Focus on what matters with new features for Outlook and Office 365

Focus on what matters with new features for Outlook and Office 365

We’ve all been there – whether you’ve arrived early only to find out the meeting was cancelled yesterday, or missed an opportunity while sifting through countless newsletters, if you use email on a regular basis you’ve undoubtedly wished at some point that it was easier to focus on what’s most important. Thankfully Microsoft is aware of hard it can be to sort the proverbial wheat from the chaff, and with the introduction of two new features for Outlook and Office 365, the seemingly endless task of sifting through your emails should soon be a bit easier.[/vc_column_text]

Focused Inbox

For better or worse, many users are familiar with the feature of Office 365 and Outlook known as Clutter. Clutter was introduced last year in an attempt to automatically move unimportant emails to a dedicated folder, similar to Outlook’s Junk folder. Unfortunately, and similarly to Junk, most users overlooked these emails or weren’t aware they even existed, and the result was often frustrating. The majority of Evolve IT’s clients requested that Clutter be turned off to ensure they didn’t miss important information.

Enter Focused Inbox, a new feature being introduced to replace Clutter which will start becoming available to users this month. Rather than attempt to identify the emails you aren’t interested in, Focused Inbox does the opposite – it pays attention to the people you interact with most often, and the content which matters most, and moves these emails to a dedicated inbox.

All of your other emails are still there in your regular Inbox, your Focused Inbox just helps you get to the important things first. If you find certain things aren’t making their way into your Focused Inbox that should, or vice versa, the algorithm used can be tweaked by simply right clicking the email in question and selecting either “Move to Focused” or “Move to Other”.

As the feature becomes available users will receive a notification in Outlook asking if they would like to transition to Focused Inbox. Once the roll-out is complete, Clutter will be disabled and removed altogether. And just in case you’re happy exactly the way things are, Focused Inbox can be turned off for any version of Outlook.


The second new feature to soon be available is @mentions, which is designed to help you highlight when you are referencing information to someone specific. While writing an email, simply type @ and the first few letters of the user’s name then select their name from the drop-down list that pops up. The name will be highlighted blue and their email address added to the To field, if it isn’t present already.

To make it easy to know what needs your attention, when you receive an email containing an @mention directed to you the email preview shows the text immediately following your mention, rather than the start of the message. Additionally, the message will be displayed with an @ symbol in your inbox, and a new view will be available to see only emails you’ve been mentioned in. @mentions are already available in the Outlook web app for Office 365 users, and will soon come to Outlook for desktop through your regular Office updates.

To find out more information about how Microsoft is working to make your business life easier with Outlook and Office 365 get in touch with Evolve IT today.