outlook tips for legal professionals
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Tech Tips

5 Tricks to Getting More Out of Outlook

By Danielle DavisRoe

Email (and, therefore, Outlook) has taken over our days. It’s time to take control back and make space for more meaningful work. These five Outlook tips for legal professionals will help you stay focused and get through your email faster.

Outlook Tips for Legal Professionals

1. Drag and Drop to Create Appointments, Tasks and Contacts

You can easily convert emails to appointments, tasks and contacts with a quick drag and drop. Drag and drop the email onto the calendar, task or people folder (via the icons/words in either the bottom or upper left-hand corner). Outlook will open a new appointment, task or contact using the information from the email.

The appointment title will default to the subject line of the email and the body of the email will show in the body of the appointment. You’ll need to set the desired date and time and invite attendees, if any.

The task title will default to the subject line of the email and the body of the email will show in the body of the task. You’ll need to set the desired due date.

2. Turn Off Email Notifications

Getting an alert every time you receive an email is incredibly distracting. To dial down the noise, turn off the notifications. To turn them off on your computer, open your Outlook options (click on Options in the File menu). Click on Mail on the left-hand side. Under “Message arrival,” uncheck all the boxes. Then, intentionally check your email throughout the day as you have time.

3. Manage Multiple Inboxes

If you manage multiple inboxes, it can be easy to miss incoming emails for anything other than your primary email address. Adding your inboxes to your list of favorites ensures they all show up at the very top of the list of folders. Right-click on each inbox and select “Add to favorites.” Once they are in your favorites list, you can drag and drop them to rearrange them.

If you don’t see your favorites list at the top of the folders, it may be turned off. On the View ribbon, click on Folder Pane. If “Favorites” isn’t checked, click on it to make it reappear.

4. Open a New Window

Toggling back and forth between your inbox and calendar all day gets old quickly. To open up your calendar (or any other Outlook folder) in a new window, right-click on the icon in either the bottom or top left-hand corner and select “Open in new window.” Once the new window is open, you can navigate freely within it.

5. Show Your Calendar in Your Email Inbox

While opening multiple Outlook windows can be incredibly helpful, sometimes you just want to see your list of upcoming meetings next to your email. With the To-Do bar, you can. From the View ribbon, click on the To-Do Bar button. You can show not only your calendar, but also tasks and contacts side-by-side with your email.

About Affinity Consulting Group

Affinity Consulting Group inspires, enables, and empowers legal teams of all sizes to work smarter, from anywhere. The company’s holistic approach incorporates people, process, and technology. Affinity’s passionate, well-connected industry experts work hand in hand with you to help you better understand and optimize your business — from software to growth strategy, and everything in between.


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Danielle Danielle DavisRoe

Danielle DavisRoe is a senior consultant with Affinity Consulting Group (@affinitylegal). Whether it’s teaching clients a new skill through training, speaking at CLE events, or management consulting, Danielle is 100% focused on making the lives of her clients better. She has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business and a Juris Doctorate from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

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