3 Hidden Gems in Outlook for iOS and Android

3 Hidden Gems in Outlook for iOS and Android

November 14, 2022


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You, me, and most people I know live in our email inboxes all day. For all of the complexities and insecurity that comes with using email, it’s still the industry standard for non-real time communication. That’s because it works roughly the same for everyone, both inside and outside the organization. It also means that your inbox can become unruly and difficult to manage without some help.

Being on mobile platforms for your email (instead of at your desktop) changes the experience a lot: you get notifications and read incoming emails, or you open the app when you need to compose something. But Outlook for iOS and Android has some really cool features that you might not be taking full advantage of, and today we’ll take a look at three of them.

1) Focused Inbox

Focused inbox is a very useful tool for prioritizing your incoming emails automatically. While Outlook 2016 had the option to use the Focused Inbox, it wasn’t necessarily on if you didn’t go out of your way to use it. On the Web (Microsoft 365 and Outlook.com), Focused Inbox is the default format for your inbox, and what it does is select items to show you that are more likely what you’re looking for. This means that other emails are not ranked as highly as the focused ones, and appear in the Others tab at the top (which are emails that aren’t necessarily Junk, but aren’t top-priority either).

Even if you know about Focused Inbox, you might not know that you can make it better. You do this by actively moving things from Focused to Other and vice versa. You can select “Always Move to Other” if something keeps coming to your Focused Inbox that isn’t really high priority, and new messages like that one will find their way out of your way. You can find the Focused Inbox setting in Settings, or it can be turned on by your administrator if you use Microsoft 365.

2) Organize by Thread

Another cool organizational feature you can access in Settings is Organize by Thread, which makes sure that all messages and their responses show up as just one item in your inbox. This can be really helpful if you are a part of many large email chains that include many back-and-forths with a number of colleagues. When you have the Organize by Thread selected, you don’t have to move in and out of particular responses to see how all of the responses came in. Another handy tool once you have threads enabled is the “Conversation Clean Up” tool (in Outlook for Microsoft 365, on the desktop). This tool can go through the threads and delete redundant messages from the email body and declutter big chains of responses.

3) Interesting Calendars

Interesting Calendars is an addon in Outlook Mobile that lets you put schedules, from a TV show or sports league, directly into your calendar so that you don’t miss a thing. This feature lets you subscribe directly to a public Bing Calendar, which will then share that calendar across all of your devices. Once you subscribe, you can select and deselect it in your Outlook calendar, so you don’t have to have it visible all the time, but you can see what time your football team plays this Sunday with a click of a button.

-Written by Derek Jeppsen on Behalf of Sean Goss and Crown Computers Team