Using ‘Quick Steps’ in Outlook 2010


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One of the most under-utilized features of Outlook 2010 is called Quick Steps. Quick Steps are handy shortcuts for a one-click operation to get tasks done … well… quicker. The silly thing is that it is right in the middle of the Home tab band yet most frequently ignored.
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Here’s my scenario, I have all my email from three different accounts delivered to a global inbox. I choose to do this because I find it easier and I don’t miss messages. Having read them I can then transfer them to their relevant folders with one click should I want to save them. Some mail I need to forward on, again something I can do with one click. Some email I just need to reply to then delete the mail, another one click operation.

The quick Steps can be set up to do a multitude of tasks and you can have as many ‘Actions’ as you need assigned to each button. If you are a fan of keyboard shortcuts you can even assign a shortcut to your steps.

There are a number of pre-defined quick steps but you can easily just delete them by right clicking on the step and selecting Delete.

To create a step, click on Create New to open the ‘Edit’ window.

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Give your step an appropriate name, for this article I will create a step to reply to and then move an email to a dedicated folder… so I will name the step ‘Reply and Move’.
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In the ‘Action’ section, click on the drop down and select the action ‘Reply’.
Now click on the ‘Add Action’ button to add the next action, in this case ‘Move to Folder’.

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When you choose the ‘Move to Folder’ action obviously you need to then select the folder. Another drop down will open allowing you to do this.


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At the bottom of the window you can choose a keyboard shortcut, albeit the restrictions are Ctrl+Shift plus a number between 1 and 9.

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Once done click Finish and you will see your new step in the Quick Steps window.

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So now when reading my email, if I need to send a reply and then move the email to my designated folder it is just a case of clicking on that step.

There are six ready made steps you can choose from by clicking on the open drop down button, as well as a ‘Manage’ button if you need to edit or alter one of your steps.
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All in all, once you get use to using Quick Steps it is a real time saver.

About the Author

Alan Wade

Alan is a semi-retired geek from England, who has lived in Sweden with his wife and family since 2001. His interest in computers began in the mid 1980’s with the introduction of the Commodore Vic 20 where he learned to hack game code so he could force his name to appear as the high scorer. Alan made his way through the horde of console computers in the late 80’s and early 90’s before settling on Windows with the release of Windows 3.1. He has worked in the broadband industry on both the technical and installation side. In his off time he enjoys building computers for family and friends as well as digging into the guts of the OS to customize and tweak the OS.

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