Monthly Archives: October 2012


Outlook Ribbon Tip: Moving Ribbon Groups for Easy Access

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Here is a tip for customizing the Outlook Ribbon. This example is for Email Tags for Outlook but applies generally even if you are not using Email Tags.

A reader asked: I use Email Tags for Outlook for virtually all my emails and I want to move it to a more prominent place on the Ribbon. Can I move the Email Tags buttons so that they appear directly beside the Respond group of buttons?

The answer is Yes, you can move any group on the ribbon left or right to a location that is more convenient for you to access.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on moving ribbon groups:

Note: The instructions in this post are for Outlook 2010.

  • Open Outlook
  • Click File > Options > Customize Ribbon. The following screen will be displayed

Outlook ribbon customization options

  • Select the group from the list that you wish to move, For example I have selected EmailTags in the above screenshot.
  • To move the group up or down, click on the arrow buttons on the right-side of the screen
  • Once you have moved the group to the correct position, click OK

The group you changed should now be positioned in the location you had set. In our example, we wanted to move the EmailTags group beside the Respond group which is shown in the screenshot below.

emailtags on ribbon

Hope you find this tip useful in organizing your ribbon better.

For those of you who are not aware of EmailTags for Outlook, this is a new outlook addin we have launched a few days back. With this addin you can:

  1. Organize your Incoming and outgoing emails
  2. Easily find your new or older emails for reference or decision making
  3. Make Outlook Search work much better so that emails are easier to find
  4. Make Outlook Search work better so that you can see all emails for a project, customer, topic etc without having to manually sort through a list of emails

Download a fully functional 30 day trial of EmailTags and test drive it for yourself to see just how simple and easy it is to use.

Till next time have a better Outlook.

Email Tags: Confused… Some Answers to Your Questions

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Friday, October 19th, 2012

The response to Email Tags for Outlook has beenvery positive. Users who have tried it love it.

“This is the ultimate productivity improvement for organizing emails quickly.”
Joe Lauria

But some readers (and particularly long term customers) had questions.

Why are you charging a subscription instead of a one-off price (like you used to before)?

This was by far the most common question. The short answer… we’re carrying out an experiment!

We would normally charge anywhere from $19.95 to $39.95 for this product. We would do an update sometime in the second year that customers would pay for. The price to customers would be around $15 per year. The experiment is to see if we can get significantly more users to purchase at a price that would be insignificant.

Some of our products (in the past) while very well received by actual users, have not generated sufficient sales numbers to make it cost effective to carry out upgrades later.

We’re pricing at a much lower $7 an year (NOT per month) to see if we can change this. 

Pricing may change later but it will NOT go below what we are offering now.

How are Tags different from Outlook Categories?

Great Question. Email Tags actually uses categories for storing tags. However Outlook does not make it easy to add or use categories.

Email Tags adds some features to Outlook that makes it easy to add and use tags without breaking the process of your work…. plus it combines tagging with archiving.

Some of the advantages of using Email Tags include:

  1. You don’t have to manually maintain a list of tags. Email Tags does it for you on the fly.
  2. You don’t need to remember the exact tags that you typed in order to use them e.g. If you had a tag called “School Friends” and another one called “High School Friends”, you could simply type “sch” and Email Tags will show you both tags for you to pick from.
  3. Your Sent Items are not forgotten. The most common complaint from users of any email management system is that sent emails are very easy to forget. Email Tags prompts you to tag emails that you are sending out.
  4. Email Tags makes it easy to keep your Inbox clean. It will tag your emails and move them to an archive folder all in one step.

You can see a short video of Email Tags in action on our website.

Is any information transmitted back to Standss when tagging? Is this some sort of Cloud product instead of an executable?

NO. Email Tags is an addin. The software and all your data is onyour computer. However Outlook 2013 will support both Outlook Addins and what Microsoft calls Office Apps. Office Apps will be cloud based and will work on Outlook on computers, IPADs, Iphones etc.

If Email Tags is well received by users, and you tell us that you are moving to Outlook 2013 then we may consider giving you a Cloud version as well.

If I already have QuickFile, would I benefit from using Email Tags?

It depends. If your work is based on well defined projects, then QuickFile may work better for you. We have thousands of users of QuickFile as proof of that.

The basic idea of QuickFile is that you will have separate folders for different topics.

However folder based filing is slowly being taken over by Search… Particularly when combined with tags.

Email Tags is based on this new philosophy. You tag your email with keywords that allow you to retrieve emails later… each keyword can be thought of a virtual folder. Because you can tag your emails with multiple tags, the same email can be found in different ways (you can think of it as putting the same email in several folders).

You can read more at the following page on our website:
Why are Tags Better than Folders!

If you find that filing emails into so many folders is getting hard to manage then, we recommend that you look at Email Tags.

I tagged my Sent Email but found an untagged copy still in Sent Items folder. Why?

By default Email Tags will tag your sent email and move it to your chosen bucket (archive folder). It also leaves a copy of the untagged email in the Sent Items folder. The reason for this is that many users prefer this because they use the Sent Items folder to make their timesheets etc at the end of the day.

You can turn this off (i.e. Tag and Move the sent email and NOT leave another copy in the Sent Items). There is a checkbox that is displayed on the Email Tags screen when you send an email. Untick this checkbox. Email Tags remembers your last choice so you only need to do this once.

Do users of Email Tags find the product useful?

OK. This wasn’t an actual question… but we’ve had some really great comments from users that summarise the benefits of the product much better than anything that we could say. I needed some way to share a few with you.

“No more lost e-mails, no more trying to figure out which folder I put it in, no time wasted searching for an e-mail.”
Justin Henderson

“I can easily process the more than one hundred emails I receive each day”
Thomas Huth

That’s it. Please try Email Tags. We truly believe that it can help most Outlook users.

Regards,
Sanjay Singh
President
www.Standss.com | www.Addins4Outlook.comwww.StandssApps.com

PS: We will review the experimental pricing and make changes if we need to… but this is the lowest it is going to be. Go and try Email Tags for yourself before any change.
www.StandssApps.com

How do Outlook users organize emails?

By standss - Comments ( 7 ) Friday, October 5th, 2012

We recently asked our 30,000+ readers about how they were keeping their emails organized. Our Inbox was flooded with responses. This report outlines the two main methods users told us they were using.. . as well as the problems they could not solve. Finally at the end of the report we  introduce a solution that has the advantages of both methods and also solves the problems of both.

OUR REAL NEEDS OF EMAIL ORGANIZATION ARE SIMPLE!

Before we look at what people are doing, we tried to identify what people need from their  email organization system… irrespective of the system that they actually use.

It turns out that what we want is very simple.

  1. We want to  easily see which emails still need our attention.
  2. We want to quickly find and retrieve any one email or a group of emails in the future
  3. We want to do this without wasting our day shuffling emails around.

So now that we know what we want to do, how are Outlook users going about doing this.

The TWO MAIN WAYS readers organise emails are Folders and Search

… and there is an obvious move by users to Search!

The first way of filing that many readers used is Folder based i.e. users created many folders inside Outlook and then filed emails into these folders.

The emails are moved using addins such as our own Quick File for Outlook, Outlook’s built in Rules or even good old drag and drop.

This method was used particularly by people who work on very well defined projects such as Lawyers, Engineers, Architects etc.

While this method works for many, we still found that…

Users of the Folder Method are complaining about problems that are difficult to overcome

… some have even started moving to Search

Readers who are filing emails into many folders identified the following problems.

  1. After a while there are just too many folders… which makes Outlook messy.
  2. Sometimes it is difficult to decide which folder an email needs to go into
  3. Sometimes the same email needs to go into many folders.
  4. It is difficult to remember where an email was filed.
  5. It is easy to forget about filing emails from the Sent Items folder
  6. It takes TOO MUCH TIME and TOO MUCH DISCIPLINE to keep the system updated

We have long been supporters of the filing into folders method but we have also been struggling with the issues identified. We did further research and found that…

Studies show that it takes LONGER to find emails that has been filed into a folders.

Search is now the EASIER and FASTER way of Email Organization

The second way of email organization is to use Outlook’s built-in Search (or some other Search tool that works with Outlook).

Users either leave their emails in their Inboxes and Sent Items (which we think is not a good idea)… or archive their old emails into one or a few folders.

They then use Outlook Search to find emails when they are needed in the future. Outlook’s search is very good now, particularly if you are using Outlook 2007/2010 with Windows 7.

But Outlook Search has some problems too…

While Search is now the technically superior solution, users of Outlook who used Search had some complaints too.

  1. Search returns too few emails… Emails don’t always have the necessary keywords in them that you search by.
  2. Search sometimes returns too many emails… there may be other emails with the same keywords too.
  3. It is difficult to see a group of RELATED emails easily… this is easy when you’re using folders

The ideal solution would somehow combine the benefits of Search and Folders… while having none of the disadvantages

Is it possible to organize emails in a way that has the benefits of both Folders and Search?

YES! It involves TAGGING your emails with keywords… and then filing them into just one or a few archive folders.

You can think of tags as being similar to folders… without actually needing to create folders… or you can think of tags as keywords.

The great thing is that each email can have multiple tags (no more worrying about which folder the email goes into)… and you can easily see all emails with a particular tag when you need to.

You’ve probably been doing it with pictures on your computer already… and if you use Gmail, you may have been using labels which is their implementation of tagging.

You can sort of do all this in Outlook already but it’s way too cumbersome.

We’re about to make it super-easy
… at a price that you will not believe (less than $10)

We have been working on a solution for a while… and we plan to release it within the next 10 days.

We have been developing, testing and refining the product for the last 6 months and we’re almost ready.

I’m not going to tell you too much more… we’re going to show you how this works with a video in a few days’ time…..so keep an eye on your Inbox.

What do you think of the report? What system do you use? Let us know by leaving a comment on the blog.

Till then… have a better Outlook.

Regards,

Sanjay Singh

PS: Our solution works inside Outlook and simplifies what Outlook can (sort of) do already. So even if you stop using our solution, your emails will still be safe, organized and (now) easily findable. Wait till you see our 2 minute video next week.

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