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Quick Steps in MS Outlook

Today I’d like to discuss one of my favorite features in Outlook 2010 – the Quick Steps feature found on the Home tab of the Ribbon.


This handy little gem can be tailored to allow you to move messages around, categorize them, flags, create appointments from them… all with a single click.

Yes, you read that correctly.

“A SINGLE click”

No right-click then followed up by another click to choose an option… no dragging messages to the correct folder (and let’s not even discuss the frustration of dropping that message into the wrong folder!)… no click on the Categorize button to then have to choose a color… well, you get the idea.

I can even one better the one-click idea with a key combination shortcut. In the process of creating or editing a Quick Step, you’ll find that we can assign a key shortcut so those of you who are more inclined to use the keyboard take heart, because we can make all this work for you too!

One click sounds good to me, so let’s take a look at what’s available and how to create new Quick Steps to meet your specific needs.

The first step in customizing the Quick Steps is to click the Create New choice.

You will then be given the Edit Quick Step dialog box, where you begin by naming your new Quick Step.


Once that’s done, you’re ready to set an action for the Quick Step… what do you want it to do?

Here’s what you will see when you click the down arrow to select an action.


Obviously there’s quite a lot to choose from – so what do you want to do with the selected message?

Choose an action and from there you’ll be prompted to enter the necessary information to make it work. For example, if your Quick Step is to categorize a message then you’ll be prompted to choose which category to use.

You can then choose to add another action so that you can create a Quick Step that moves the selected message to a specific folder and creates an appointment with the text of the message.
(I was able to have a total of 12 actions in one Quick Step.)

All that with a single click or key combination… that’s too good to be true!

Anyway, once you’ve set your action and any extra information that it may require, you’re ready to address the Optional items in the bottom section.

First up is the Shortcut Key.

If you’ve got a Quick Step that you’ll use frequently, you could choose a key combination from the list and save yourself the hassle of the mouse.


Below that you’ll find the Tooltip Text field. Whatever message you enter here will be displayed when the mouse is hovered over the Quick Step on the home tab.


When you’ve got everything set as you need it to be click the Finish button.

That’s it… you should now see your new custom Quick Step in with the rest of them ready to save you tons of time :)

~ April