E-mail & Outlook

Outlook in Office 365 is where you go to work on your e-mail and calendar. If there is one part of Office 365 that you are most likely already using, it will be Outlook to send and receive e-mail. However, just because you are using it on a daily basis, that doesn’t mean it is worth taking a few minutes to take a fresh look at it, and maybe discover some new features that you didn’t know about. Who knows what you might discover?

  • Automatically filter out low priority e-mails using the Focused Inbox feature. As move e-mails you rarely read into the “Other” folder, and out of your “Focused” inbox, the system will learn and start to do this automatically for you.
  • No excuses for missing emails. Use @Mentions to get noticed. @mention someone in an e-mail and they will automatically be added to the list of recipients. The person receiving the e-mail will see the @ symbol in their inbox.
  • Access e-mail and calendars via web browser, desktop or mobile apps. So you can stay in touch wherever you are and across all devices.
  • Share your calendar so others can see when you are available. Even setup a shared school calendar, or allow someone to manage your calendar on your behalf.

Tell Me A Bit More

Focused Inbox

Does you inbox sometimes just overwhelm you? Do you find yourself wading through unimportant e-mails, trying to spot those that actually need your attention? Outlook in Office 365 can help with the Focused Inbox. Turn on this feature and Outlook will start to learn which e-mails are important to you and which are not. Outlook will then start to automatically put your important e-mails in your Focussed Inbox, front and centre, while keeping the less important ones in the background. You can still access these via the ‘Other’ tab in your inbox if you need to. And if Outlook puts an important e-mail into ‘Other’, you can just move that e-mail back into the Focused Inbox to help Outlook learn and make a better choice next time. Find out more about Foucused Inbox here, and how you can use it in both Office 365 and Outlook 2016.

Focused Inbox Tab – E-mails that matter

Other Inbox Tab – Mail you’re not worried about


The @ symbol is the key to ensuring your email or meeting invites get noticed. Just type the @ synbol before a person’s name in the body of an e-mail or invite and they will automatically be tagged and added to the To line. The recipient’s will also see the @ symbol next to the message in their inbox, so they know they are mentioned in the e-mail. Find out more about this Outlook feature here, and how to use it in both Office 365 and Outlook 2016.

Access Outlook on your Mobile

If you need to access your e-mail and calendar when you are out of the Office, then there are apps available for mobile devices. Just install these, add in your Office 365 account and you are all set. Obvisouly, as Office 365 is web based, then you could just access your e-mail or calendar via a web browser. But these apps make the whole experience a lot easier. If you are worried about school e-mails being accessed on personal mobile devices, then Office 365 Security and Compliance, which we will be covering in a future article, can help to protect that information falling in to the wrong hands. Mobile Device Management features built into Office 365 mean that e-mail can only be accessed on registered phoens that cooform to a school policy, for example they have to have a PIN security code enabled. And if they are lost, they can be wiped remotely. Find out more about setting up Outlook on a mobile device here.

Calendar Sharing

Would you like to share your calendar with colleagues so they can  see when your availble. This is something that you can easily do in Outlook with Office 365. When you share a calendar you can set different levels of access to it. So, for example, if you are a headteacher, you might want to delegate access to your calendar to your school office administrator, so they can easily see when you are available and arrange meetings on your behalf. Or as a school administrator you might want to setup a school calendar and share it with the rest of the school, but on a read-only basis. So you can put events into the calendar and everyone can se them but not change them. Find out more about sharing calendars here.

N.B. If you want to share a calendar with more than just a few individuals (e.g. a staff calendar) you will probably find it easier to create a group first of all. Schools ICT can help you do this if you find one hasn’t already been created. As usual there are several different approaches you can take.

Learn More About Outlook in Office 365

If you’d like to learn even more about what you can do with Outlook on the web in Office 365, then please see these Microsoft articles about using Outlook on the web.

If you use the full Outlook 2016 client with Office 365, or you would just like learn even more about what is possible with Office 365 and Outlook, then the Outlook Help Centre is the place to go. If you particularly like video based training, then you can find lots of outlook training videos here