How to Juggle Multiple Outlook Accounts

Having multiple Outlook accounts can be useful for separating work and personal email. However, managing several accounts can also become chaotic. This guide covers the best practices for organizing multiple Outlook accounts to boost productivity.

Set One Account as the Default Sender

When you have multiple Outlook accounts configured, one hassle can be constantly changing which email address sends new messages. To simplify this:

  • Open Account Settings and view your accounts
  • Click the account you want to make the default sender
  • Select Set as Default to save this setting

Now new messages will automatically send from your selected account by default.

Color Code Accounts for Faster Recognition

Seeing which inbox an email belongs to at a quick glance can be helpful. To color code your accounts:

  • Go to your Account Settings
  • Click on an account name to open options
  • Choose a custom color to assign to that account

Emails from assigned accounts will now display with color-coded banners for fast visual recognition in your inbox.

Use Separate Signatures for Each Account

Tailoring signatures for each account ensures communications match the appropriate context.

To configure per-account signatures:

  • Go to Account Settings and select an account
  • Click More Settings
  • Under Personal Stationery, craft a signature for that account
  • Repeat for additional accounts

Signatures will now automatically match the sending account without constant changes.

Pin Important Folders to the Top

Prioritizing key folders for each account avoids excessive scrolling when navigating your mailbox.

To pin folders:

  • Right click a folder and select Pin to Favorites
  • Pinned folders will now persist at the top of the navigation pane

Pin your most critical folders for every configured account.

Create Separate Calendars

Managing meetings across personal and work accounts in one calendar can be messy. Maintaining separate calendars allows you to toggle viewing only relevant appointments.

To enable multiple calendars:

  • Go to the Calendar icon
  • Select Open Calendar > From Room List
  • Choose New Calendar to create additional calendars

Now you can designate separate calendars for personal events, work meetings, etc.

Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts boost efficiency when toggling between accounts. Useful shortcuts include:

  • Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + 1/2/3 etc: Switch to the numbered account
  • Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + A: Open all accounts
  • Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + .: Cycle between accounts

Memorize shortcuts instead of clicking to rapidly switch inboxes.

View Side-by-Side with Columns

Comparing open emails across different accounts simultaneously can be necessary.

To enable multiple columns:

  • Right click the inbox folders and select Open in New Column
  • Repeat for additional accounts
  • Resize columns by dragging the borders

This displays all columns side-by-side for easy cross-referencing.

Use Rules to Organize by Account

Automating how messages flow into folders based on sender saves time.

To configure rules:

  • Go to Home > Rules > Create Rule
  • Set conditions like account, sender, words in messages
  • Choose folder actions like moving matching emails

With rules enabled, your emails will automatically sort without any effort.

Schedule Syncing for IMAP Accounts

Accounts using protocols like IMAP require periodic syncs to fetch new data.

To schedule syncing:

  • Go to Send/Receive > Send/Receive Groups
  • Select the IMAP account and click Define Send/Receive Groups
  • Check Schedule an automatic send/receive every and set a frequency

Now your IMAP emails will sync automatically based on your chosen schedule.

Review Regularly for Spring Cleaning

Just like tidying up a messy home, your accounts need periodic maintenance.

To review and organize accounts:

  • Use Search Folders to find stale messages to archive or delete
  • Evaluate rules and filters to ensure they still meet your needs
  • Remove redundant subfolders that have become unnecessary over time

Doing “spring cleaning” maintenance ensures your accounts stay neatly organized over time.

Juggling multiple Outlook accounts takes effort but is manageable with the right approach. Applying these best practices will help you take control of even the most chaotic inboxes. The result is higher productivity and reduced stress around email management.