How To Use Outlook: Helpful Resources and Tips

How to use Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most powerful and popular email management programs in the world. From setting up simple inboxes to automating advanced work processes, Outlook can help your business be more organized and efficient during day–to–day tasks. Unfortunately, not everyone is completely aware of all the benefits that this simple–looking program can provide. Once users build familiarity with it, Microsoft Outlook can help any business succeed.

Not only can MS Outlook help build productivity, but it can also increase relevance in the job market. Since it is one of the most–used programs in the world, knowing how to use Outlook can really set applicants apart and prove their ability to be trained. With the help of certain Outlook resources, many prepare for the Microsoft Outlook Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. In addition to improving a resume, this certification can create opportunities to become an Outlook specialist.

In order to help you learn Outlook at your own pace, we’ve outlined some key resources that will get you started on your path to mastering this vital program. Through these books, videos, websites, and add–ins, you’ll be able to learn how to use Outlook to improve your daily activities and make yourself more marketable.

Books on MS Outlook 2013

Books on MS Outlook 2013

Even the best email management software won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use it. A well–written manual is the perfect place to start in order to really learn Outlook.

  1. Microsoft Outlook 2013 Inside Out

    Author Jim Boyce is one of the most prominent productivity software writers in the industry. He has written over 50 books, and this is his fourth Microsoft Outlook title. This book will teach you about both intermediate and advanced topics, and includes guides for customizing, configuring, and optimizing MS Outlook. In addition, it will teach you how to use Outlook on a variety of devices, including tablets and laptops, as well as teach you about virus protection and data encryption.

  2. Microsoft Outlook 2013 Step by Step

    This book is written by Joan Lambert and Joyce Cox, both Microsoft Certified Office Masters, with a combined experience of over 45 years. Engaging images walk new users through the basic steps of setting up accounts, managing MS Outlook mail, and creating tasks and to–do lists. The book comes with practice files that users can experiment with, as well as downloadable files and a companion eBook.

  3. Total Workday Control Using MicrosoftOutlook

    Michael Linenberger, called "The Efficiency Guru" by the Detroit News, wrote this and several other bestselling MS Office Outlook books. In this update to his bestselling Outlook guidebook, Linenberger shares the best practices, inside tips, and professional tricks for using Microsoft Outlook 2013 to its maximum capacity. He also incorporates innovative time management theories into basic step–by–step task walkthroughs, which makes this book excellent for busy managers and administrators.

  4. Outlook 2013 For Dummies

    This book, written by Bill Dyszel, targets users unfamiliar with technology. Users who want to quickly get started with Microsoft Outlook tasks like setting up and customizing email accounts, filtering email, and incorporating basic security features should start with this text. Although this book is not really meant to handle specific high–level questions, it is a perfect learning tool for users who want a simple, clear, and quick explanation of how to perform basic functions in Outlook.

  5. Microsoft Outlook 2013 Plain & Simple

    Jim Boyce has written more than 45 books about technology systems, and has a wealth of knowledge about Microsoft products due to his position as a contributing editor of WINDOWS magazine. In this guide, Boyce teaches beginning users how to use Outlook for simple tasks like setting up folders, mobile alerts, and calendars. Visual learners will appreciate this text, as it includes a number of full–color screen shots as it walks you through the steps of completing various tasks.

  6. Office 2013: The Missing Manual

    A part of the popular "Missing Manual" series, this book is a collaboration between Nancy Conner and Matthew McDonald. Connor, a graduate of Brown University, makes the book accessible to all readers, and McDonald, the author of several books for HTML and website design, shares his expertise on technology. This book has over 1000 pages, and covers all areas of the Microsoft Office Suite. The 3rd section is dedicated to Microsoft Outlook 2013. This book is perfect for users are looking for Outlook help, but also want a training book that can be used with other Microsoft products.

  7. MOS 2013 Study Guide for Microsoft Outlook

    Joan Lambert is the author of this book, bringing her significant experience as the president of Online Training Solutions, Inc. to the reader. In this guide, Lambert outlines the things that users will need to know in order to pass the 2013 Outlook Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam. Because of the level of knowledge that is required to pass the exam, this is not necessarily a book for beginners, but is perfect for users who really need to learn Outlook and its full range of capabilities. This book also includes practice tasks and files, and review sections for essential skills.

  8. Control Your Day: A New Approach to Email and Time Management Using Microsoft® Outlook and the concepts of Getting Things Done

    Jim McCullen has taken the concepts from David Allen’s "Getting Things Done," and enhanced them specifically for use with Outlook. By providing a step–by–step to eliminate waste when it comes to Microsoft Outlook mail and information management, McCullen encourages users to take control of their Outlook email and reclaim the lost time sifting through unnecessary documentation. Customer reviews of this method are stellar, and many users rave about the easiness of the system to set up due to the helpful illustrations.

  9. Helpful Websites

    Helpful Websites

    Many IT consultants have shared their knowledge of Outlook in hopes of helping you learn how to use Outlook effectively. Here are some of the best websites to learn how to use Microsoft Outlook 2013 like a professional.

    1. How–To Outlook

      Robert Sparnaaij manages this website, which is possibly the most extensive compilation of resources for MS Outlook. Sparnaaij participates in the Microsoft Newsgroups, on which he is known as Roady, and co–authored Configuring Microsoft Outlook 2003. His website includes FAQs, an extensive list of helpful books, and an amazing How–To section with step–by–step instructions for completing even advanced tasks.

    2. Outlook Tips

      Diane Poremsky is a Microsoft Outlook MVP and owner of CDOLive exchange developing services, and leveraged her skills to create this beginner–oriented Outlook website. Outlook Tips has a weekly tip center which gives users the option to have tips emailed each week. The best part of this versatile website is that it is perfect for global and remote workers, as it provides full–page translation into over 100 languages.

    3. Slipstick

      Diane Poremsky and CDOLive manage the Slipstick website, which was originally founded by Sue Mosher. It goes into more detail than some other sites that host tips on learning Outlook, and targets designers and web developers. This site provides solutions to common Outlook integration problems, especially in regards to 3rd party applications, and is more technical than other Outlook resources.

    4. All About Microsoft Office Outlook

      Operated by the Seattle software development company Office Assistance, LLC, this site has a good selection of interesting solutions to Microsoft Outlook questions. It touts a comprehensive list of add–ons that are organized by type of need. This site also offers an active online forum, which has regular contributors that help solve specialized Outlook problems.

    5. Microsoft Office – Outlook Training Courses

      Although not a stand–alone website, this offering from Microsoft can teach you how to make Microsoft Outlook can work for you. Divided into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced distance learning segments, this site lets users start at the beginning if necessary, or jump into the segment that answers their specific question. This site answers most questions on Outlook, and is a comprehensive resource.

    Youtube Tutorials on Outlook 2013

    Sometimes, just reading about how to make Microsoft Outlook 2013 work for you isn’t enough to really understand how to implement it. Fortunately, there are many excellent video tutorials on Outlook that can walk you through the steps of customizing your workflow.

    1. Outlook 2013 Tutorial: Customizing the Inbox

      Out of all the Outlook tutorials, this one from lynda.com is one of the clearest and easiest to follow. In this video, users get a deeper look at layouts and view in Outlook. You will learn how to change the style of email viewing (either singular or as compiled conversations), how to sort email (by date, sender, or size), and how to add or reconfigure columns to the inbox.

    2. Microsoft Office 2013 : Outlook 2013 – Quick Start Guide

      In this video, the engaging Bernardo Jr. from BJTechNews walks users through Microsoft Outlook 2013. The laid–back, relatable host and the strong content have made this video popular. He highlights several important tools and options, including social media connection, the PeekYou function, and New Lync Meetings.

    3. Microsoft Outlook 2013 Tutorial | Sharing Calendars And Outlook Items

      Infinite Skills Video Training offers this video tutorial, which focuses on how users can manage, create, and share calendars and calendar items. This video also gives users the knowledge to email calendars, share them, or publish them online. This tutorial also shows users how to view side–by–side calendars or overlay them to compare dates.

    4. Outlook 2013 tutorial: Creating an Appointment and a Reminder

      In another high–quality video by lynda.com, the hostess takes the user carefully through the steps of creating appointments and setting up reminders. Users also learn important skills like making public or private appointments, setting recurring appointments, and creating all–day events. This video can be followed easily and can greatly help new users.

    5. Microsoft Outlook 2013 Tutorial – Archiving Your Email

      This video from SimonSezIT.com is both pleasant and helpful for new Outlook users. Although it’s only nine minutes long, it can be of great help to those who want to archive old email messages. This tutorial also includes a walkthrough for backing up .pst files (archive files) and archiving individual projects or tasks.

    6. Outlook 2013 tutorial: Using Quick Steps to Process Messages

      In this lynda.com video, users lean how to interact with the many options offered through the Quick Step function. This function allows users to set up rules to automate processes within Outlook. Some of these processes include creating workflows such as autoresponding to emails, setting up meetings, or sharing vital information with teammates. At only five minutes, it is one of the quickest, most valuable tools for making Microsoft Office 2013 work for you.

    Outlook Add–ins Resources

    If you’re looking for a solution to a specific workflow need, an add–in is the perfect way to enhance Microsoft Office 2013. In fact, there are a number of excellent web resources for MS Outlook that offer free downloads of tools for virtually any type of work process.

    1. 10 Add–Ins That Make Outlook Easier to Use

      Out of all the Outlook tutorials, this one from lynda.com is one of the clearest and easiest to follow. In this video, users get a deeper look at layouts and view in Outlook. You will learn how to change the style of email viewing (either singular or as compiled conversations), how to sort email (by date, sender, or size), and how to add or reconfigure columns to the inbox.

    2. Five Useful Utilities for Microsoft Outlook

      In this video, the engaging Bernardo Jr. from BJTechNews walks users through Microsoft Outlook 2013. The laid–back, relatable host and the strong content have made this video popular. He highlights several important tools and options, including social media connection, the PeekYou function, and New Lync Meetings.

    3. Five Free Apps That Let You Do More With Outlook 2013

      Infinite Skills Video Training offers this video tutorial, which focuses on how users can manage, create, and share calendars and calendar items. This video also gives users the knowledge to email calendars, share them, or publish them online. This tutorial also shows users how to view side–by–side calendars or overlay them to compare dates.

    4. Add–ins to Power Up Outlook

      In another high–quality video by lynda.com, the hostess takes the user carefully through the steps of creating appointments and setting up reminders. Users also learn important skills like making public or private appointments, setting recurring appointments, and creating all–day events. This video can be followed easily and can greatly help new users.

    5. OUTLOOK FREEWARE: Free Add–ins for Microsoft Outlook

      This video from SimonSezIT.com is both pleasant and helpful for new Outlook users. Although it’s only nine minutes long, it can be of great help to those who want to archive old email messages. This tutorial also includes a walkthrough for backing up .pst files (archive files) and archiving individual projects or tasks.