The new template now appears as part of the My Templates list.

    Screenshot of My Templates  3 default templates, which are: "I'll reply later", "I'm running late",  and "Lunch?" and the "Please review" template added by the user.

Delete a template from the My Templates add-in

  • Select the Trash icon next to the template you want to delete. The template is deleted immediately, and there is no undo option.

Bing Maps

Bing Maps is a contextual add-in, which means that it automatically activates based on text in a message or calendar event. For example, if there is an address in an email message, you can select it to access a map of the location via the Bing Maps add-in.

Screenshot of an email message with text about a meeting and the meeting address is underlined to indicate that it can be selected to view in Bing Maps.Bing Map

Use the Bing Maps add-in

  • Create and send an email message with a street address, city, state, and zip code in the body of the message. If the recipient opens the message in Outlook on the web, they should be able to select the address to open a map of the address location.

Suggested Meetings

Suggested Meetings is another contextual add-in. When you use the Suggested Meetings add-in, if there is a time and date in the body of an email message, you can select it to open the Suggested Meetings card and then schedule the event in your Outlook on the web calendar.

Screenshot of an email message with text about a meeting and the Suggested Meetings card with the meeting details and options to schedule the event and edit its details.

Use the Suggested Meetings add-in

  • Create and send an email message with at least a date and time in the body. If the recipient opens the message in Outlook on the web, they should be able to select the text to open a map of the address.

Action Items

IMPORTANT: The Action Items add-in is only available to Outlook on the web for business. If you use your Microsoft account to sign in to the service, you will not see this feature.

Action Items is another contextual add-in. Using the Action Items add-in, if the body of the email message includes a task suggestion or other text that indicates an action should be taken, the recipient will see Action Items on the add-in bar.

Screenshot of the Action Items card with title of "We think we've found an action item", text in the message body, and a flag for follow up.

Use the Action Items add-in (for Office 365 for business users only)

  • Create and send an email message with text that indicates an action should be taken in the body of the message. If the recipient opens the message in Outlook on the web, they will see Action Items on the add-in bar. Selecting Follow Up flags the item and adds it to the recipient’sTasks list. To learn about working with Tasks, see Using Tasks in Outlook on the web.

Manage add-ins

You can manage the add-ins that are available to you by selecting Settings Settings icon , and then Manage add-ins.

Choose Manage add-ins from the Settings menu

  • Choose My add-ins to see the list of add-ins you have available for use.
  • Use the sliders to turn an add-in on or off.
  • You can also search for an add-in to enable using the Search box.

 

Not Enough? So much more for teachers…see link below.

Go to Microsoft Outlook for Education   and explore lesson plans, templates, class newsletters…

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