August 24th, 2008
Outlook is Microsoft’s popular personal information manager and part of Microsoft Office. It has email, calendar, contact management, task and note taking functionality. I’ve been a long-time user of Outlook and really enjoy the latest version of the application. Here’s the third part of the list of the tutorials on Outlook 2007 at Tech-Recipes:
- Give a Message an Expiration Date – You can give messages generated in Outlook an expiration date. Once the message has expired, the header will still be visible when viewed in Outlook, however it will have a strikethrough. The message can still be opened, but will give the recipient the indication that the email is no longer relevant.
- Color-Code Messages in Your Inbox for Easier Discovery -Using color-coding of your Inbox messages can easily help you find emails from important senders, such as your boss or spouse. Outlook makes this a simple process to set up by utilizing the Organize functionality.
- Manage IMAP Inbox by Manually Purging Deleted Items – When you delete a message in your IMAP inbox, it isn’t removed. Instead, it is displayed using stikethrough text. IMAP folders require purging for the removal of deleted items. To manually purge your IMAP folder, follow these steps.
- Share RSS Feeds List with IE7 – Instead of running separate RSS feeds lists for Outlook and Internet Explorer 7, you can use the same list for both applications. Use the following steps to use the Common Feed List to maintain subscriptions for Outlook and IE7.
- Use Multiple Column Headings to Sort your Inbox – Trying to get to information in a crowded Inbox (or other folder) can be a rather frustrating process. Outlook makes it easier by allowing you to sort your messages by using multiple column headings as your sorting criteria.
- Disable Time and Date Display on Notes – By default, Outlook shows the date and time from the most recent changes to your Note. If this information is unnecessary or a distraction for you, you can turn this option off and have a cleaner looking Note.
- Assign Shortcut Keys for Categorizing your Mail and Task Items – By giving each category a shortcut key, you can significantly reduce the time it takes to categorize an inbox full of email as well as a lengthy list of tasks. To assign shortcut keys to your categories, follow these steps.
- Add Images to your Contacts – At first, adding an image to each of your contacts seems to be just a way of dressing it up. It actually can be quite useful in helping you find the contact you are looking for. By adding a photo of the person or the logo from their company, you can have an easier time locating the desired contact. If you use photos, it can be a major help when you remember what they look like but can’t remember their name!
- Change the Subject Line of Received Emails – Have you ever received an email containing information that is valuable to you but the subject line in no way reflects the contents of the message? It makes going back and looking for that email a major pain. By changing the subject line of the received email, you can have it better reflect the information contained within.
- Change the Screen Location that the Desktop Alert Appears – By default, Outlook displays the Desktop Alert above the system tray on the desktop. Since I run a multiple monitor setup, I found myself rarely noticing the Desktop Alert because I was focused on applications on the other monitor. by changing the location that the Desktop Alert appears, it was more easily noticed and better served its purpose.
- Set AutoPreview to Preview Unread Items for Better Visibility – By default, Outlook’s AutoPreview is set to No Preview. This will give the Inbox the stereotypical look where the sender, subject, and date are shown. I much prefer setting AutoPreview to the Preview Unread Items setting. I like that I can easily scan my Inbox and get a better feel if an email needs my immediate attention. A side effect of using this setting is that your unread items will standout from the rest and will be easier to focus on (which is why I don’t set AutoPreview to Preview all items, then they would all look the same once again).
- How To Disable Toolbar ScreenTips – Once you have mastered the functionality of each toolbar button in Outlook 2007, the ScreenTips can become somewhat annoying and distracting. You can easily disable ScreenTips so that they no longer appear when you mouseover the buttons on your toolbar.
- Upgrade to Color Categories – If you have upgraded your Outlook to the 2007 version, you will need to perform an upgrade to Color Categories to maintain a consistent look for marking and categorizing your emails. If you don’t, you will have a mixture of bars and squares that make for a confusing Inbox.
- Apply a Theme to All New Messages – If you’re bored with the look and feel of your email messages, you might want to consider using the themes in Outlook. By selecting a default theme, you can add a little personality to your messages. The theme will be applied to all new HTML email messages.
- Change Where Archived Items are Saved – By default, Outlook’s AutoArchive moves your old items to the Outlook folder buried in the Local Settings directory of your profile. This makes it very easy to forget to copy out when you need to reload your computer (or someone else’s) or change systems. I recommend changing the location to the My Documents folder (Documents if you’re using Vista), since it is very likely you will need to copy this directory when you are preparing for the reload/new system.
- Make a Backup Copy of your Rules – Rules are conditional actions that you can create to help with organizing your email and keeping you notified of certain messages or events. You can spend quite a bit of time creating these rules, so it is wise to create a backup of your work. With a backup, reloading your system or moving to a new computer will be less labor intensive and your Outlook will be up and running in a much shorter amount of time.
- Print a Phone Directory of Your Contacts – While it can be advantageous to have your contacts’ phone numbers in your email client, there are times when a hard copy is necessary. Outlook makes it easy to print out a phone directory of any or all of your contacts.
- Print a Blank Calendar – Sometimes you need a hard copy of a calendar to use for various planning tasks. If you don’t want your appointments listed on the calendar, you can print a blank calendar by following these steps.
August 12th, 2008
Outlook is Microsoft’s popular personal information manager and part of Microsoft Office. It has email, calendar, contact management, task and note taking functionality. Iâ€™ve been a long-time user of Outlook and really enjoy the latest version of the application. Hereâ€™s the second part of the list of the tutorials on Outlook 2007 at Tech-Recipes:
- Turn Off Attachment Preview – Outlook 2007 has a new feature that allows you to preview attachments and documents if the handler is available for that filetype. However, some users do not use (or like) this functionality.
- Avoid Appointment Conflicts by Viewing Calendars in Overlay Mode – If you are running multiple calendars, it is easy to accidentally schedule conflicting appointments and cause yourself some unwanted headaches. Outlook 2007 makes it easy to find conflicting appointments by using Overlay Mode which superimposes one calendar ontop of another. The scheduled appointments for both calendars show, making it simple to find and correct conflicts.
- Using Alt+Number to View Multiple Days on Calendar – Viewing multiple days (2,3,4,…10) on your Outlook Calendar can come in handy when viewing your upcoming schedule, especially if the days cross multiple weeks or months.
- How To Use Voting Buttons in a Message – You can use the Voting Buttons to get responses from a group of colleagues to see what the majority of them are leaning towards. This comes in handy when getting feedback for a meeting date and location or for figuring out where everyone is going to meet after work. Outlook tallies the votes for you so that they can easily be assessed.
- Assign Tasks to Other People – When utilizing Outlook in an Exchange environment, you are able to assign tasks to another person that is on the network. This can simplify things for a manager or department head who needs to quickly hand out assignments to his/her employees.
- Sending Status Reports for Assigned Tasks – If you have been assigned a task, you might need to submit a status report at some point prior to completion of the task. This could be used to detail why the task has not been completed or why the task needs to be amended.
- Change the Color of Overdue and Completed Tasks – By default, Outlook changes the color of overdue tasks to red and completed tasks to gray. If these colors aren’t to your liking, you can change them so that they standout better.
- Get Classic 3-Pane View – Outlook 2007 defaults to a 2-pane view. Here is how to get your new outlook to preview and read your messages just like it was in previous versions.
- Change Quick Click Settings for Flagging Email – By default, Outlook sets the due date on emails you flag (by clicking on the flag column in your Inbox) as Today. If your schedule is busy, this default setting may not work for you. To change the default Quick Click setting, follow these steps.
- Add a Reminder to a Flagged Email – If you have some important emails that need to be followed up on and flagging them doesn’t seem to be enough, you can add a reminder to the flag. The reminder will pop up at a given time, notifying you about the email.
- Review Responses to a Meeting Request – Instead of having to search through your Inbox to figure out who accepted or declined the meeting invitation you sent out, let Outlook do the work for you. In a few simple steps, you can get a full listing of all invited attendees and their corresponding response to the invitation.
- Delete Old Appointments to Reduce the Size of Your Mailbox – Appointments (particularly those with attachments) can slowly add up over time. If you work for an organization that limits mailbox size, available space is always a critical item. Instead of having to search through your calendar month by month, you can simply pull up a list of all appointments and then choose those that you no longer need and delete them.
- Change Quick Click Settings for Categorizing Email – By default, Outlook sets the category on emails you select (by clicking on the Categories column in your Inbox) as Red Category. If you often are categorizing your email as something other than Red, you can change the default Quick Click setting.
- Change the Highlight Color for Keyword Searches – By default, Outlook highlights the word(s) you search for in yellow. This can be difficult to see as it does not stand out very well. To make your keywords really stand out, change the highlight color to something that is more easily seen.
- Edit, Delete and Create New Email Categories – Outlook gives you a handful of generic categories to start organizing your email. You can customize these existing categories, as well as add categories of your own.
- Create a Distribution List – If you frequently email the same group of recipients, a distribution list can be a real time saver. Instead of having to add each individual contact one-at-a-time, you can simply add the distribution list to your email and you have included all of those contacts in one step.
- Automatically Add People You Email to the Safe Senders List – If you want Outlook to never treat the email from people you send to as junk mail, have Outlook automatically add them to the Safe Senders List.
- Show the Total Number of Items in a Mail Folder – Outlook’s Navigation Pane, by default, shows the number of unread items in each Mail Folder. You can change each folder to instead show the total number of items in that mail folder. This is a great way to get a feel of how much email you are actually holding on to. It also is quite useful for monitoring how many messages are in your Deleted Items and Sent Items folders.
- Disable Deleting of Meeting Request from Inbox When Responding – By default, Outlook deletes a meeting request from your Inbox once you respond to the meeting request. While Outlook does add the meeting and its details to your Calendar, it is much easier to also have these details in your Inbox for easy reference.
August 11th, 2008
Outlook is Microsoft’s popular personal information manager and part of Microsoft Office. It has email, calendar, contact management, task and note taking functionality. I've been a long-time user of Outlook and really enjoy the latest version of the application. Here's the first part of the list of the tutorials on Outlook 2007 at Tech-Recipes:
- Download Pictures Automatically – Outlook prevents the automatic download of pictures in email messages as a security measure to help prevent possible spamming. It permits images from sites in your Trusted Zone to show but blocks all others. You can override this feature and see the images from all emails in your Inbox.
- How To Copy Global Addresses to Your Contacts Folder – An address from the Global Address List (GAL) can easily be copied to your Contacts folder.
- Making the To-Do Bar Show Tasks from PST File – By default, Outlook 2007 only shows the tasks that are located in the main mailbox on the To-Do Bar. If you have tasks located in a PST file and you can make them to show up as well.
- How To Create a New Data File (PST) – As in previous versions of Outlook, the new version allows you to create data files (PST’s) to store your messages and such. However, the new interface requires some different steps than the older versions.
- Easily Locate Large Items in Your Mailstore – If your mailstore is getting full and you need to find what is taking up so much room, Outlook 2007 makes it easy.
- Enable Contact Linking – By default, Outlook 2007 has contact linking disabled. In previous versions, it was enabled by default giving you a field on most forms that you could use to link a contact to an item which would then show up on the Activities tab.
- Use Google Reader for RSS Feeds link – Just upgraded to Office 2007 tonight and realized I didn’t want the silly MS RSS Feeds in Outlook, so i thought i’d share my quick recipe on changing this link to your Google Reader.
- Disabling/Enabling Add-ins – This describes how to re-enable/enable and disable add-ins in outlook. This is how to correct a program that installs an outlook plugin that you don’t use or want.
- How To Put Your Calendar into a Message – Trying to set up a meeting with someone who doesn’t have access to your shared calendar can be challenging. Outlook 2007 makes it much easier by allowing you to easily include your calendar in your email message. You can show availability only, availability and subjects of calendar items, or availability and full details of calendar items. You can even choose whether to include the details of items marked private.
- Resend a Message – Sometimes you need to resend a message either because the recipient never received it or because they accidentally deleted it.
- Remove the Instant Search Prompt – This recipe shows how to remove that annoying instant search prompt from Outlook 2007.
- Use Rules to Add Categories to New and Old Emails – i’ve just recently started to use categories in my Outlook 2007 (mainly because of using a blackberry at work) however going back through 11 years worth of emails would take months to flag manually and doing it manually each send/receive is still too much work. Lets make a rule in outlook to do this for us!
- Clean Up Using Command-line Switches – There are times when maintaining Outlook can be an overwhelming experience. Not only do you have to manage the massive amounts of email that can accumulate in your inbox, you also have to manage Search Folders, reminders, subscriptions, outdated rules etc. You can utilize Outlook’s command-line switches to help clean things up and get things running the way you want them to.
- Direct Replies to a New Message – There are times that it is useful for replies to a mail message to be directed to another email address or person. This makes it easier to delegate responses to someone else. To direct the replies to your message, follow these steps.
- Show Calendar or Tasks when Application Starts – By default, Outlook shows the Inbox when the application is launched. You may want to have it open up to your Calendar or Tasks (or possibly Contacts, Notes, Journal, or other folder). You can change the default opening folder and have the information you need when you open Outlook.
- Enable Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) – If you are sending an email out to a few people or a mailing list, you probably are wanting to hide the list of addresses from each recipient. You do this by using the blind carbon copy field in the message you are creating. Outlook has this field hidden by default, to unhide the field, follow these steps.
- Prevent Forwarding of a Message – Sending a message to someone and you would prefer that they not forward it to someone else? You can prevent the forwarding of your message by following these steps.
- How To Prevent the New Mail Desktop Alert from Appearing – By default, Outlook 2007 automatically pops up a Desktop Alert to show part of a new message that has just been received. To prevent others from viewing your incoming e-mail, you can disable it.
October 9th, 2007
If you are an Outlook user and often find yourself needing to text message a friend or business associate, you should check out the Outlook plug-in from Joopz. Joopz users can send SMS messages from the web to any mobile number, allowing them to utilize an actual keyboard instead of poking away at their phone keys. The plug-in allows you the same freedom, but allows you to use Outlook.
You need to got to Joopz and set up an account. Once you have finished that and entered the activation code that was emailed to you, it is time to grab the plug-in. Go to the bottom of the Joopz page. Click the plug-ins link.
Beneath the description for the plug-in, click the Download Now! link. The download process should begin. Once downloaded, install the plug-in by double-clicking the msi file. The installation is quick and painless.
Now open Outlook. Go to the toolbar at the top of the application and find and click the Joopz.com button. Select Log On to Joopz.com.
Input your login information (your mobile number that you used to register the account and the password). Click the Log On button.
Now you can SMS any mobile number from Outlook. To do so simply follow these steps:
- Go back to the Outlook toolbar and click the New SMS button (next to the Joopz.com button).
- In the new window you can either input a phone number and click the Start button or select from your Outlook contacts (any contact with a mobile number will be listed).
- Go to the bottom portion of the Message window and type out your message. When you are finished, click the Send button.
- Your message will be sent. It will also move into the upper portion of the message window. If the recipient responds, their message will appear in the upper portion as well.
September 29th, 2007
If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007 as your email client, you are but a download and an install away from making it your Twitter client as well. TechHit.com, a maker of utilites and add-ons for Outlook, has produced OutTwit to perform your Twitter needs.
First, download the OutTwit Setup executable from TechHit.com. Install the add-on.
Now, open up Outlook and you will find a Twitter addition to your menu bar. To configure the settings, click the OutTwit button and select Options.
Input your Twitter user name and password in the designated textboxes. Then set how often you want to check for new Twitter messages. Next, select the folder that you want the Tweets delivered to (I recommend that you create a new folder that is to be strictly used for your incoming tweets). You can also assign an Outlook category to the tweets. Click OK when you have finished.
Once your Twitter messages start arriving, they will show up in the same fashion as incoming email messages:
Opening the messages will display something like this:
September 25th, 2006
If you find that you mainly use only the Inbox then you only need access to the navigation pane from time to time. To give you more room to work with, hide the navigation pane by pressing Alt+F1. Whenever the time comes that you need to use the navigation pane, simply press Alt+F1 again and it will toggle back.