Monthly Archives: April 2010


Don’t File Your Outlook Emails in the Deleted Items Folder!

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, April 30th, 2010

Filing (?) emails in Outlook’s Deleted Items Folder is the easiest way to accidentally lose all your emails. Here’s why… plus a few better methods of filing your emails.

I was at a friend’s office last week and observed him retrieving an email for our discussions from the Deleted Items folder. I thought he may have accidentally deleted the emails but then found out that… the email was in the Deleted Items folder on PURPOSE!

His system for filing his emails and having a clean inbox was the DELETE button… once he was finished with an email he simply deleted it…  he wasn’t emptying his Deleted Items folder so he could refer to the emails again in the future when he wants.

no! No! NO!

The Deleted Items folder is your electronic rubbish bin… do you file your important papers in your physical rubbish bins.

Here’s why you should NOT file emails to the Deleted Items folder?

  1. Like its physical world counterpart, the Deleted Items folder can be emptied very easily (right-click and then click Empty) causing permanent loss of your “filed” emails.
  1. Also if you have Outlook data corruption due to file size etc. automated recovery programs may try and empty out your Deleted Items folder which could result in the loss of your data.
  1. IT Support people helping you with speed problems etc in Outlook may empty your Deleted Items folder before optimizing your file.

If you’re not going to refer to the email again and do not need to keep it (for legal reasons etc) then DELETE IT! Otherwise you need to FILE IT somewhere aside from Outlook’s Deleted Items folder (aka Outlook’s Garbage Bin).

Here are two options…

  1. Have One folder in which you file all your emails. (Give this email a generic name like Filing or Old Emails or Archive) and drag emails to this folder for filing… or…
  1. Have different folders dedicated to projects, cases, clients, topics etc and then file the email into the relevant folder.

Use whatever method works for you but DO NOT USE DELETED ITEMS as a filing cabinet.

If you’re new to the idea of filing emails, I would also recommend that you download our free ebook 8 Simple Tips for Email Management in Outlook from our blog.

Do you know of people who use the Deleted Items folder for filing emails? Do you do it yourself? Please leave a comment if you have reasons for doing this.

Regards,

Sanjay Singh

Finding Real Emails in Outlook’s Junk Emails Folder

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Do a lot of your work emails end up in Outlook’s Junk Mail folder? Here’s how you can quickly spot the work emails amongst all the SPAM by getting Outlook to HIGHLIGHT the most likely real emails.

The trick is to get Outlook to automatically color code any emails that have certain words in them. In my case…

I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.

Step-By-Step
1. Go to the Junk Emails Folder.

2. On the menu at the top, Click View-Current View – Customize Current View to display the Customize View screen. (In Outlook 2010 click View-View Settings on the ribbon)

3. Click the Automatic Formatting(or Conditional Formatting) button.

4. Click the Add Button

5. Enter a name e.g. “Colour Code Outlook Emails”

6. Click the Font button and using the resulting screen to choose how you want emails to be highlighted (I chose the colour Red and Bold). Click OK to return to the previous screen.

7. Click the Condition button to display the Filter screen and enter your criteria and click OK.

In my case I chose:

Search for the word(s): Outlook
In: Subject and message body

8. Click OK 3 times to return to your Folder.

Your Emails are Now Color Coded… Any emails in the folder that meet the criteria you specified will automatically be highlighted. Any new emails will also be highlighted using the same rules.

I can’t tell you how many times this simple trick has helped me immediately spot an important email that Outlook though was spam.

Regards,

Sanjay Singh

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SPAM Filtering in Outlook Comments ( 1 )

Email Notes for Outlook is now LIVE!

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Just a quick note (pun intended)… Email Notes for Outlook is available for download. Get the details here:
http://www.standss.com/t/1004/emailnotes.asp

The whole team worked very hard to put most of the extra features you asked for… we have now made writing notes on emails AS EASY AS STICKING NOTES TO A PIECE OF PAPER!

  • One click to add and link notes to emails
  • One click to view and edit notes linked to an email
  • Forward, Reply and Print your emails with or without notes
  •  …

Several users requested for a VIDEO to show how Email Notes works so we’ve done a 1 minute video that shows off the best features of EmailNotes. (It’s always embarassing to listen to your own voice… particularly if you have a strong  accent.. hopefully it won’t distract from the message… and we will try and hire a voice-over artist to redo the video in the near future)

WHAT DOES EMAIL-NOTES COST…
We’re also trying something NEW as far as prices are concerned. During the launch week we are going to let YOU DECIDE THE PRICE of Email Notes.

Go to the link and try it out NOW!

Best Regards,
Sanjay Singh

PS: The YOU DECIDE THE PRICE promotion ends on 5th-May (or sooner). Take a look at the 1-minute video to see just how easy Email Notes is:
http://www.standss.com/t/1004/emailnotes.asp

Categories : Email Notes for Outlook, Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 0 )

Use Outlook to email links to files on your network

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Monday, April 26th, 2010

Do you share files with other users on your network? Here’s a way to email CLICKABLE links even if the file name or path has spaces in it.

We often share files with other users in our company by putting them in shared folders either on our computer or on the server. We then email the relevant people with a link to the file e.g.

I have put the latest copy of the software on the server at the following location:

\\Server\SoftwarePrograms\filename.exe

If the file name and path have no spaces in it then you end up with a link that the recipient can click on to open the file.

The problem is that since Windows allows spaces in file names, many folder names and file names now contain spaces. If your path/folder name has spaces in it, then the link is not correct e.g. in the same example link above if there was a space in the word SoftwarePrograms:

\\Server\Software Programs\filename.exe

Here’s an easy trick to get around it. Start your link with a “<” and finish with a “>” i.e if you type

<\\Server\Software Programs\filename.exe>

Outlook will change it to:

\\Server\Software Programs\filename.exe

Regards,
Sanjay Singh

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 0 )

Email Marketing with Outlook: You MUST put your contact details on emails

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Friday, April 23rd, 2010

This is the first in a series of articles that we plan to do on using Outlook as tool to effectively market your business.

This article applies to ALL users of Outlook who are sending out emails for sales and marketing purposes. If you’re using our EmailMerge for Outlook addin to send out personalized email promotions from Outlook then this post is especially important to you.

Do you send out newsletters, sales emails or any other type of bulk-email from Outlook?

Then you need to be aware of legal requirements such as the CAN-SPAM Act. One of the aims of this Act is to provide standards for sending out promotional emails while limiting the amount of spam.

Over the next few weeks I plan to highlight some of the parts of this Act as they may relate to your business (This is NOT legal advice. We are NOT legal experts. This is simply our view on how to write better more compliant emails… you will need to see your lawyer if you want legal advice on the Act)

This week, we’ll start with something very simple.

One of the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act is that the Sender must clearly identify himself/herself by providing relevant contact information

What does this mean to you… If you are sending out promotional emails then you probably need to put the following contact information at the bottom of all emails at the very minimum:

  1. Your (the Sender’s) Name
  2. Your Email Address
  3. Your Postal Address

It is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT that all promotional emails include the above at a very minimum.

If you’re not already doing this, make sure you include your contact information on the next promotional email you send out.

Making Notes on Outlook Emails… What you want… what you currently have… and why existing note taking techniques are NOT good enough

By standss - Comments ( 6 ) Friday, April 23rd, 2010

I recently asked more than FIFTEEN THOUSAND of our current readers and customers… do you need to make notes on your emails… and if you do, HOW do you do it?

The question was related to a new Outlook addin that we were about to release so I also asked them… WHAT would you like in your ideal email note taking application?

Here’s what I found out… most Outlook users NEED a way to take notes on emails… many have come up with their own systems to do this and most agree… that they want a BETTER system

You said you wanted a system in Outlook that is…
as easy as sticking a post-it on a piece of paper
… and it must also meet these requirements

Here’s what you said the Perfect Outlook Email Note Taking System MUST have.

Easy-to-use… As easy as sticking a post-it to a piece of paper

You should be able to add a new note or view an existing note by simply clicking on the related emails and clicking one button.

EmailNotes should be attached/linked to emails and easily retrievable for reference/use

Notes must not sit in isolation. Instead notes should be attached to emails. It should be immediately obvious which emails have notes attached to them and you want to be able to view and edit the note simply by clicking a button.

EmailNotes must be NON-DESTRUCTIVE to the original email.

The original email would ideally remain unchanged by the note… so that you still had the original content to refer to… and for legal reasons.

EmailNotes must be PRINTABLE

You must be able to print out the Notes for an email easily. This makes the notes usable in discussions away from the computer.

EmailNotes must be CONFIDENTIAL

Not all notes are meant to be shared with others. You should be able to reply, forward and print the emails without the notes

Email Notes must be SHAREABLE

You should be able to SHARE your notes by forwarding or replying the email with the notes attached. Ideally the notes should be attached in a format that can be read even if the recipient is not using MS Outlook

Email Notes must be SAFE and EASY-TO-BACKUP

The notes should be stored within Outlook so that they would be backed up anytime you backed up your emails.

Early next week we are releasing Email Notes for Outlook… and it will meet ALL the above requirements… Making notes on emails is going to be as easy as sticking a post-it on a piece of paper.

I’ve already started receiving requests from customers that they need the program NOW but please give us a few more days. We are fine-tuning and adding to the software based on your suggestions.

It’s going to be a busy weekend but we are committed to releasing the program within the next 5-7 days.

In the meantime, I thought you may be interested in the various methods that Outlook users are currently using to keep notes on their emails.

Here’s HOW you said…
You are currently taking notes and why it’s not good enough

There are a range of “systems” that our readers are currently using to keep notes on emails… these ranges from writing on paper… to using other applications such as Word… to some cool tricks inside Word.

Editing the actual received/sent email

Many users edit the actual email (Actions-Edit Message from the menu) and then type in their notes in the email either using capital letters or with different formatting/colors etc.

The disadvantage of this is that it is definitely DESTRUCTIVE as the original email is no longer intact. This makes it difficult to reply to the email in the future as you will need to remove your notes… or risk passing on notes accidentally to the wrong person.

There may also be legal reasons why it would be useful to retain the original email in an unchanged format.

Editing the Subject of the Email

This is a slightly less destructive alternative to the previous option. It still has ALL the disadvantages listed above and also allows a very small space to enter and view comments.

Forwarding the Email to Yourself

Some users forward the email to themselves and then write their notes in the forwarded copy.  The disadvantage of this is that it leaves multiple copies of the email in their filing system… and your notes are still not linked to the original email.

Converting the email to a Task (and then adding notes)

Several users drag their emails to their Task folder which automatically creates a new Task with the email attached to or inserted in it. They can then write notes on the Task.

This is an OK system for keeping tracks of emails that still need your action if you are an active user of Tasks.  However the notes are not linked in anyway to the original email which makes it ineffective if you wish to keep notes after the task is completed.

Creating Posts in same folder

Some users create Posts in the same folder that the email is saved in. The disadvantage of this system is that there is still no way of linking the Post to the email which makes them difficult to use unless you only have a few emails in the folder.

Flagging the Email with a Reminder

A few users add Reminder flags to their emails and sometimes type a tiny note as part of the flag and then “remember” the rest.

The obvious problem with this system is that there really isn’t much space for the actual note so most of the note stays in your head. The other problem is that any email with a reminder also appears in your To-do list (Outlook 2007 and later) which is a nuisance if you are simply typing notes for later reference.

Using other programs such as Word, One Note or even NotePad

Many users copy the email over to other applications such as Word or OneNote and then write notes. The problem with this is that your notes are no longer connected to your email system (Outlook). This makes it difficult to both find and use the notes quickly when you need to.

Printing Emails and then Writing on them

Many users simply printed out their emails and then made notes on it using a pen or pencil. Some filed these printed notes into paper folders and others scanned them back into their computers. The majority simply put the printouts “somewhere” where they would hopefully find them when needed.

The disadvantages of this system are obvious. It wastes a lot of paper and in most cases the notes are difficult to find for later use.

Printing Emails and then sticking Post-Its

This one is self-explanatory and suffers from all the disadvantages associated with printing plus there is the risk that your Post-It may fall off.

Using Notebooks (the kind you actually use a pen to write on)

Several users said that they kept a Notebook handy on their desks in which they wrote down any notes/ideas that came up when reading or discussing emails.

The disadvantage of this is that the notes are not electronic, not connected to the email in anyway and generally time-consuming to refer to. Several readers also complained that even if they find their notes they couldn’t always read their own hand writing.

Email Notes for Outlook is going to make taking notes on emails as easy as sticking a post-it on a piece of paper.

Early next week, we are going to release Email Notes for Outlook. It’s going to take a few extra days to complete because we’ve implemented some ideas you suggested but…

We are going to introduce a brand new pricing system when we launch Email Notes for Outlook… and there will be a discount for people who purchase in the first 7 days.

So keep your eyes on your Inbox… Email Notes is coming very soon.

Regards,
Sanjay Singh

PS: The new pricing system and the launch specials will definitely make it worth your while to look at Email Notes as soon as it is released.

Categories : Email Notes for Outlook, Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 6 )

Using Rules to process Newsletter Emails in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Last week we discussed why you should NOT use rules to process the majority of your work emails. This week I’d like to show you why it makes perfect sense to use Rules to process your newsletter emails.

Do you subscribe to any email newsletters, mailing lists or groups?

I often mind myself going to check my email and 30 minutes later all I have done is read through “interesting” articles instead of doing any real work.

Microsoft’s built-in Rules feature provides a solution.

What are Rules in Outlook?
According to Outlook 2007 Help … A rule is an action that Microsoft Office Outlook takes automatically on an arriving or sent message that meets the conditions that you specify in the rule.

For example … you can set a Rule to automatically move emails from a particular email address out of the Inbox to another folder.

Normally I don’t use Rules much because …
My Inbox is my To-Do list.

I don’t want anything automatically moved out of it. Even Outlook automatically moving items after they are read is NOT acceptable because I sometimes leave stuff in there to deal with later.

I want to move emails out myself after I have finished with them – I need to stay in control of my Inbox.

I use QuickFile 4Outlook to simplify email filing out of my Inbox (and Sent Items).

But in this situation it makes sense …

I want the newsletter emails moved out of my Inbox and into a folder dedicated to newsletters.

These emails are not part of my daily to-do-list and I prefer to go through them when I take a break from real work.

How to create a Rule
BEFORE creating the Rule, create a folder inside Outlook where you want the newsletter emails to be moved to. Then …

  • Go to your Inbox.
  • Click Tools.
  • Click Rules & Alerts.
  • Click New Rule to display the Rules Wizard.

“Move Messages from someone to a folder” will already be highlighted. (This example assumes that the newsletters come from the same email address – otherwise you can use one of the other predefined Rule Templates)

Click “people or distribution list” to display the Rule Address screen.

Choose a name from the list or type in the name in the From field and then click OK.

Click the hyperlinked word “specified” to bring up the Choose Folder dialog. Select the desired folder from the list and then click OK.

Now that the Rule is created, any emails coming from the list will automatically be moved to the chosen folder.

You can also apply it to any emails that are already in the folder by going back to the Rules and Alerts screen and clicking the “Run Rules Now” button.

Use Rules in this way to move emails that you know are NOT part of your REAL WORK.

This keeps your Inbox clean and focussed on things that need your attention.

OPTIONAL RELATED OUTLOOK ADDIN: I recommend that you don’t use Rules to shift work related emails. Instead use QuickFile for Outlook addin to move emails AFTER you have finished with them.

QuickFile PRO for Outlook also has a special Newsletters feature which moves emails to a dedicated folder AND also reminds you once a day (at time of your choice) to look at newsletters.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 2 )

Outlook Signatures: How to Backup and Move Between Computers

By standss - Comments ( 10 ) Monday, April 19th, 2010

Here’s a super easy way to copy or backup your signatures in Outlook… not sure why Microsoft did such a great job of building this feature and then hiding it.

I recently got myself a new computer. I setup my Outlook and had “almost” everything working… except for my Signatures. Signatures are not saved with the rest of your Outlook data and so I procrastinated… because of the effort needed to find where they were on my old computer and where they should go on my new computer.

Turns out Microsoft has built in a hidden way to jump straight to the folder where your signatures are saved.

This works in all versions of Outlook..  from Outlook 2000 all the way to the soon-to-be- released Outlook 2010.

To Backup your Outlook Signatures
Click Tools-Options and then select the Mail Format tab. (In Outlook 2010 click File-Options and then select the Mail tab)

Now hold down the CTRL key and click on the Signatures button. Outlook will open the folder on your computer that contains all your signatures.

Copy all the files and folders in the open folder to your backup device (USB Drive, External Drive, DVD etc)

To Copy backed up Outlook Signatures to your new computer
Open Outlook on your new computer

Click Tools-Options and then select the Mail Format tab. (In Outlook 2010 click File-Options and then select the Mail tab)

Now hold down the CTRL key and click on the Signatures button. Outlook will open the folder on your computer that contains all your signatures.

Copy the files from your backup device over to this folder.

The next time you try and insert a Signature in Outlook, they will all be there.

I hope you find this tip useful. It certainly made it easier for me to switch from my old computer to my new computer.

OPTIONAL RELATED OUTLOOK ADDIN: If you use Signatures as an essential part of your business you may also want to look at our Outlook addin Signature Switch for Outlook.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, Outlook Installation/Setup Comments ( 10 )

Are You Backing Up Your Outlook Data File (it is NOT in your Documents folder)?

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, April 16th, 2010

Very few Outlook users know until it is too late that… Outlook does NOT by default save your email, task and calendar data in a folder that you would ever think of backing up.

Unless you are part of a corporate network using MS Exchange, all your Outlook data is stored in one Personal Folders file.

  1. This file has a .pst extension and is saved somewhere on your computer.
  2. This one file probably contains all your Outlook folders, e-mails, contacts, tasks, calendar items, journal entries and notes inside it.
  3. (Unfortunately) This file is NOT saved to your Documents folder (at least not by default) so chances are you are not backing it up.

So where is this file on your computer?

The exact location depends on the version of Outlook and Windows. To find out where your Outlook data is:

  1. Go to your Inbox and make sure that the list of folders is displayed
  2. Right-click the top-level folder and select Properties
  3. Click the Advanced button. The filename will be displayed in the box labelled FileName.

Just make sure that file is part of your computer backup plan.

If you are using more than one PST (e.g. a separate file for archives), then you need to do the above for each of your Outlook data files.

I hope that this little tip helps keep your Outlook data protected.

Categories : Outlook Installation/Setup Comments ( 0 )

When You Should NOT Use Rules to File Your Outlook Emails

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Rules are a handy feature in Outlook that can automatically move emails out of your Inbox to any other chosen folder but… I personally almost never use Outlook Rules (I’ll write about exceptions next week) to move emails.

So why don’t I use Outlook Rules?

I like to see ALL emails that I have not read or I have read but not taken action yet in one place… my Inbox… in effect the Inbox shows me the emails that I still need to work on.

I don’t use Rules because emails would be moved out of the Inbox before I’ve had a chance to even read them.

I move the emails out of the Inbox AFTER I have finished with it.

You can move the emails manually (by dragging and dropping) or…

You can use an Outlook addin like QuickFile for Outlook which speeds up the process. QuickFile lets you file up to 90% of emails at the click of one button by displaying an additional button inside Outlook for you. The button displays and links to the folder you are most likely to file the currently selected/open email.

Next week I’ll have an article on when it makes sense to use Rules.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 1 )

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