Monthly Archives: July 2011

Creating marketing and sales emails that get superior responses (all from Outlook)

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Do you use Outlook to create and send out marketing or sales emails? Like you, your customers probably have too many emails in their Inbox. You only have a few seconds to grab their attention so…

Here are some simple but essential tips on formatting your emails so that they actually get opened and read.

Put your company name in the From line so that they know where the email is coming from

Unless the recipients know your name specifically, make sure that your company name is in the From line. (You can control the From by changing account details in Outlook)

Have a Subject line that grabs their attention… within 50 characters

Your target audience is going to decide whether to read your email now (or later or never) based on what is in the Subject line. Why 50 characters… long Subject lines may not get fully displayed if the user has too much on his screen.

Put text rather than images at the top of your email

If your user is previewing your email, only the first lines get displayed. Put something there which causes him to want to know more. You can highlight your text using colors but don’t use images at the very top.

Put the most important content at the top of the email

Most people now have email clients that lets them view the top part of the email as soon as they click on it (like the Reading Pane in Outlook). Make sure that you have the MOST IMPORTANT information displayed there… or at least have the type of information there that will make him scroll down to read more.

Make sure that your email does not look like bulk email

Use a tool like Email Merge for Outlook to send personalized individually addressed emails to your customers. Studies have shown that your response rates can increase by up to 3 times.

Find out more and download a fully functional version of EmailMerge for Outlook from our website.

Use these simple tips and you should find your sales and marketing emails get better responses

How to organize Appointments and Tasks in Outlook by Project

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Many of us use Outlook’s appointments and tasks to manage our daily lives and projects… and yet Outlook does not give us an easy way to manage projects inside Outlook. Outlook users frequently ask us how they can see all appointments and tasks that make up a project in one place.

Why is this important?  As we finish a step, it is important to know what the next steps are to get the project completed. Things also don’t always go according to plan… and we need to see what else gets affected when things change.

Our research showed that there is no simple way to organize and view tasks and appointments under projects…  so we added this functionality to our Outlook Project Management addin Smart Schedules for Outlook.

With Smart Schedules for Outlook you can:

  1. Assign existing (or new) tasks and appointments to projects
  2. Quickly see all tasks and appointments for a project at the click of a button.

Here are step by step instructions showing you just how easy this can be:

Assign existing (or new) tasks and appointments to projects

  1. Open Outlook and go to the Calendar/Task folder that the existing appointment/task is located in
  2. Select the appointment/task
  3. Click on Assign Project button on the Smart Schedules toolbar/ribbon. This will display the following screen:
  4. Assign to Project

  5. Select an existing project from the Project list.
    Note: You can also type in a new project name if you would like to create a new project and add this selected appointment/task to that project.
  6. Click OK.

Quickly see all tasks and appointments for a project at the click of a button.

Smart Schedules Project Centre makes it easy to see all appointments and tasks that you have associated with a project.

  1. On the Smart Schedules toolbar, click Project Centre
  2. From the Project drop-down, select the Project to which you assigned the appointment or task
  3. You will now be able to view the appointment or task assigned to the project and all other related appointments and tasks for the project as shown below:

Project Centre

Next Steps…

Smart Schedules for Outlook was designed with the help of almost 20,000 Outlook users. Try it for yourself today and tell us what you think.

Download a fully functional version of Smart Schedules for Outlook.

Watch a short video of our Outlook based Project Manager (Smart Schedules)

Categories : Smart Schedules for Outlook Comments ( 2 )

Improve Microsoft Outlook Performance – 2 Simple Tips

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Friday, July 22nd, 2011

If your Outlook is slow and unstable, it can seriously affect your productivity and may even lead to increased stress levels when you are not able to get your work done on time.

In this Post, we will provide you 2 simple tips which you can use to keep your Outlook fast and stable.

1. Maintain your Outlook Data (PST) Files

If you started using (or maybe are still using) Outlook before Outlook 2003 then your PST file (Outlook data file) is allowed a maximum size of 2 GB. This may still be true even if you migrated to new versions of Outlook since then.

If your pre-Outlook 2003 data file exceeds 2 GB then Outlook will not be able to open it… there’s also no warning built in to Outlook telling you that you are getting close to this dangerous limit. You might just come to work one morning and find that your Outlook does not open and you have lost all important emails, not forgetting the stress this will lead to and the time and money spent on getting it up and running.

It is for this reason that maintaining your PST files is very important. Here are a few things you can do to keep your PST files small:

  1. Delete messages that you don’t need to keep (don’t forget the Sent Items folder)
  2. Empty the Deleted Items folder regularly.
  3. Compact your PST file occasionally to remove the empty space that remains even after you delete emails. (Click the Compact button shown in the screen above)

2. Disable Addins you don’t need

Running alot of addins (unnecessary addins) can drop the performace of Outlook making it slower. Disabling unnecessary addins is a great way to make your Outlook run faster, more reliably and take less memory.

To disable unnecessary addins:

If you are using Outlook 2000, XP and 2003:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox.
  • Click Tools -> go to Options
  • Click on the Other tab
  • Click on the Advanced Options button
  • Click on the Com-Addins button. You will see your full list of addins installed.
  • Untick the checkboxes for all addins you want to disable
  • Click OK
  • Restart Outlook

If you are using Outlook 2007:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox.
  • Click Tools -> Trust Center
  • On the screen that appear -> click on add-ins on the left side
  • Select Com-Addins on the Manage drop-down -> Click Go. You will see your full list of addins installed.
  • Untick the checkboxes for all addins you want to disable
  • Click OK
  • Restart Outlook

If you are using Outlook 2010:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox
  • Click on the File tab > Options > Addins
  • Select “COM Add-ins” in the Manage drop-down
  • Click GO
  • Untick the checkboxes for all addins you want to disable
  • Click OK
  • Restart Outlook

I hope these simple tips will help you keep your Outlook performing faster, more reliably and keep your Outlook data safe.

Categories : Outlook Performance Comments ( 3 )

Procrastination = Clicking Send & Receive in Outlook too often

By standss - Comments ( 4 ) Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

2011 has been a year of discovery for me… a year where I am trying to eliminate as many bad habits as I can. One habit that I know I have (but have been avoiding discovering) is how often I click Send & Receive in Outlook… most times without even knowing that I am doing it.

In this post, I look at why I do it, what’s wrong with it and how I am curing myself.


At first I didn’t try and stop myself from clicking Send & Receive. Instead I tried to see when I was clicking it. This is what I discovered.

  1. I was clicking Send & Receive whenever I was in-between major pieces of work during the day. It was a mechanism to avoid starting the new piece of work… particularly if it was something that I did not want to do. I was hoping to discover a distraction in my Inbox… even if the distraction would be a total unproductive waste of time.
  2. I was clicking Send & receive whenever I had a decision to make. The decision could be deciding what I was going to work on next… or it could be a design decision with no strictly right answer (I hate being wrong). In short, I was again hoping that something would catch my attention so that I could avoid doing what I had to do.

In summary… Send & Receive was a procrastination mechanism. I was hoping that it would give me a distraction (in the form of an email) that would justify me not doing what my business needed me to do.


I now make a conscious effort to CLOSE Outlook several times a day.

Once Outlook is closed, I decide what I want to do and then start work. I do not open Outlook while working on this unless I need to refer to an email.

I still find myself moving the mouse over to try and click Send & Receive… but then I realize Outlook is closed… and then I realize WHY it’s closed… which makes me get back to some real work.

The thing I’ve discovered is that most of the things that I had been hoping to avoid only take a few seconds… I’ve been getting much more work done… and most of it is very enjoyable.

Once I get a decent chunk of work done, I turn Outlook on again for my email-fix.

I’d love to hear comments from users on their own ways of dealing with email-distraction.

Why (and How) you should split your Outlook data file into 2

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, July 15th, 2011

Outlook by default saves all its e-mails into one file. Prior to Outlook 2003, there was a limitation of 2 GB to your Outlook data file. Although 2 GB seems like a lot, this space can be filled quickly particularly if you receive a lot of attachments.

Once you reach that limit, there is no real warning. Outlook just slows down, e-mails start getting lost and in some cases Outlook just stops opening altogether. Retrieving your e-mails from this corrupt PST is a nightmare.

In Outlook 2003, you have the option of using the new Unicode format of Outlook data file which can hold much more data. However if you upgraded Outlook from an earlier version then chances are that you are still using the older format with the 2 GB limitation.

Irrespective of whether you are using the new or old format data file, you should split your Outlook data into at least 2 files. Your main PST file should not be used like a filing cabinet for old e-mails. Create a separate PST file to save e-mails that you want to keep for future reference. This leaves your main Outlook data file lean and mean so that Outlook is able to open up quickly. To create a new Outlook data file:

For Outlook 2010:

  1. Click on Home tab
  2. Select New Items > More Items > Outlook Data File…
  3. Outlook suggests a default location for the file. I recommend that you change this to a folder that you backup regularly, possible a sub-folder in your My Documents.
  4. Enter a filename and click OK to create the file.

For Outlook 2003/2007:

  1. Click File > New > Outlook Data File
  2. Outlook 2003 Only: Outlook 2003 uses two types of Outlook data files. If you will be using the data only in Outlook 2003 or later, choose MS Outlook Personal Folders File. Otherwise choose the Outlook 97-2002 option.
  3. Outlook suggests a default location for the file. I recommend that you change this to a folder that you backup regularly, possible a sub-folder in your My Documents.
  4. Enter a filename and click OK to create the file.

You can create as many Personal Folder files as you need. Most users only need to create one in addition to the one that Outlook creates by default.

PST 1: Default Folder created by Outlook
PST 2: Use to store Project E-mails

If you have a very high volume of e-mails (particularly with large attachments) you may want to have 2 PST files for your Project E-mails, one for Active projects and one for Completed projects.

How to Move Emails from One PST to another (Using Drag and Drop)

One simple way of moving your emails from one PST to another is to Drag and Down the email to the appropriate folder. This method is simple and it works but:

  1. It can be time-consuming to find the right folder if you have a lot of folders
  2. It is easy to accidentally drop the email into the wrong folder

Using QuickFile to move your emails

Our Outlook addin QuickFile has the ability to remember where you commonly file emails related to a project/case/person and it will provide you with a list of recently used folders. You can simply:

  1. Select the email that you wish to move
  2. On the QuickFile toolbar/Ribbon, click the QuickFile button. This will display the QuickFile screen.
  3. You can select the appropriate folder from the recommended list(based on your previous filing)
  4. Click Move

The email will now be moved to the appropriate folder.

QuickFile is the Fastest, Easiest and Error-Free way to file emails in Outlook. Users tell us that they can file as much as 90% of their emails at the click of one button.

Click here to learn more about QuickFile for Outlook.

Filing Emails to Multiple Folders in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Do you need to file an email in more than one folder in Outlook? Here’s how to do it using drag and drop… and an easier way if you’re using QuickFile for Outlook.

Normally we have a dedicated folder for each project/case/person in Outlook to which we file all related emails but there are times when the same email may need to be filed in two folders.

Filing to multiple folders using Outlook (drag and drop)

  • Right-Click on the email, drag it to the required folder, release it and select the Copy option.

This works but:

  1. It can be time-consuming to find the right folder if you have a lot of folders
  2. It is easy to accidentally drop the email into the wrong folder

Using QuickFile to file the same email in multiple folders

The latest version of our Outlook addin QuickFile has a new feature we call “Mutli-Select mode” which allows you to select mutliple folders and  file a copy of the email to the selected folders at the click of a button.

We only recommend that you use the Multi-Select mode if the majority of your emails need to be filed to multiple folders.

To turn on the Mutli-Select mode:

* Open Outlook
* On the QuickFile toolbar/Ribbon, click More > Settings…
* Click the View tab, under Display Options, you will find “Multi-Select mode in QuickFile
* From the Drop-down menu, select “Show link to Multiple-Select (with Multiple-Select on)
* Click OK

* Now select a email that you wish to file to multiple folders and click the QuickFile button. QuickFile will display a  screen as shown below with checkboxes beside each folder.

QuickFile Multi-select mode

* Place a tick beside each folder you wish to file the email to
* Click Move

A copy of the email will now be moved to all the folders you selected.

If you’re not a user of QuickFile yet, Click Here to download a Fully Functional 30 day trial version of QuickFile for  Outlook.

QuickFile is the Fastest, Easiest and Error-Free way to file emails in Outlook. Users tell us that they can file as much as 90% of their incoming emails at the click of one button.

Click here to learn more about QuickFile for Outlook

Do NOT CC customers from Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Friday, July 8th, 2011

Do you have an important message that you need to communicate to all your customers now? Your customers are already saved as contacts in Outlook… so maybe you could just create an email and CC it to all of them. NO!

Using the CC field to send out your sales and marketing emails is not recommended. It can result in annoyed customers and lost sales because:

You are violating your customers’ privacy: When you use CC to send out emails, every person who receives the email will be able to see everyone else’s email address.  The problems this can cause are:

  1. Your customers may not want other people to know that they are working with you.
  2. Your customers may not want other people on your list to have their email address.
  3. One of the recipients may decide to use your list for their own marketing efforts.

A good example of this recently happened at our golf club which circulates its weekly newsletter using the CC field. A few of the members have simply copied the list and started advertising all kinds of things… from cars… to computers… to garage sales. I’m not quitting the golf club because it is the only one close to my home but your customers may quit on you.

Your email may never reach your customer: One of the rules that junk email filters use to work out if an email is spam is based on the number of recipients. Stuff too many people in the CC field and suddenly your email ends up in the Junk Email folder where it is never read.

Your email never gets read because it is obvious to the customer that this is a bulk mail out: Even if the email gets to your customer, it looks like a marketing email. He thinks you’re just trying to sell him something so he either deletes it… or leaves it in his Inbox to read later (how many of those emails do we ever read later?).

… can you use the BCC field instead!
The BCC field is no better at customer communications. Because the email is not addressed to the customer, the junk filters either move it to the junk folder… or the user recognizes it as marketing and deletes or ignores it till too late.

So what can you do?
If you’re one of the tens of thousands of users of the Email Merge for Outlook addin, you already know. Email Merge takes your chosen list of people (from Outlook or Excel or wherever) and:

  1. Creates a separate email for each person… with only their email address in the To field.
  2. Personalises the Subject and/or body of the email with their personal details (name, company name etc) if you want.
  3. Sends the email out immediately or schedules it out at a time suitable to you.
  4. It does all this and more inside Outlook using a Wizard that steps you through the process in a few minutes.

If you haven’t tried Email Merge yet, click here to learn more and download a fully functional version of the Email Merge for Outlook addon.

You’ll be sending out your first set of sales and marketing emails within 5 minutes.

Outlook sending Winmail.dat Attachments

By standss - Comments ( 6 ) Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Recently we have had several customers mentioning that there attachments are removed on the recipient end and instead a Winmail.dat file is found attached. Many have contacted us asking if this was due to one of our Outlook addins so we decided to do some research on this. NO!

It turns out that this is a long standing problem between Outlook and Internet email.

Outlook uses an email format that Outlook and Exchange (and MANY other email clients like gmail) can recognize. However some email clients (including unfortunately the IPhone and IPad mail clients) have problems displaying these emails properly.

If you send a email with Attachment to a user of an email program that has problems with Outlook emails, then the recipient gets a plain text message and an attachment called winmail.dat. Any attachment that you might have sent with the email is encased in the winmail.dat attachment.

For those who receive a Winmail.dat file, you will need a tool/utility in order to extract the attachments from the Winmail.dat file (you can easily find a free tool using Google Search).

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 6 )

Office 2010 Service Pack 1 Released

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, July 1st, 2011

Microsoft has released Office 2010 Service Pack 1 a few days back. The Office 2010 SP1 contains all updates released through April 2011 to June 2011 for the various applications that are part of the Office Suite.

We recommend that you do not download/install the service pack… yet!

In addition to bug fixes, SP1 contains additional improvements such as reducing the number of crashes and improved security.

Click Here to view the full list of issues addressed in SP1.

If you go to Microsoft’s update page you will notice that the update is available however it has not been checked yet. Since the update was just released few days back, I would recommend you skip the download of the update for now until further testing has been completed.

For those who are willing to download the update, you can download the packages from the Microsoft web site using the following links:

Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 64-bit

Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 32-bit

Categories : Outlook Installation/Setup Comments ( 0 )

Search Blog