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5 Simple Microsoft Tricks You'll Wonder Why You Haven't Been Using All Along!

People tend to get into habits of how they use their business technology. They get comfortable doing things the same way for years, even if they’re doing it the “hard way,” and miss out on tips and tricks that can save them time.

Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 have a lot of little workflow shortcuts that might not seem like a big deal at first. But when you add up seconds of savings for a task you do 50 times per day, it can equate to hours per week in time savings.

For example, people waste about 21 minutes per day over-checking their email. That’s about 1.75 hours per week, or 7 hours every month. One simple Outlook trick with sound alerts (which we’ll describe below) can get that extra time back for you.

If you’ve been feeling like you’re as maxed out as you can be on productivity but wish you could still do things a little faster, these tips will definitely help.

Make Your Life Easier With These Simple Productivity Tips

Set Up Outlook Sound Alerts to Stop Over-Checking Email

No one wants to look like they’re not responding immediately to an important email, so we end up checking email multiple times per hour, which is not very productive.

You can get some of that time back by setting up sound alerts for your most important message subjects or senders by using Outlook rules.

  • From the Home menu in Outlook, click Rules > Create Rule
  • Choose the conditions, such as from a certain sender or with certain keywords in the subject line.
  • Click, Play a selected sound.
  • Choose the sound file you like.
  • Click, Okay.

Now, you can keep your attention on your work instead of having to open your email to check incoming messages all the time. When an important message comes in, you’ll hear a sound cue.

Use Keyboard Shortcut CTRL + K to Hyperlink

You’ll be surprised how much faster your workflow can go when you learn a keyboard shortcut for a task you do several times per day.

If you often add hyperlinks to documents, you can save 1 or 2 clicks by using this shortcut instead of a right-click option for adding links.

Here’s the workflow:

  • Copy the URL you want to link.
  • Highlight the text to hyperlink.
  • Press CTRL + K to bring up the hyperlink window.
  • Paste the link in.

Make this even faster by also using the keyboard commands for copy (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V).

Find Everything Faster with Master Search in Windows

Are you still using the Windows key to open your Windows Start menu to find settings or applications? What about using File Explorer for searching files?

You can find all those things much faster by using the master search function at the left side of the Windows 10 Task Bar.

Just type the name of the application you want, file keyword you’re looking for, or what you want to do in the Settings, and you’ll instantly get a link to what you need.

The master search can find:

  • Apps
  • Settings
  • Documents
  • Web search
  • Emails
  • Photos
  • Music
  • Videos
  • And more

Stop Using Google for Spelling Checking (Stay in Word Instead)

What happens when you’re typing a document in Word and you run across a word you’ve misspelled but you don’t know the right spelling for? Many people will tab over to their browser and type the word in Google so it will auto correct and give them the right spelling.

All you have to do is right click the word and MS Word will correct it for you and give you the definition.

This workflow avoids app switching, which is another time drain on a person’s day, and you can also see a short definition to confirm you’re using the right word for your meaning.

Offload Everything to OneNote

Say you’re working on a project at work. There are all the types of incoming and outgoing information that you have to collect, sort through, and share:

  • Emails with tasks and other information
  • Notes during video and audio calls
  • Webpages you find related to the subject
  • Images or videos you want to show others
  • Names and numbers of contacts
  • Instructions related to project flow

You can utilize multiple apps for all that information (and be less efficient) or you can use an often-ignored app in Microsoft 365 called OneNote. OneNote is an “everything organizer” that you can use to capture text, links, images, video, lists, and anything else you can imagine.

It’s shareable online and allows you to keep things neatly organized and easily found for any project. You can send emails to OneNote by forwarding them to a specific email address, you can even use OneNote to record video meetings for you to review later, so you can participate rather than furiously scribbling notes the whole time.

Microsoft OneNote

Get Help Streamlining Your Workflows & Finding More Time in Your Day

Unbound Digital can help your Johnson City, Tennessee business uncover hidden productivity gems to add to your team workflows to save time and increase efficiency.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 423-335-2461 or reach us online.

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