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7 Office 365 Tips You Won’t Want to Live Without

5 minute read

O365 Yellow

With different versions of Microsoft Office available, it can be hard to keep track of all the useful features that it has to offer. We’re here to help! We’ll be walking you through seven up-to-date tips to help you get the most out of your Office 365 user experience.

1. Teach your inbox to de-clutter itself

Nobody likes when spam or unwanted messages end up in our inbox. Office 365 has a feature to combat this nuisance, and it’s called “Clutter.” It’s a simple feature to use, and here’s how:

  • Clutter takes any and all rules you’ve assigned for your inbox and applies them.
  • You’re responsible for training Clutter by marking any unwanted message as “clutter.”
  • Once it’s been trained, O365 will automatically move less important messages into your “Clutter” folder where you can then decide to read or delete them later.

2. Ignore the reply-alls

We all know how obnoxious reply-all conversations can become, but O365 has a feature that eliminates this worry for you. It’s called “Ignore” and is similar to Google’s “Mute” button. Here’s how to activate it:

  • Open the message stream you no longer want to be a part of.
  • Click the “Home” Button.
  • In the Delete group, click “Ignore.”

It will look like this in Outlook:

O365 Ignore screenshot

  • Once you’ve done this, it will be automatically moved out of your inbox into the trash.
  • Changed your mind? To un-ignore a message, go into the same “More” option once again, and look for the “Stop ignoring” button, as shown below:

O365 Stop Ignoring screenshot

3. Bump up email security

Unfortunately, email users are still susceptible to receiving malicious messages. Luckily, O365 has released a new security feature to help prevent its users from falling victim to malicious viruses. This security feature involves color coding incoming messages with unique meanings behind each color. Here’s how to decode those colors:

If your message is…

  • Red: Suspicious email. This email should be deleted because it could mean that it has failed sender authentication or could be a phishing attempt.
  • Yellow: Unknown email. This means that the email has been marked as spam by the Exchange Online Program. If this email was mistakenly marked as spam for some reason, you can move it to your inbox by clicking “It’s not spam” (found in the yellow bar).
  • Green: Trusted email. This means that Microsoft has deemed the domain the message is coming from as safe.
  • Gray: Safe email. This means that the email has been marked as safe by the user’s organization, has been moved into the user’s inbox from the spam folder, or is from a contact on the user’s safe sender list.

4. Unsend that accidental email

Sent a message before it was ready to be sent? Sent an email to the wrong recipient? We’ve all been there. Fortunately, O365 has a feature that will help you out! Here’s how it works:

  • Open your sent item in a new window.
  • Click the Actions button in the move section.
  • Select Recall This Message.
  • If you’d like to have this message completely deleted from the sender’s inbox, click “Delete unread copies of this message.”
  • If you’d like to make a minor fix (e.g., fix a typo or add/delete an attachment) and then resend the message, click “Delete unread copies and replace with a new message.”
  • Then click OK.
  • There’s an option that allows you to receive notifications if your message has been successfully recalled or not. If you decide to receive this notification, you’ll be sent an email that includes the status of the message.

However, there’s more to it than that. For the message to be properly recalled, there are requirements that must be met:

  • Both users must be on the same Exchange within the same organization. Unfortunately, you cannot recall emails that are sent to users outside of your organization.
  • The recipient must also be using Outlook Desktop, not the Outlook Web App or any mobile version.
  • The original message (i.e., the message that was recalled), must be unread by the recipient.

5. Boost team collaboration in docs

Collaborating in O365 Web Apps (the best free alternative to O365) just became much easier. With this update, multiple users are able to create and edit the same document simultaneously. This feature also allows users who are collaborating on the document to see where each collaborator is working in real time, which helps prevent any conflict between users. This also allows you to see any team member’s edits being made and saved in real time.

Web Apps also allows offline collaboration from multiple devices such as iPads, tablets, desktops, laptops, etc. If it isn’t possible for all team members to work online, the team member who doesn’t have online access will still be able to collaborate. The document will just sync their work to the cloud once they have a connection.

6. Access your files offline

Office Outlook Web App offers a feature that allows you to operate within the app while offline. To use this feature, a quick configuration is required in your settings. Here’s how:

  • Access your settings.
  • Click on “Offline settings.”

O365 Offline settings screenshot

  • Then select the “Turn on offline access” button.

  • Then select “OK” or “Save”
  • And you’re set!

One last important thing to note: You must have Internet Explorer 10 or Chrome 16 downloaded to access this feature.

7. Get creative with your inbox

This tip certainly falls into a personal preference category, but it’s a tip to keep in mind nonetheless. If you’ve ever had any sort of interaction with Microsoft Office, you’ve seen a multitude of blue colors being used throughout its setup and programs. When it comes to Microsoft Outlook 2013 or 2016, you can get creative with your color scheme.

Here’s how:

  • Navigate to to the View that you can find on the ribbon.
  • Click Conditional Formatting.
  • Under Unread Messages view, select font.
  • Then choose whatever font or color you want.

Now that you’ve got these awesome tips under your belt, it’s time to put them to work! O365 is great about rolling out updates packed with new features for you to explore. Though we’ve introduced you to a few features, there’s a plethora available to you each time you interact with a Microsoft Office product. Don’t shy away from exploring the software for yourself. After all, the features are created to ensure you have a great experience and get the most out of your Microsoft Office products.

We hope these tips have been useful for you! To ensure you get the most out of your O365 experience, check out this free eBook, “The Complete Guide to Office 365 Security” here.

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