Web Outlook Will Soon Get Shortcuts to Office 365 Apps

Microsoft wants to ensure that all of its productivity software apps are always at your fingertips, even when you’re writing up an email. A new update for Outlook for the web will update the sidebar with shortcuts that take users to different Office 365 apps.

An Upcoming Change for Outlook on the Web

OnMSFT spotted the announcement of this feature on the Microsoft 365 Message Center. Right now, when you open Outlook for the web, you’ll notice that the sidebar on the left is a little sparse. It currently contains a few handy shortcuts, including a quick way to access your calendar or your Outlook contacts, but there’s not a great deal more going on.

Microsoft aims to resolve this by adding a range of new shortcuts to this sidebar. For those who like the current sidebar, don’t worry; all the existing options will get shunted to the top to make room for the newcomers.

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Under the usual sidebar will be shortcuts to different Microsoft 365 apps. Right now, we know that the sidebar will have shortcuts for Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote, and Yammer. However, Microsoft may decide to add more when the feature releases to the public.

Is This the First Step Toward One Outlook?

This may seem like a simple quality-of-life feature to help people move between productivity apps, but the truth may be a little more than that.

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If you were browsing Microsoft news around January 2021, you might have spotted when a Twitter user discovered a prototype for a program called “One Outlook,” codenamed “Monarch.”

One Outlook’s goal is to bring the same user experience to every screen, regardless of if you’re using an app or the web version. To achieve this, Microsoft is revamping Outlook so it looks the same no matter where you are. The software giant may have decided that shortcuts to popular Microsoft 365 apps are a key part of that redesign.

Regardless of Microsoft’s intentions, this new addition to Outlook is sure to be a hit with people who are already deep within the company’s productivity ecosystem. We’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled for a release date for this handy feature.

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All Your Needs in One Place

Microsoft plans to add shortcuts to its productivity apps along the sidebar of Outlook for the web, but this update may be more than a kind gesture. We’ll have to see if this move is part of something bigger or just a helping hand for those who want to get work done faster.

If you’re interested in hopping back into Outlook for the web, be careful if your account came from Hotmail to begin with. Microsoft has recently been asking ex-Hotmail users that use over 15GB of their space to delete emails or pay for Microsoft 365.

Image Credit: Sakemomo / Shutterstock.com

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