This is a very convenient feature available in Outlook. You may be using it even without knowing about it. Outlook can analyze your incoming emails and create calendar entries (events) based upon them. Four categories are understood as of now, flight bookings, hotel reservations, car bookings and package delivery.
This is based upon machine learning algorithms – no human is looking at your emails. Once a mail is detected as an event, a calendar entry is created automatically. Here is an example of a travel booking.
This mail was automatically processed by Outlook and the following calendar event was created:
In addition, it created a reminder 3 hours before the departure time. That’s nice but there is more. Exactly 24 hours before the flight departure, I received an email reminder for checking-in. This reminder did not originate in my calendar. It came from a generic reminder service.
Customize automatic processing
To change these settings, go to Outlook web access – Options (the gears wheel) – Automatic processing. Notice that the Package Delivery option is not selected by default.
Although it sounds fairly simple, the internal working of this feature is quite complex. Why? Because there are thousands of different formats for hotel and flight booking mails. It has to understand the relevant fields and create the calendar events. This is where machine learning is helping us – behind the scenes.
Clutter = genuine mails which are less important to you.
Immediate response not needed.
Outlook finds it automatically. How? Read this (7 min)
If you have the latest version of Office Pro Plus, a great new feature is now available. It is called Outlook Conversational View – (not to be confused with “Show as Conversation” setting). Check the View tab in Outlook. Conversational view is useful for managing long mail trails.
When you click on this button, the menu options reduce and the Reading Pane is automatically activated. Don’t worry. If you do not like it, just click on Classic button.
Continue reading Outlook Conversational View
Outlook now has a new feature to compress ALL attached images in one go. Use Insert – Attachments option to add images. BEFORE sending the mail, open the File menu. You will see the new option. Choose the Resize large images when I send this mail option. Now all images will be compressed by reducing their size to 1024X768 or smaller. Aspect ratio will not be disturbed.
DO NOT use this option if you want to retain original resolution. If the mail bounces because the other person(s) cannot receive such large emails, put the files on some cloud storage (OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) and send a link.
This feature was released in May 2017. Depending upon the configuration decided by your Office 365 Administrator, you may receive this feature much later. You will get it instantly if you are on the Office Insider – Fast branch.
Attachments is the most popular and misused Outlook feature. If you are DELIVERING a file – use attachments. If you are Sharing a file – it is best to share the file. Sending CCs is the most important reason why “Teamwork” is inefficient. Here is a practical guide about how you should use Outlook Attachments with Office 365.
Continue reading Outlook Attachments Usage Guide
This is a common confusion. Let me clarify it once and for all. This article shows you the thought process, NOT step by step instructions. If you are looking for a quick fix, this article is NOT for you. Read on to understand the thought process involved in deciding whether to create Calendar or Task.
Continue reading Calendar or Task?
How to enter dates in Outlook? Here is Date Magic for you. An unexpected and intelligent feature waiting for you to notice it for 20 years! How about adding dates by typing 3d, 4w, 15may+12 d …
Continue reading Date Magic in Outlook
Very recently a nice new feature is added to Outlook. @name in Outlook is just like what we do in Twitter. You can just add @ followed by name of a person in the mail body text. The email id of that person will be added automatically to the TO box in the mail.
Continue reading @name in Outlook message
There are many available options. The simplest way to see all attachments sent by someone is to use the People Pane in Outlook. Just go to View tab and activate the People Pane. The most convenient option is Minimized.
Whenever you open any mail, Minimized People pane is appears at the bottom of the message. You will see a visual list of all the people addressed in that mail – sender, To and CCs. If available, their photo will also be shown. The tooltip which appears on mouse hover shows the name of the person.
How to see all attachments sent by someone
Just click on the name in People Pane. The pane opens up and shows many things – mails from, attachments sent by and meetings with the selected person.
That’s it. If you have activated the Social Connector, you can even see their Facebook and LinkedIn feed. Enjoy.
While working with Outlook Web Access (now called Outlook for Web), I noticed a nice little feature which I felt would be useful to fight the junk mail menace and reduce spam.
While handling my mail using OWA, I marked a particular mail as Junk. This messaged popped up. This way, the contents of message will reach Microsoft immediately. That will help them block similar types of mails at server level itself in future. Try it out and help fight spam.
I could not find a similar feature in Outlook full version. I am assuming that the data must be going to Microsoft if you have participated in the Customer Improvement Program.