Quick Steps – Speed Up Outlook 2010 with Quick Steps
Here at Living With Outlook 2010, we’re all about making Outlook easier and more fun to use. And what could be easier and more fun than replacing multi-step procedures with a single click of a button? That’s why Microsoft has given us Quick Steps.
Go to the Outlook 2010 Mail view. At the literal center of the Home tab of the Ribbon, you will find Quick Steps:
As we’ve already discussed, Quick Steps are single buttons that perform multiple tasks. For example, if you look at the image above, you’ll see that I have a Quick Step for messages related to my 401(k) plan. Normally, I just glance at these message so Outlook marks them as “Read,” then drag them into the folder where I store such stuff.
Of course, since I have so many folders, the one holding my 401(k) messages is nested inside another folder, forcing me to dig around a bit to find the right place to drop the message. At least, that’s the way it was before I created this Quick Step.
Now when I receive a message about my 401(k), all I have to do is select it, then click the Quick Step. The message is instantly marked as “Read” and moved into the proper folder.
That may not sound like such a big deal. But think about how many messages you file each day, and how much time you would save if all your most common mail destinations had a Quick Step assigned.
But Wait! There’s More Quick Steps Can Do!
If all you could do with Quick Steps is mark messages as “Read” and move them to the appropriate folder, you would have a nice little feature. But Quick Steps aren’t limited to jsut moving and marking messages. For that matter, they’re not limited to doing just two steps, either.
Outlook 2010 comes with some pre-made Quick Steps that assume you are working in an office or as part of some team. For example, there’s the Team E-mail Quick Step. When you first click on this one, it prompts you to enter the addresses of your ‘team.’ Once you do that, all you need to do is click this Quick Step to open a “New Message” window, automatically addressed to all your team members.
If the pre-made Quick Steps aren’t what you are looking for, you can also design your own. Just click the “Create New” Quick Step to see a dialog box for building your own.
When working in this dialog box, you can choose actions from a list of about two dozen possibilities. Create a shortcut key if pointing and clicking is still too slow for you, even pick a new icon for your Quick Step by clicking the default lightning bolt icon you start with. There’s lots of room for creativity here.
So that’s my take on Quick Steps. What do you think? Are Quick Steps a real improvement, or just flash with no sizzle? Have any favorite Quick Steps you want to share with the rest of us? Sound off on the subject of Quick Steps below.