4. E-mail & Outlook

Introduction

Outlook is the sever that Sustrans use for all emails, calendars and contacts.

What do you need to know?

There is both a desktop, mobile and a web version of Outlook which will allow you to check your emails while on the go.

Emails:

Emails are a necessary evil in our world and can be accessed in a variety of ways, Outlook installed on your laptop, Webmail or on your phone using Mailbox or Outlook App if you have it installed. Within your roles, email will be a main method of communication but always ask yourself, is this info easier to have a phone call about? or send a teams message? before sending. Email can be really useful for getting more content across as well as sharing info with a number of stakeholders too. – [ EXAMPLES OF GOOD EMAILS? ]

Managing your inbox is an important habit to develop. Outlook provides a range of ways for you to do this but some basic tips are to create files to store actioned emails that you may need to refer to at a later date. Using the red flags to highlight any outstanding emails you need to action in your main inbox and also deleting any actioned emails that you won’t need to refer to at a later date- saving you time when searching for that “really important email”.

Create ‘template emails’ – You will probably find that you are sending similar emails to different contacts on a regular basis. Saving these emails – by putting them in a specific folder in outlook – might be a good hack to save time rewriting similar messages. You could ask colleagues to share some of their templates.

Mail rules – You can create mail rules for emails that help with keeping track & filing. For example, you can automatically file emails from Cycling Scotland in a nominated folder:

Automatic Deletion –  You can also tell Outlook to delete specific emails after a certain time period. For example, Sustrans updates from Yammer could be set to delete after 1 week:

You can mail merge …[MORE DETAIL NEEDED]

Making your emails stand out is important, especially in a world where lots of emails are sent. Keeping emails concise, using bullet points where necessary to avoid big paragraphs and linking to the I Bike Website if the information is already there and PROOFREAD! Line managers can also be on hand to review any emails you are planning to send too if need be.  Check out these top tips for writing emails here.

GDPR regulations must be adhered to when emailing externally or when forwarding emails. You need to be really careful that you are not sharing personal data without that individual’s consent as this would be classed as a data breach. Find a specific example and guidance on this here.

Calendars:

Calendars, as staff who are often working solo and remotely it is essential to maintain an accurate digital calendar and have shared full access rights with your line manager. This is useful not only in planning meetings, training sessions but also useful in the event of incident or emergency to assist in tracking down your location if needed.

Paper Diaries: some officers prefer working with a paper diary, however this must be transposed to your Outlook calendar regularly.

Local Authority Integration: unfortunately it is not possible to share or view our Outlook Calendars with external organisations. If your Local Authority requires you to maintain an accurate calendar you can either share an export of your diary each week, or if they have set you up within their IT system with an email account, you can invite your LA email address to your session.

Copy bookings from team up: [VIDEO NEEDED]

Booking meeting rooms: You can book meeting rooms in a Sustrans Office using your outlook calendar. This will show availability and also enable you to set up recurring bookings. Be mindful that some office meeting rooms can book up especially fast, so think ahead when planning meetings.

 

Top Tips

1 Make sure that when asked to change your Sustrans password that you update it on mobile devices to ensure you can still access emails
2 Make use of your Outlook calendar to ensure IBMT know where you are during the working day
3 Delete or file away actioned emails – no one wants an inbox with thousands of emails in it
4 Remember to use functions such as Bcc if appropriate
5 To make life easier remember to set up mailing groups E.g School Champions and you can also use functions such as mail merges.

 

Helpful Links

Link
Detail
Useful if you need to access emails on a non-work computer
Guidance on how to book a meeting room in a Sustrans office using outlook
Tone of Voice Training
Use this to enable colleagues to see your detailed diary information