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How to save time crafting the perfect email in Microsoft Outlook

William Palfrey
May 31, 2019, Post a comment

"So, what do you do when you need to send the same emails every week?"

That was a question I asked our HR Manager, in a recent meeting.

The response?

"I scroll through my sent folder for the previous email and copy and paste the message into a new email…"

Tell me, does this sound familiar to you?

If not, the chances are you’ll have someone in your organisation who is regularly dipping into their sent items in search of a well-versed paragraph to copy and paste.

We’ve all done it. Maybe it’s directions to your office, responses to your job advertisement, a simple thank you or even a post-networking event follow-up message.

But what if you didn’t have to waste time scrolling, searching and looking at your calendar to work out when you last sent “that email”?

What if you could instantly access a gallery of your regular email messages with a couple of swift clicks?

Well, you can.

Microsoft Outlook allows you to create a library of email templates and reusable text blocks that you can use to easily craft a perfect email, without having to waste time hunting around in your sent items. And here’s precisely how you can do it.

How to create an email template in Microsoft Outlook 2016

 

    1. Open Outlook, select the Home tab and click on New Email. Alternatively - and for extra efficiency points - you can use the keyboard shortcut: CTRL+N.
    2. Enter the content of your email message, include any images, links and attachments that you would typically include with your message. NOTE: If you often CC or BCC the contents of your email to the same user, you can also add their email addresses to the relevant fields.
    3. In your message window click the File tab and select Save As
    4. Within the Save As box click on the Save As Type dropdown list to select Outlook Template
    5. Give your email template a name in the File name field and hit Save.

And that’s it. You just created an email template that you can reuse in an instant. And here’s how:

How to send an email template in Microsoft Outlook 2016 

 

    1. Select the Home tab, Click on New Items, scroll down to More Items and click Choose Form…
    2. Within the Choose Form box, click on the Look in: dropdown list to select User Templates in File System. You’ll notice the window will update to display your email templates.
    3. Select your email template and then click Open.
    4. Your email template will open, giving you the opportunity to make any amendments to the recipients, message and attachments.
    5. Click send.

Pretty simple right? So, the next time you need to fire off another one of “those emails”, you’ll have a template at your fingertips ready for whenever you need it.

But what if you want to quickly and simply insert a piece of content into your current email without having to use a template or dig around for a version that you can copy? (Think: directions to your office, helpful web links, FAQ's, or your opening hours)

Well, with a reusable block of text called a ‘Quick Part’, you can.

Think of Quick Parts as a preassembled block of content that you can quickly and easily insert into your email. Better yet, ‘Quick Parts’ aren’t limited to just text. They can include images and tables too. And will even keep the formatting in place. Read on to learn more.

How to create Quick Parts in Outlook 2016

 

    1. Open a new email (Keyboard shortcut: CTRL+N)
    2. Enter and format your content in the body of your email. Remember, this can include text, images, and tables too.
    3. Click and drag to select your content. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+A to top up your productivity points.
    4. Navigate to the Insert tab at the top of the window
    5. Click on Quick Parts (located within the ‘Text’ group - towards the right side of the ribbon)
    6. Select Save Selection to Quick Parts Gallery
    7. This will open up the Create New Building Block window where you can enter the details of your Quick Part
    8. Click on OK to save your Quick Part.

And you’re all set. So, the next time you are composing an email and need to insert a piece of content, here's how to do it.

How to use Quick Parts in Outlook 2016

 

    1. Navigate to the Insert tab
    2. Click on Quick Parts; and
    3. Select your Quick Part from the list

Email Templates and Quick Parts in Outlook 2016 are a relatively un-tapped feature, but when incorporated into your day to day, they will help you to spend less time digging into your sent items and more time getting stuff done – especially if you’re sending similar messages on a daily basis.

How are you using email Templates and Quick Parts to save time? I’d be interested to find out in the comments below.

 

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