Earlier today, Microsoft released an Office blog post giving tips on how to manage your Outlook inbox. What they failed to mention was that one of the newest features, the Focused Inbox, was closer to release than expected.
The Focused Inbox feature will separate your emails between two folders. In the primary folder, all of the emails from your most commonly used contacts and those tagged important will be available. Segregated into the secondary category will be all of the other emails that aren't necessarily as important. This way, you can keep focused on your work and ignore the others. Of course, you can tag other emails as important and vice versus to maximize your productivity even further.
Update on rollout: Office 365 First Release users will become Focused Inbox enabled starting in late October. Worldwide rollout will take 4 – 6 weeks. Office 365 Standard Release users will be enabled in mid to late November and will take 6-8 weeks to be available worldwide. Once enabled, users will be able to see the Focused Inbox in Outlook for Mac, iOS, Android and the web immediately. Outlook 2016 for Windows and Outlook for Windows 10 Mobile will show the Focused Inbox in November.
Looks like most Office 365 and Outlook 2016 for Windows 10 users will be seeing the Focused Inbox next month. As for Mac and web users, it sounds like access to the feature might be happening somewhat sooner, although the timing for each platform is a little confusing in Microsoft's update.
Microsoft has been attempting to improve feature parity between all the many platforms that Outlook is on. This is just another step in the right direction. Don't worry, if you don't like using the Focused Inbox, then you can always just toggle it off in your options.