Email management best practices using Outlook across devices

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Occasional Contributor

My job is to guide users on how to effectively use Office 365 to increase their productivity. At the moment I'm struggeling when it comes to best practices for email management using Outlook across devices (Outlook, Outlook on the web and the Outlook mobile app), since they all provide different ways for managing email. In Outlook on the web you can pin email to the top, in the Outlook Mobile app you can swipe to schedule email that later appears in your inbox again if you haven't compelted them, but these are not reflected in the Windows version of Outlook (just to mention a few differences).

 

It would be so much better from a user perspective if there was a streamlined set of functionalities that worked across all Outlook versions. Is this something that Microsoft is working on, or will we continue to see different Outlook teams releasing functionality independently?

 

Is there a unified "best practices" guidance for Outlook across devices?

 

Thanks for this forum and for the User Voice platform!

3 Replies
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I think Focused Inbox is a big advancement, while it's been available from the beginning with Outlook for iOS and Android, it's now rolling out to Mac, Outlook on the Web and Windows desktops.  That will be a big help I think, a consistent paradigm for email management. That's not to say there won't be inconsistencies across platforms still.

 

Some further consolidation and standardisation with features are probably in order, like that schedule feature you mention, which sticks out as being distinct but not so surprising as the app came via an acquisition (Acompli).  This interview may be useful in providing some background info, from a while back.

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Hi Cian,

 

I fully agree that Focused Inbox is a better way forward than Clutter. However, in terms of managing your email (i.e. flagging for follow up, prioritizing, etc.) it doesn't help much. At the moment, I've seen a lot of people annoyed that the Inbox filters (Unread, Mentions) have been removed from the inbox header (to make way for the Focused Inbox i presume).

 

Thanks a lot for sharing the article with the interview with Javier Soltero, it was an interesting read. :)

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Glad that was helpful.

 

It's worth checking out the Outlook Uservoice as well and promoting those ideas that are most important for your environment.  Here are a couple of examples:

 

Pin or Stick important emails at the top of your Inbox (Outlook 2016)

 

Schedule email in Inbox like on iPhone Outlook app! (Outlook 2016)

 

I have to assume Microsoft are working on better consistency across platforms as it grates many, here is a comment from one of those links that I'd think you would agree with:

 

"It's a daily frustration for me to remember what I can do in each of outlook iOS mobile, online, and in desktop 2016. If only MS could bring consistency to the platforms."