Windows Live Essentials just went through some upgrades. I’ve been pretty happy with how they’ve been consistently making improvements over the last 2-3 years. Today we’ll talk about a couple things to make you more productive while in email and a tip on getting back deleted items. These tips are for the web-based Live/Hotmail, not the desktop version.
Be More Productive With Instant Actions
There are four instant action categories we’ll talk about that will save you time while working with your mail. As mentioned, it’s called Instant Actions and is available only while using Hotmail or Live mail on the web. Here’s how to get to it and what you can do with it:
To get there, be signed into your Windows Account, go to the upper right below your name and click on ‘Options’, then click on ‘more options’. You’ll get a screen full of choices. Look for the ‘Customizing Hotmail’ section on the right and then finally locate ‘Instant Actions’ and click on it.
Below you’ll see the instant actions box where you’ll configure what you want to do. Once you’ve configured/chosen or removed an action, then when you are going through all your mail you’ll have the choices you’ve configured ready to be implemented with a single click. For example, if you have ‘Delete’ as one of your instant actions, when you’re looking at email, the delete icon (the ‘x’) will appear when you hover your mouse over the message. Click the ‘x’ and it’s gone.
If you choose ‘Categorize’, you’ll select a color and then you’ll select a category from the drop down (you can’t make your own). For example, I made a category for ‘social updates’. I receive several reports from Facebook and HootSuite via email. Now I can categorize them while reading them and afterwards, I can click on the ‘social updates’ category at the top of my email and all of the emails I’ve categorized will appear.
‘Move to’ is another handy action. With this you can move a particular email instantly to a different folder. This saves time – no more dragging your messages over to a folder. You’ll specify which folder a message will go to during the set up.
‘Mark as Read/Unread’ – self explanatory.
Flag – this is always shown and one of the newer features. Flag something and it will stick to the top of your mailbox until you unflag it.
There’s a limit of four actions that can be set up (I’m not including the flag since that can’t be taken out). So choose wisely. For example, you could have four ‘Move to’ actions and none of the others if that suits your needs better. Perhaps there’s a limit of four because there’s not much real estate!
Get Back Deleted Messages
Did you delete something and wished you could get it back? Windows Live Mail has made it easy to do. Simply go to your deleted items and scroll way down to the end. You’ll see the following message:
Be warned that all your deleted messages will be restored to your deleted folder. I haven’t even wanted to try this out since I didn’t want to go through them again. However, this is a nice feature to have and they’ve made it very easy to get messages back. They don’t guarantee they can get all, but they do their best.
I hope you’ll try out some of these tips to make your work or personal mailbox a little more productive and easy to use. If you come across any time-saving tips, please post them in the comment section.