The life of an independent adjuster can be chaotic. Every day there are hundreds of emails to prioritize and many appointments or conference calls to schedule. How do you keep it all organized and maximize your time? One way is to master a tool most of us already have: Learn Microsoft Outlook. Microsoft Outlook is a great email platform that offers folders, calendars, task lists and other great scheduling tools.
Here are 5 ways you can learn Microsoft Outlook and save time in your adjuster business.
Clean Up Conversations
Scrolling through long email conversations with multiple parties is burdensome when you’re trying to find a particular piece of information. Get rid of all the duplicate text with the Clean Up tool.
While in the Outlook Home screen, click on the most recent email in the thread and click Clean Up in the top toolbar. Clean Up Conversation will get rid of messages that are quoted within other emails and Clean Up Folder will remove repetitive emails from the current folder. Don’t worry, they aren’t gone forever; you can find them in your trash folder if you need them.
To help ensure emails regarding current claims don’t get lost amongst less important business emails, use the Rules function. Right-click on an email, select Rules, then select Always Move Messages From. You can then choose another folder for those messages, bypassing your overcrowded inbox. This works great for industry newsletters, sales pitches or anything else you don’t want to miss, but don’t need to read immediately.
Use Quick Parts
Typing emails are time-consuming, especially if you find yourself repeating the same information to many policyholders or companies. With the Quick Parts function in Outlook, you can save blocks of text you use often and add them automatically with just a few clicks. Simply type your email normally and highlight the text you want to save for future use.
From the top menu:
- select Insert
- then Quick Parts
- then Save Selection to Quick Parts Gallery
- Give the text selection an applicable name you will remember and save it
The next time you are typing an email and need to use that same text, simply start typing the saved name and you’ll see a pop-up option to add the text by simply hitting Enter.
Drag and Drop
Instead of typing in an appointment, task, or new contact, you can drag and drop an email and automatically create the item. For instance, let’s say an insurance company sends an email requesting a conference call next Tuesday. Simply click on that email in your list and drag it down to the Calendar heading in the bottom left of your Outlook screen. An appointment window will open where you can enter the day and time. You can use the same method to quickly create a contact or a task.
Color Coding and Syncing
Categorize your appointments by color. For instance, if your policyholder appointments are always blue and your insurance company conference calls are always green, you know that the blue spots on your calendar are on location appointments and the green ones are not. This makes scheduling new appointments quicker, as you can factor in travel time and map out your day.
You can also sync your Outlook calendar to your Google account for quick access on your smartphone. For detailed instructions on how to do that, this article can help.
Play around in Outlook and utilize these and other features to help you stay organized and save time in your independent adjuster business.