Posted in Tools

New Features in Outlook for Android

New features are coming to Outlook on Android so I wanted to take a minute to highlight the ones that have the biggest impact from a productivity perspective. 

Sync Draft Folders 

Now when you start an email on your mobile device you don’t have to finish it there. The Drafts folders will be synchronized so you can pick up where you left off on your Windows machine, Chromebook, iPad, or whatever you’re most comfortable with. This capability is a great way to take advantage of those small windows of time without having to inconvenience yourself later. 

Office Lens in Outlook 

Office Lens is the Microsoft application for capturing images, documents, and drawings from your mobile device. The addition of Office Lens support to Outlook cuts out unnecessary steps when sending images to others.  Now rather than having to capture an image, create a draft, and then go back and find your image to attach it you’ll be able to add the image right from your draft email.  

I’m speculating on this next part but it would make perfect sense that the images would sync in your draft folder as mentioned previously. If so this could be a bigger feature than expected. 

Quick Reply 

A feature that has received positive reviews on Google applications is coming to Outlook on Android. You’ll now be able to reply to emails with smart responses from a single button providing an experience more akin to chat than email. I use Quick Reply on a few of my apps and when I do it’s been fairly useful. We’ll keep an eye on how this feature develops. Personally, I’m hoping they bring Quick Reply to Teams…but that’s a different post. 

Office 365 Groups Calendars and OneNote Notebooks 

This is a bit of a mouthful so let me explain. In Office 365 Groups (a type of SharePoint site) you have the ability to have shared calendars and OneNote notebooks. This update to the Outlook Android client will give access to those calendars and shared notebooks from Outlook. If you’re working in a collaborative environment (and if not…we need to talk) this is a step in the right direction. 

Thanks to the good people over at DroidLife for bringing this to my attention. 

Posted in Techniques, Tools

Give yourself travel time in Outlook with one keystroke

One of the things we so often forget to do is provide time for ourselves to travel or transition from meeting to meeting or event to event. Our calendars fill up quickly, with entries up against each other and no time to move around. There has to be a way to handle this on our calendars and maintain our productivity and our sanity. Microsoft Outlook provides the ability to have macros in the desktop tool, and we can use this to our advantage.  

 VBOffice.net provided a great macro you can drop into Outlook to automatically add a buffer appointment before and after one you have selected.  This way by just clicking on a calendar entry and running the macro, you give yourself time before and after to transition to and from that meeting. It’s that simple.

This isn’t limited to Outlook from a technique perspective. When planning your calendar and events, always make sure you’re giving yourself time whether it’s for travel or transition before and after the events. This works for personal as well as professional needs. One of the questions I’ve gotten in the past is how do I know how long?

If your meetings or events involve travel, one of the things you can do is use tools such as Waze on Android to estimate the travel time between locations and then set your travel time.

How do you manipulate your calendar to make sure you have the time you need to be productive? 

 

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