Category Archives: Outlook 2016 Tutorials

New Free Outlook 2016 and Excel 2016 Tutorials from Microsoft

Free Microsoft Office tutorialsIf you’re looking for some free Microsoft Office Tutorials for Office 2016, the free Microsoft online documentation center for all Microsoft Office Applications is a great resource especially if you don’t use a product yet but would like to find out more about it.

These courses are freely available and can be found alongside the hundreds of courses and videos in the Office Training Center that covers all major Office applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Outlook, OneNote and even OneDrive.  Training is available for all major releases on Windows, Mac, iphone and ipad.  It’s also possible to get training for past versions of Office if so desired.

Microsoft  also recently partnered with LinkedIn to provide some amazing high quality LinkedIn Learning training courses that focus on Outlook 2016 and Excel 2016.

For example, many times we’re asked the question of how to to set up an email account in Outlook and this is answered in the “Getting Started with Outlook” video series that consists of over 41 videos that covers multiple Outlook tasks including how to add and remove email accounts;  how to import gmail into Outlook; sending, receiving and organizing messages; how to add a signature; manage contacts and calendars; manage meetings; and collaborate and share with others

In the Getting Started with Excel 2016 series which consists of over 37 separate videos, you’ll learn how to enter and organize data, create formulas and functions, build charts and PivotTables, and use other time-saving features.

You can find the direct links to the Getting Started Videos below:

Getting Started Series with Outlook 2016 Training

Getting Started Series with Excel 2016 Training


Managing your To-Do List in Outlook 2016

Many people manage their To Do lists on paper or in a spreadsheet but there is a much more effective way.  Managing the action items on your to-do list in Outlook, for yourself and others, has never been easier when you use the Tasks feature in Outlook 2016.  The Tasks feature keeps track of what you need to do with your tasks list and will also remind you of any up and coming deadlines.  It can also record what percentage of a task you’ve completed and can even send emails that assigns tasks to other people.   From your Outlook to do list and Outlook task list, you can also view your tasks in several different views.

How to Use Outlook Tasks

Open the Task Pane in Outlook 2016

  1. To open the tasks pane, click the Tasks icon on the bottom navigation pane.  The Task Pane will open. 
  2. Under the My Tasks heading on the left hand side of the pane, you will see two sub-headings, the To-Do and Tasks.

The Tasks Pane in Outlook 2016

  • The To-Do List in Outlook not only contains your tasks but items that you have flagged for follow-up in your inbox.
  • Tasks are items that you created in the Tasks section of Outlook

Creating New Tasks

There a couple of different ways to create tasks, and you can add as much or as little detail about the task as you want.

  1. The easiest way to create a new task is to click inside the box labeled Click here to add a new Task“.  Simply type your task and hit the Enter key and the task will be created and you can continue to add new tasks.  Add at least six different tasks.

Adding tasks in Outlook 2016

  1. To mark a Task complete, simply place a check mark in the box next to it.  Outlook will cross it off and the task will be considered done.

Task complete in Outlook 2016

Update the Status of a Task

  1. Double click a task to edit it. This is going to bring up a much larger screen where you can add more information about the task.
  2. Add a note to that task and any other information you want.
  3. Click “Save and Close”.

Update a task in Outlook 2016

Another way to use Outlook Tasks effectively is to create a new task is by clicking “New Task” from the Home tab on the Ribbon.  From here you can assign a status, due date, priority and reminder to the task.

  1. From the Tasks Pane, click the Home Tab > New Group > New Task.  The New Task dialog box will appear. You can add as much or as little information as you want about your tasks.
  2. Add the following data to the new task:
    • In the Subject area,  enter a subject for the task
    • In the Start Date area, choose a start date for the task by clicking the calendar icon.
    • In the Due Date area, choose a due date for when the task should be completed
    • In the Status area, select In Progress or the status you want. Other options are Completed“, Waiting on someone else“, or “Deferred“.
    • In the Priority area, set the priority of the task.
    • In the Complete area, mark the percentage the task is already complete.  Note:  If you mark a percentage complete for the task, Outlook automatically changes to the Status to “In Progress”.
    • In the Reminder area,  set a reminder date for this task.
  3. Click Save and Close

Add a task in Outlook 2016

Assign a Task to Another Person

  1. Open up the Task you want to assign to another person and click  “Assign Task“.  A dialog box will appear
    Assign a Task in Outlook 2016
  2. In the “To” box, type in the email address of who you’d like to assign the task to. You can include an additional note if required.
  3. Make sure the check box that says Send me a status report when this task is complete” is checked.
  4. Click “Send“, and Outlook will present you with a pop up window that will tell you that since you’re no longer going to be the owner of the task, it’s going to turn off the task reminder.
  5. Click “Ok” and the task will be sent.

Assign a task in Outlook 2016

When you assign a task to somebody else,  a people icon will appear next to the task as follows:

Assigned Task in Outlook 2016

Viewing your Tasks

  1. You can view your tasks in several different ways by clicking on the View tab > Current View group and clicking on the Change View down arrow.  

Detailed view of tasks in Outlook 2016

Another way to see your tasks, including flagged to-do items is the Tasks peek.

  1. Hover your mouse over the Tasks icon on the Navigation Bar.  The Tasks peek pops up.
  2. You can keep the Tasks peek in view by clicking the “Dock the peek” icon.

Peeks View of a task in Outlook 2016

Schedule your Appointments in Outlook 2016

An appointment is a block of time you reserve on your calendar schedule that only applies to you such a dentist appointment, interview, lunch date, etc.   Appointments usually do not require reserving resources such as conference rooms so they are easier to schedule on your calendar than meetings.  If you’re part of a team or large company where appointments and meetings are constantly being scheduled, you’ll find keeping track of your appointments in Outlook a great way to keep others on your team informed of your availability.

Creating an Appointment in Outlook 2016

Here’s the basics on scheduling your appointments in Outlook 2016:

  1. Click the Calendar icon on the Navigation Bar to open up and view the calendar where you want to add the appointment to
  2. You can view and arrange your calendar by the Day, Week, Work Week, Month or Schedule view.  Click Month view to see the full month view.
  3. The Calendar is displayed by time slots and depending on what view you’re in, you can scroll to see the current day, week or month.  The Icons tell you what kind of appointment it is (recurring event, reminder, etc.).  If you hover your mouse over any entry, you can see the details.  Here we have a blank Calendar with only the major US holidays displaying.
    Calendar View in Outlook 2016
  4. Now let’s schedule an appointment.  Click the Home tab > New Group > New Appointment.  The appointment window will appear.  Here you will find a number of options that you can set regarding your appointment.
  5. Type the following:  In the Subject box, type a descriptive subject line; In the Location Box, type the location; choose a start date and a start time and an end date and end time.
  6. Add some details about your appointment in the body text area.
    Add an appointment in Outlook 2016
  7. Determine how you want your appointment to show to people viewing your calendar.  For example, if you do not want to have anyone try to schedule you for a meeting or another appointment, select “Show as Busy“.
    From the Appointments tab > Options Group, click the Show As box and then click Busy.  Other options include Free, Working Elsewhere, Tentative or Out of Office.
    Show as busy on outlook 2016 calendar
  8. By default, Outlook will give you a reminder about your appointment 15 minutes before the the appointment start time.  You can change when the reminder appears by clicking on the Appointment tab > Option Group and clicking the Reminder box arrow.  If you do not wish to get a reminder, select none
    Appointment reminder in the outlook 2016 calendar
  9. Lastly, categorize your appointment color so you can easily distinguish your appointments on your calendar.  On the Appointments tab > Tags Group, click the Categorize down arrow and select a color of your choice.  Before saving, determine if you want to make this appointment a private event so someone who has access to your calendar won’t see it.  If so, click the Private command. Then, on the Appointment tab > Actions Group, click Save & Close. Your appointment is now created and will display in your Calendar.
    Categorize appointments by color in Outlook 2016
  10. This is what your appointment will look like on your calendar.  It should display the title and the location.
    Categorize your appointments in Outlook 2016

Change an Appointment in Outlook 2016

  1. Changing your appointments is easy.  Just open the appointment you wish to change  by double clicking the appointment in the Calendar.  The Appointment window will open.
  2. You can now change the options as desired such as subject, location and time
  3. Click Save & Close and your appointment will be updated.