In the post last week, we looked at some of the ways that you can customize outlook to suit your style of working and also effective handle the pile of emails in your inbox.
Other than emails, Outlook users also use the calendar and task to manage their 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? Most work or projects are made up of a series of steps all being related to each other. 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 related 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:
- Assign existing (or new) tasks and appointments to projects
- 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
- Open Outlook and go to the Calendar/Task folder that the existing appointment/task is located in
- Select the appointment/task
- Click on Assign Project button on the Smart Schedules toolbar/ribbon. This will display the following screen:
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.
- 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.
On the Smart Schedules toolbar, click Project Centre
- From the Project drop-down, select the Project to which you assigned the appointment or task
- 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:
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 Management tool (Smart Schedules)
I hope you find this tip useful managing your projects in Outlook.
If you know of other ways to manage projects using Outlook, share it with our readers by leaving a comment below.
First of all Happy New Year to all our readers and welcome back to work J
I’m sure you all have enjoyed the holidays and now recharged to work through another year.
Your inbox is sure to be full of emails piled up while you were away and so in this first post for the year, we will show you some of the ways that you can customize outlook to suit your style of working and also effectively handle the pile of emails in your inbox.
Tip 1: Auto Highlight Important Emails in Outlook
Not all emails in your inbox will require immediate attention for example newsletters, so how do you pick out which ones are urgent and which ones can be dealt with later?
Outlook has an in-built feature which automatically highlights by color coding emails so that you remain focused and easily identify important emails from the hundreds of emails you receive.
For me, I’m only interested in emails that have the word Outlook in them.
I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.
This way you don’t have to waste time scanning through hundreds of emails.
Tip 2: Mark Outlook Emails READ only after you ACTUALLY Read them
If you are not using the auto highlight option above, you would likely be clicking through each email in your inbox to find the ones that you need to deal with BUT…
As you are clicking through your emails, Outlook is marking them as READ, which means they will no longer appear BOLD for you to clearly identify which ones are still left to be ACTUALLY READ or dealt with.
Here is a simple setting in Outlook which lets you set a minimum time that you need to be on an email before it is marked as read (I have set mine to 5 second):
Tip 3: Easy Email Search Tricks in Outlook
In the old days, finding an Outlook email meant wading through folders and manually searching for the correct email. Finding emails now is EASY particularly if you know some tricks to help you get more accurate search results. Here are a few of my favorite search tricks in Outlook.
I hope you find this tips useful in working through your emails this year.
If you have other tips for handling emails in Outlook, please share it with our readers by leaving a comment below
It’s holiday season and for most of us it’s also the busiest time of the year… sending out sales and marketing emails like newsletters, sales catalogues, invites, season greeting etc.
The last thing you want is for your emails to be marked as SPAM and not reach your recipients therefore you need to ensure that your sales and marketing emails meet the CAN-SPAM Act. The aims of this Act is to provide standards for sending out promotional emails while limiting the amount of spam.
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:
- Your (the Sender’s) Name
- Your Email Address
- 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.
I hope you find this tip useful.
If you know of other tips to ensure your emails are not marked or regarded as SPAM, please share it with our readers by leaving a comment below.
Holiday season is here starting with Thanksgiving and Black Friday this week.
This is the time of the year when businesses and individuals need to send out holiday season invites for parties/events… greetings to families, friends, colleagues and clients.
Most companies also send out newsletters during the year end to update their clients/members of the achievement for the year, plans for the New Year, and special offers for the holiday seasons etc.
Depending on your contact list, the best way to send out your invites, greetings or newsletters this year may be using email, fax or post/hand delivery.
Most of these mailing can be considered “mass mailing” i.e. we want to send copies of the same mail to everyone… possibly customized with their name and address at most.
Microsoft Outlook and Word have some built-in features that automate this process for you. In addition we have built our own tools to further speed up and simplify the process for you.
In this post I’ll discuss both, the built in free way as well as our own addins.
Send Personalized email Invites, Greetings and Newsletters directly from Outlook.
I am going to start with what I consider to be the easiest, fastest and most powerful way of doing this… our own EmailMerge PRO for Outlook.
Seeing is believing so check out this short video on how to send out Invites, Greetings and Newsletters using EmailMerge Pro.
Send unlimited emails to unlimited number of contacts directly from Outlook. EmailMerge supports HTML emails so don’t hold back in creating beautiful and colourful emails this Christmas season
We also have built-in email templates for invites, greetings and newsletters. You can easily customize this emails to suit your style and personalize it yourself. You don’t have been be an expert at HTML, you can customize this templates using the standard word formatting options in Outlook.
|“I have found emailmerge pro the most useful tool in my marketing armoury! It is simple to use, has some great options for sending emails and is of great value to any businesses wanting a mass email facility.”
- Lori Hope, Spraytanz Ltd
|“Emailmerge Pro is a fantastic tool to personalize emails for large or small groups of people. The ability to mail merge gives you unlimited abilities to create very personalized emails. I use it to improve communication to groups ranging from 8 – 1000+.”
- Jack Fiscus, first Baptist Orlando
How to Fax out Invites, Greetings and Newsletters.
Despite what many people will have you believe, Faxing is not dead.
In fact in terms of deliverability, it can beat email – there is almost no chance that your fax won’t get delivered because of an over-zealous spam filter.
You can use Microsoft Word and the free fax printer that comes with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 to send out personalized faxes to your customers this year.
The Bad News: Windows Fax and MS Word don’t talk easily to each other out of the box.
The Good News: Fax4Word allows you to fax merge straight from Word to the Windows Fax printer.
How to Print Letters and Envelopes for Posting and Hand Delivery
Even if you will be sending paper based mail this year, technology can help you.
Here are step-by-step instructions to:
I hope you find the above information helpful in staying in touch with friends, families and clients this year.
Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday to all our readers.
Enjoy your Holidays but keep an eye on your inbox next week Monday for some great offers on our outlook addins to celebrate this holiday season.
Your emails signature is an opportunity to promote your business each and every time you send out an email. Here are a few ideas for what you can put in your signature (aside from your contact information):
- A link to your website (you’re probably doing this already)
- A slogan telling people what it is that you do (for us it is… Make Outlook Work for Your Business)
- The title and link to your most popular blog post. This is a great way to show prospects your expertise.
- If your firm or product has had a great review recently, a few chosen words from the review and maybe a link to the full review
- A call to action (Call now to for an honest appraisal)
- Links to your social media profiles (you can download images from places like Hubspot to make this look even nicer)
I certainly don’t recommend posting everything, but a few well-chosen items can make a big difference.
Till next time…
In the first tip last week, we showed you how to automatically process newsletter emails using Outlook rules to ensure that only actual work related emails are in your inbox… This way you are focused on your real work, your inbox remains clean and you can easily find the newsletters later when you want to read them.
Ever wished that your most important emails or emails that interest you would automatically stand out from the ocean of emails in your inbox? It just saves you so much time then going through your emails one at a time and deciding which ones to do first.
I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.
You can do this using Outlook only (no additional software required) and it’s super easy to setup.
- Go to the Folder in which the emails are. This can be the Inbox or any other folder.
- In Outlook 2013/2010, Click View on the Ribbon and then click View Settings.
In old versions, on the toolbar, Click View > Current View > Customize Current View to display the Customize View screen.
- In Outlook 2013/2010, Click Conditional Formatting… button
In old versions, Click the Automatic Formatting… button.
- Click Add
- Enter a name for the rule e.g. “Color Code Outlook Emails”
- Click the Font button and use 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.
- 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
- Click OK 3 times to return to your Folder.
The current emails in your inbox (or any other folder) will now be automatically color coded based on the criteria you have setup.
You can also use this technique to highlight other important emails for example:
- Emails from your most important clients (you don’t want to upset them)
- Emails from your Boss (you’d definitely want to check his/her email first )
- Email from your partners/resellers/affiliates (get new leads and close sales)
- And more…
Do you have other techniques to highlight important emails in Outlook and stay focused?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
I’m sure everyone is aware of the famous 80-20 rule and apply it to your business model (we do at Standss). In this post I will show you how the 80-20 rule can be applicable to handling emails to get the best results so read on…
For those who are not aware, this principle states that most of our results (80%) come from a small portion of our actual work (20%). An example in terms of sales is 80% of our sales come from 20% of our customers.
How does this apply to emails?
Well, check your inbox now, I’m sure you will notice that out of all the emails in your inbox, only a small portion would actually be important or those which will yield you the most return.
In the next few posts, we will share some simple tips that will ensure you are focusing only on emails that are ACTUALLY work-related and yield you the best results (leads, sales, productivity boost etc). Here is the first tip in this post.
Tip 1: Use Outlook Rules to Process Newsletter emails
Do you subscribe to email newsletters? Newsletter can be informative and interesting but they also distract you from your real work. So rather than deleting or manually filing each newsletter, you can setup a simple rule using Outlook Rules to automatically file your newsletters to a separate folder.
This way you are not distracted from your real work, your inbox remains clean and you can easily find the newsletters later when you want to read them.
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.
- In Outlook 2013/2010, Click the Home tab > In the Move group, click Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts…
In Outlook 2007, 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/email address 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.
Once the rule is created, any emails coming from the email address will automatically be moved to the chosen folder.
To apply the rule to existing newsletters in the folder, go back to the Rules and Alerts screen and click “Run Rules Now” button
If you don’t like using the Outlook rules, you can try QuickFile Pro for Outlook addin. This addin also has a special Newsletter feature which moves emails to dedicated folders automatically PLUS reminds you at a time of your choosing to look at your newsletter.
I hope you find this tip useful.
We will share more tips in the next post on how to stay focused on real work to get the best results from the least effort, so stay tuned.
How many times have you sent an email requesting for information and not received a response? In this post, we will show you how to set reminders not only for yourself, but also for the recipient to ensure that you get response to important emails on time.
GOOD NEWS, you can do this just using Outlook’s built in reminders.
- Open Outlook
- Create a new email
- In Outlook 2013/2010, on the ribbon under the Tags group, click Follow-up > Add Reminder…
In Outlook 2007, under the Options group, click Follow-up > Add Reminders…
- On the screen that appears, tick the checkbox “Flag for Recipients“
- Tick the Reminder: checkbox
- Select the Date and Time for the reminder to appear in the recipients Outlook
To set a reminder for yourself:
- On the same screen, tick the checkbox “Flag for me”
- Select the Start and Due Date
- Tick the Reminder: checkbox
- Select the Date and Time for the reminder to appear in your Outlook
- Click OK
Now send the email as normal.
At the selected date and time, the reminder will pop-up to remind the recipient and you to deal with the email
I hope you find this tip useful in getting your work done at the right time.
Do you have other methods to ensure that important emails are dealt with or responded to?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
You may also want to look at eeminders for Outlook. eeminders can also remind you to follow-up on an email but go one step better than Outlook’s built in reminders. eeminders can move a copy of your sent email to the TOP of your Inbox on your chosen date and time.
Try eeminders for outlook – Get the right things done… at the right time!!!
A few eeminders users have asked why their Inbox has emails grouped under NONE for date. Emails in this view are grouped and sorted to help you get the right work done… emails that you have chosen to work on will display at the top. This post has a more detailed explanation on how you can use this
Firstly… The received date of your emails have NOT been changed in anyway.
In this view your emails are sorted by EEMINDER DATE, not received date.
This lets eemidners show you what you plan to work on at the top. You can see that your emails are sorted by eeminder date by the little downward arrow next to EEMINDER in the column header.
As a result the groupings are also by eeminder date.
Emails with no eeminder date are all displayed under the title of NONE. However within this grouo they are sorted by reminder date.
If you want to view your emails sorted and grouped by received date you can always click on the Received column header (clicking on the column a second time will change the sort order from ascending to descending or vice versa).
eeminders for Outlook makes it much easier to have an uncluttered Inbox that helps you get the right work done. eeminders comes with a number of views to make it easier to see what you need to work on in your Inbox. You may however choose to customize them to better suit your needs.
You can choose the views by clicking on View (on the eeminders ribbon/toolbar) and then selecting the relevant view.
This is the normal view that most users use with Outlook. We also add the eeminder date column to this view for you to make it easier to see your eeminder date.
If this view does not show all the information that you want, we recommend that you customize this view. You can remove the eeminders column… add new columns and sort and group anyway you want.
You will then see your customized view anytime you click on Inbox (Normal) on the eeminders View menu.
This box shows you your Inbox sorted and grouped by the eeminder date. By default this will show you the things that you have schedule to work on AT THE TOP OF THE LIST.
This view is resorted and grouped by the eeminder column whenever you select Inbox(eeminders) in the menu… even if you remove the eeminder column from the view.
If you want to remove your own changes and reset the Inbox(eeminders) view, click View- Reset on the eeminders tab on the Ribbon. You can then select which views you want to reset before clicking OK.
New to eeminders…
Find out more about how eeminders unclutters your Outlook Inbox.
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