Insiders’ Secrets to Get the Most from Microsoft Outlook 2016
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Be an Outlook Insider. Check Out Our Insiders’ Secrets to Get the Most from Microsoft Outlook 2016.

Microsoft Outlook is a professional email and calendar program that’s been the preferred option for businesses for over 15 years. It’s undergone many changes, but with the 2016 version, and its integration with Office 365, Microsoft has taken Outlook to the next level. Read on to learn about Apex Team’s Insiders’ Secrets that can save you time, and help you get the most from Outlook 2016.

Check Out the Conversation View.

A Conversation in Outlook 2016 is a complete set of email messages on the same subject, from the first message through the last. In Conversation View, you can see the full history of a conversation. This makes it easy to know what’s been discussed in emails and helps you keep your inbox more organized.

For example, when you send a message to someone and they reply, you’ve started a Conversation. And, multiple people can join by replying to messages within the Conversation.

To get the most out of Conversation View look in the Conversation Settings Dropdown and apply one or more of the desired settings.  Check the Show Messages From Other Folders to get the most coverage. Outlook will then display the messages that are in the Sent folder. And, check out the Always Expand Conversations option.  These are an important part of your Conversation that would otherwise be omitted from this view.


If you’re tired of digging through files to find the one you want to attach to an email, this just got a whole lot easier with the release of Outlook 2016.  Now, when you go to attach a file to your email, the first thing you’ll notice is a list of documents under Recent Items. This list contains docs from your local hard drive as well as OneDrive, OneDrive for Business and SharePoint. This makes it easy to select the files you’ve accessed across any of your devices. Just use the Attach File dropdown to attach a recently opened file into an email message.

If you and your recipient are on the same team in SharePoint, you can simply share a link to the file.  When your recipient opens it, you can collaborate on the file from within Outlook. (But only if the recipient has access to Outlook 2016.)

Whenever you select a OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint file, Outlook’s new attachment feature shows the permissions you’re granting to recipients. You can change these permissions right from here as well, or even attach a copy instead without going to where the document is stored.

Another option is to use Windows Explorer to search for your file. You don’t need to open Outlook to do this. After you find the file you need, simply right-click it and choose Send To.  A message will open up with your attachment.  Enter the Mail Recipient you want to send it to and, hit send and off it goes.

These steps are faster than what most people do which is to open Outlook, find the document in Windows Explorer or from searching through files, and dragging or inserting the document into an opened email message.

Contact Info

When you’re in Outlook 2016 and you have an email open, you’ll see a list of recipients you’ve recently sent messages to.  If you hover over one of them, their contact card will appear with all the details they want others to see, like their work title, phone number, email address and even who they report to in their organization.  You can then export their contact card to your Outlook Contacts if you haven’t already.

Search Folders

This is a new feature in Outlook.  A Search Folder in Outlook provides a view of all the email items in your inbox that match your specific search criteria. This is really helpful if you have a large inbox or an inbox that’s managed by teams.  For example, the Unread Mail Search Folder enables you to view all unread messages in one folder, even though the messages might be saved in different folders. Or, search for a subject and all the emails that contain that subject will appear.

Outlook will let you further refine your search by bringing up this option if needed. You can really fine tune when searching.  From here you can create a Search Folder for the subject, and as new emails come in with this subject, the emails will also go to this Search Folder.

Focused Inbox

This helps you prioritize what’s most important. What goes into your Focused Inbox will be based on the content of the email, and who you email most often. Your inbox will be separated into two tabs—Focused and Other. Your most important emails will be found on the Focused tab, while the rest that remains will be accessible on the Other tab. You can easily switch between these two tabs to take a quick look at your emails.


You can create customized signatures for your Outlook email messages including text, images, digital business cards, a logo, or even an image of your handwritten signature.  Outlook lets you set up signatures to automatically add to your messages, or you can choose what messages you want to include signatures in.  When you’re drafting up a new email, just choose Signature from the Message tab in the Include group.  Or go to File, Options, Mail, and Signatures. From here you can input a new signature.

Scheduling a Meeting

When you send a meeting request to one or more people, Outlook tracks who accepts your request and puts their responses in your inbox.  It will also automatically put the time on your calendar for the meeting right from your Outlook email.  Then you can add attachments, and a meeting location using the Scheduling Assistant in Outlook.

Schedule a Skype Meeting from Calendar

Did you know that you can create a new Skype meeting right from Calendar?  You don’t even need to go into the Skype application to do this.  There’s a tab you can select for a Skype Meeting and it automatically inserts all the information right into your email. From here you can label the meeting, invite who you want, and schedule it for a time and date. The Skype Meeting will show up on your Calendar, and you can customize other options, categorize it and more.

And if you use One Note, you can simply click Meeting Notes that you can share, or take on your own. Outlook will ask where you want to store the notes, it will take you to One Note and you’ll see your all meeting information right there.  When you go back to your notes even a year later, you’ll see all the meeting information and notes you took.

Calendar Permissions

Depending on the type of servers that you and your recipients have access to, you can share your calendar in real time. If you have an Office 365 or a Microsoft Exchange-based email account, and you want to share your calendar with someone who is inside or outside your organization, you simply set permissions so they can view your calendar. You can create calendars for different projects and share them with your co-workers. Plus, you can grant them access to modify the events in your calendar if needed.

If a colleague outside your company wants to schedule a meeting with you and they can’t view your Outlook calendar, simply send them a snapshot of your calendar via email or, an invitation to subscribe to your calendar in an email message.

Export and Import Outlook Information.

From within Outlook you can both import and export files.  Outlook allows you to move email, contacts, and calendar items from one email account to another. You can even export your entire email inbox if needed. You export items by creating a .pst file, which is an Outlook Data File that contains your messages and other Outlook items and is saved on your computer.

For more information about Microsoft Office 2016, to make sure your infrastructure is set up properly to use it with Office 365, or to learn how Apex Technology Management can help your business take advantage of the latest technology, contact us at (800) 310-2739 or