There is a great Microsoft Outlook feature that many people don't know about called Quickparts that allows you to predefine "blocks of text" that you can quickly and easily insert into messages, appointments or even tasks.
By using the Quickparts feature, you can save a significant amount of time in constructing your Email messages or calendar appointments. This is especially true if you regularly need to respond to many messages with similar responses or information.
I like to think of Quickparts as my own personal library of text snippets that I can instantly paste into an Email message or appointment.
Many people don't realize just how often they type the same information into messages or appointments, often dozens of times a week (or even day)! They are a great way to improve your Email processing efficiency and help to support efficient Email triage activities.
Here are just a few of the things you can use Outlook Quickparts for:
- Conference call information – When setting up a meeting, you can now just insert your conference call information with a click of the mouse.
- Addresses or Directions – Do you send people a detailed address or directions? No need to retype it. Just create a Quickpart and insert when needed.
- Legal or Privacy notices – People often use their Signature Blocks to add legal notices to the bottom of every Email message. However, many people don't want (or need) this type of information in every message and want to decide exactly when or where to place it. In addition, there are sometimes different versions of a legal notice that may be needed depending upon the situation. Quickparts to the rescue! Just add your legal notices as different Quickparts, and then just insert exactly when and where you need it!
- Meeting Agenda Outlines – Create a simple text template that contains meeting outline items such as subject, key topics, and required decisions. Then, insert this outline into your Outlook appointment message, fill-in the required information, and you have a complete and well organized meeting agenda embedded in your invites. Fast and simple!
- Commonly used Opening or Closing Statements - Although signature blocks are a great tool, there are sometimes specific blocks of text that you repeatedly (but not always) use at certain times in either your opening or closing paragraphs. This is especially useful if you are leading a committee or project team and need to send out periodic updates and want to always have a consistent opening or closing statement that highlights key elements of the project.
- Quick solutions to frequently asked questions – Do you find yourself answering the same question over and over? A Quickpart will save you the trouble or retyping it. Just create a few for the most common, store them in your Quickparts library, and select the appropriate one when needed. I recently did this during a new system implementation project, and it was a great help since we received a lot of Emails on a few common issues. I was able to just hit "reply", insert my Quickpart with my predefined response, hit "send", and be done! Practically an auto-mailer!
Creating a Quickpart is a bit counter-intuitive, because you need to create it by first "inserting" it into Outlook before you can save it and use it.
Here are the steps to create an Outlook Quickpart:
- Create a new Email message or appointment.
- Type your desired text into the Email message or appointment.
- Use your mouse to "select" (highlight) the text you would like to use to create as a Quickpart.
- Select "Insert" on the menu bar.
- Select the "Quick-Parts" button.
- Select "Save to Quick Part Gallery".
- Give your Quickpart selection a name.
- You normally can just keep all the other defaults that display.
- Click "OK" to save your Quickpart.
Go ahead and create several different Quickparts and store them in your QuickPart Gallery. Now you are ready for business!
Here are the steps to insert your Quickpart:
- While composing or replying to an Email message or creating an appointment.
- Place your cursor where you want the Quickpart text inserted.
- Select "Insert".
- Select the "Quickpart" button.
- You will see a list that displays all of your QuickParts and their names.
- Select the one you want and it gets inserted where your cursor was positioned.
If you ever want to reorganize your Quickparts, or delete one, simply "right-click" the QuickPart Icon and choose the "Organize and Delete" option.