Protect your company from wrongly sent emails

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Monday, February 9th, 2015

The web is full examples of what the dangers to organization due to emails sent to the wrong email address (including one that may have led to a $1B settlement). What are the risks to your organization from these kinds of mistakes, and what you can do to manage those risks? We answer these questions and also look at a solution that several large companies are now implementing.

How do these mistakes occur?

These mistakes typically occur when a user accidentally sends an email to the wrong person. The normal reason for this would be that there may be two people with the same or similar names.

Unfortunately Outlooks Auto Complete list (which generally helps by displaying a list of matching names and email addresses as you begin to type) makes these kinds of mistakes even easier to make.

(Strategy) What can you do to reduce the risks from these kinds of mistakes?

It is probably impossible to eliminate mistakes of this kind altogether. Therefore your organization’s strategy should be based on:

  1. Configuring Outlook to reduce the chances that users will make these mistakes
  2. Be able to show (in the event of litigation etc.) that your organization took reasonable action to prevent mistakes of these kinds

What can you do:

The actual actions you can take include:

  1. Asking users to be more careful and pay more attentions before emails are sent out.
  2. Turning off Microsoft Outlook’s Auto-Complete feature.

While both of the above are theoretically good solutions, they may not work as well in the real world for most organization because:

  1. Irrespective of how careful people are, mistakes are inevitable (it’s part of being human).
  2. Auto-Complete is actually a very useful feature and it is painful and counter-productive to use Outlook without this turned on.

Is there a better solution?

Yes! Send Confirm is an Outlook addin that integrates inside Outlook and automatically prompts for confirmation before emails are sent out.

sendconfirm

The domain is highlighted in red as the greatest damage can be caused if confidential information is sent to the wrong organization.

Send Confirm has been designed with the needs of both small and large companies in mind.

  • The warning prompt can be customized based on corporate/legal guidelines and policies
  • Special filters can be setup to control when the prompt gets displayed (external emails only, all emails etc)
  • All settings can be set and deployed centrally

We’ve actually Send Confirm available to users for several years as part of Send Guard for Outlook. However at the request of several larger organizations, we have now packaged Send Confirm as a separate component to make it more cost-effective for wider deployment in organization.

Please contact us at sales@standss.com for more information on how Send Confirm can be used to protect your organisation.

 

A look at the year gone by and Welcome 2015

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Sunday, January 11th, 2015

Happy New Year to all our readers and their family and friends.

Hope you all had a great holiday de-stressing (hopefully not distressing) yourself and gearing up for the year ahead.

I understand it will be awhile till we all get back to actual work so we will keep the first post relatively simple.

I will just provide a quick overview of the year 2014 and the important events that took place in case you missed it… and also provide some links to the favourite post of our readers.

Mid-last year we launched a major upgrade to one of our bestselling email management tool Quick File for Outlook. The response to QuickFile for Outlook version 5 was so positive and over-whelming… I guess the credit for this goes to all the users who contributed with their awesome ideas and recommendations and pushed us to release another major upgrade after 5 years since version 4 was released.

Not just that… overtime we realized that different people used QuickFile differently based on how they work in Outlook and what they do…

On one end we had users who like to simply use QuickFile to file and organize their inbox and sent items while on the other end of the spectrum we had high end users who required much more than just filing.

To cater for all the different user groups, we created 3 different versions of QuickFile:

  • QuickFile Standard
  • QuickFile Pro
  • QuickFile Ultimate

To view the difference between the versions and choose which one best suits your end… visit the Quickfile Comparsion page.

New to QuickFile: If email overload is a problem for you… if you think that you’re not getting the right work done because of the amount of emails in your Inbox… you MUST try this. You can download a fully functional 30 day trial and see for yourself.

Existing QuickFile users: If you missed out on the upgrade, you can view the upgrade options and upgrade to the QuickFile version 5 that works best for you now.

Now let’s have a look at the top 3 Outlook tips blog post for 2014. This posts have been selected based on the NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO READ THE POST!!!

TOP POST#1: Reasons why you should avoid using BCC for emails + Alternative Solution

Outlook users BCC emails for two main reasons… sending sales/marketing emails or sending someone a copy of the email without letting the other recipients know. We strongly recommend that you DON’T use the BCC field for either purpose. Why?

Find out the 3 main reasons plus what you can do instead of using the BCC field…

Read Now

TOP POST#2: How to NOT Email Yourself when using Reply-to-All in Outlook

This post was a result of an interesting question that one of the readers asked

“Outlook includes my email address in the To field when I do a Reply-All. Clearly I do not want to email myself but Outlook lacks the intelligence to not add my email address to the email. Do you have a solution?…”

The reply to this was YES!!!

Find out what the solution was…

Read Now

TOP POST#3: Saving (Exporting) Outlook emails with your other files

Here’s a quick tip on how you can save one or more emails outside of Outlook. This is very useful if you want to save your emails on your hard disk in Client folders along with Word files etc.

There are two formats by default which you can save the emails in Outside of Outlook, these are Outlook Message format and Text only, but in this post we also showed you how to save the emails in PDF format…

Read Now

Well that pretty much raps up 2014 for us… time sure flew and without even realising we are now in year 2015.

The Standss team is ready for the year ahead and as always… we have big plans for this year as well and we will be notifying you of this once ready…

The whole Standss Team would like to once again which everyone a Happy New Year and great success for the year ahead… Thank you for being part of the Standss family and we wish to continue serving you the way we have and offering you solutions that saves you time and makes you productive.

Till next time… have a better Outlook.

The Best use of Outlook Rules to improve Productivity (and Reduce Distraction time)

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

I have written on several occasions that I don’t use the Outlook Rules much but I have now managed to find an excellent use of this feature which has helped me stay focused and improve my productivity.

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

I often find 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.

Let’s start off with a bit of background about Outlook Rules for “Outlook Newbies”

What are Rules in Outlook?

According to Outlook 2013 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 for Outlook 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
  • If you are using Outlook 2013/2010. Click on File and select the Info tab and then click on Manage Rules & Alerts.
  • For all other versions of Outlook, click Tools and then click Rules & Alerts.
  • Click on New Rule… to display the Rules Wizard as shown below:

manage_outlook_rules

  • 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.

rules_address

  • Choose a name from the list or type in the name in the From field and then click OK.
  • Click the hyperlink 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 focused on things that need your attention.

I recommend that you don’t use Rules to shift work related emails.

Keep them coming to your Inbox and use a tool like QuickFile for Outlook to manage their filing. 

outlook_search

How to Tag (Categorize) Emails in Outlook so that it is easier to find them later

By standss · Comments ( 5 ) Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

In the last post I showed you how most Outlook users were changing the subject of the emails to make the email findable later.

I don’t personally change the Subject of emails. Instead I use Email Tags to tag my emails with keywords for searching later.

My suggestion appeared to grab the attention of a lot of Outlook user’s who were till date changing the subject of their email BECAUSE there was no other way of making the emails findable. They requested me to elaborate more on what EmailTag was and how to use it.

I realized there might be others facing the same problem so thought to do a blog post explaining about Email Tags.

There has been a shift away from filing things into folders and to using tags/categories over the last few years. This can be seen in programs such as EverNote, Gmail, Picasa… Here is a simple way that you can apply tagging to your emails in Outlook.

We built Email Tags for Outlook on top of Outlook categories to give you the perfect email tagging (and finding) solution.

Outlook’s built-in categories provide a good start to email tagging because they allow the same email to have more than one category.

Here is how Email Tags makes it even better.

How to tag an Outlook email using Email Tags

Email Tags adds a couple of buttons to your Outlook ribbon/toolbar.

Click Tag It to display the Email Tags screen.

 

Email Tags has built in intelligence to recommend tags to you. Alternatively you can type in a new tag or select a tag from your list of tags directly on that screen.

You can even choose to file the email out of your Inbox with the tag, all in one step.

Email Tags will also prompt you to tag your Sent Emails so that all your emails are organized properly.

Video: How to organize and find emails using tags instead of folders

How to search for emails that you have tagged in Outlook

The main reason for tagging emails is so that they are easy to find later. Finding tagged Outlook emails is easy if you’re a Email Tags user.

Just click the Search button on the Email Tags toolbar to display a full list of your tags.

Click on a Tag (in the list) and Outlook will carry out a Search and display all relevant emails to you.

Watch demo video of Email Tags for Outlook

If you haven’t tried Email Tags yet, you can download a fully functional 30 day trial to see just how easy it is to organize and find emails using tags instead of folders.

CTA EmailTags

Bonus Tip #5: Fix up Email Subjects so that it is easier to find emails later

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, August 21st, 2014

This again is NOT something that I do or recommend. I prefer to leave received emails exactly as they are. However several users asked if it was possible to change the Email Subject so that it is easier to find the email later.

Here’s how…

  • Open the email by double-clicking on it.
  • In Outlook 2013/2010 , go to the Message tab > click the Actions button under the Actions group > click Edit Message
  • For Outlook 2007 > Click Other Actions -> Edit.
  • For Outlook 2003 > click Edit -> Edit message.
  • Now make any changes that you need to (The Subject can also be changed even though it appears to be read-only).
  • Click Save (or close the email and you will be prompted to Save it).

NOTE: I don’t personally change the Subject of emails. Instead I use Email Tags to tag my emails with keywords for searching later.

Let us know of any other ways you use to easily find your emails in Outlook by leaving a comment below.

oi_search

Related Post:

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

Bonus Tip #2: Compact your Outlook Data for Better Performance

Bonus Tip #3: BCC yourself on important emails (or use a Rule to copy sent emails to your Inbox)

Bonus Tip #4: Create Tasks or Calendar Items for Emails that need your action

Bonus Tip #4: Create Tasks or Calendar Items for Emails that need your action

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

If you use the Outlook Calendar or Tasks List to get your work done, here’s a quick tip on how to convert emails to appointments or tasks.

Why might you need this? Like me, you probably get a lot of requests to get things done via email. You also probably send many emails that you want to follow up on. I personally do not use my Tasks List or Calendar for this (I use eeminders for Outlook addin which lets me use my Inbox as my To Do list. However if you use your Tasks List or Calendar, this is what you can do.

Options 1: (FREE) Create a Task or Appointment from Emails

To create a Task or Calendar item from an email…

1. Make sure that your folders are displayed in Outlook.

2. Right-click on the email (and keep the right button pressed) and then drag-and-drop the email into your Calendar or Tasks folder. Three options will be displayed (Copy with Attachment, Copy with Text and Move with Attachment).

3. I normally select Move or Copy with Attachment. This allows me to open the resulting task (or calendar item) which has the email attached to it. I can then double-click on the attached email and Reply or Forward it as needed.

Option 2: File and create the appointment/task automatically when you click Send

If you send out a lot of emails that you need to follow up on, I would recommend QuickFile for Outlook. It automatically prompts you every time you send an email out. The email will be filed to the correct folder after it is sent and your follow-up task or calendar item will be created for you.

send&file

Option 3: Get your reminders at the top of your Inbox on the correct day and time

I have personally found that I forget to look at my Calendar and Task List and as a result many actions get left undone. I have started using eeminders which shows me what I need to work on at the top of my Inbox. You can watch a demo video or download a trial version of eeminders for Outlook from here.

I hope you find this tips useful.

Do you know of other ways to schedule your work and complete them on time?

Share it with us by leaving a comment below.

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Related Post:

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

Bonus Tip #2: Compact your Outlook Data for Better Performance

Bonus Tip #3: BCC yourself on important emails (or use a Rule to copy sent emails to your Inbox)

Bonus Tip #3: BCC yourself on important emails (or use a Rule to copy sent emails to your Inbox)

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Welcome back folks… today we are sharing with you another tip which was shared by a Outlook user.

This is not something that I do myself but I am sharing this as several users indicated that they use these technique. Some background first…

Several readers said that they prefer to have emails that they need to follow up on in their Inbox i.e. after they have sent an email; they would like to have a copy of the email in their Inbox too. The two techniques shared by users were:

BCC Yourself on emails that you need to follow up on
This is easy… simply BCC yourself on emails that you are sending out and you want/need to follow up on.

After the email is sent, you will also receive a copy in your Inbox. Because you have BCC’ed yourself, the other recipients will not know that you were also a recipient.

Or Use a Rule to copy sent emails to your Inbox
You can also setup a Rule to copy ALL emails that you send to your Inbox. Once the email copies arrive in your Inbox, manually Delete the emails that you don’t need to follow-up on.

As mentioned earlier… I don’t use this technique myself but users say that the extra Delete step takes almost no time.

I personally think having copies of emails in your inbox that you will not be working on immediately can be distracting and unproductive… having so many emails in the inbox makes me feel I haven’t done my work today (when in fact I have)

How I personally organize my Follow-ups in Outlook you may ask?

Well in my most biased opinion… I personally use eeminders for Outlook and like the fact that it automatically pops a reminder for emails that I need to deal with on the day that I actually need to deal with it.

  • This does not cause my Inbox to be cluttered with follow-up emails and
  • I don’t have to scroll through emails to find the one I need to deal with. Eeminders reminders me when I need to work on a email.

There is no right or wrong way of doing this… it’s just a matter of preference so I leave the choice to you to choose the best method that suits your style of work.

If you are interested to try eeminders, you can download a fully functional 30 day trial from our website.

Let us know which method you prefer by leaving a comment below.

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Related Post:

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

Bonus Tip #2: Compact your Outlook Data for Better Performance

Bonus Tip #2: Compact your Outlook Data for Better Performance

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

In one of our earlier tips from the 8 Simple tips for Email Management in Outlook series… I had mentioned to you that Outlook is configured (by default) to eventually corrupt itself and lose some or maybe even all your data?

Backing up your Outlook data is one way to avoid data loss but here is another way that you can ensure your data file size remains small and compact.

If you are following the email filing tips in our first report, then you are moving emails around a lot. When you move emails around, your Outlook data file (PST) ends up with a lot of empty space in it which makes the file bigger and performance slower.

To fix this…

  • Open Outlook and display mail folders.
  • Right-click over the PST file that you wish to compact

properties

  • Click Properties.
  • Click the Advanced button.
  • Click Compact Now.

This will now compact the data file and get rid of the empty spaces which is caused by moving emails.

This will result in your Outlook data file remaining small in size, faster Outlook performance and ultimately reduce the chance of losing your previous data.

I hope you find this tip useful.

Till next time… have a better Outlook.

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Related Post:

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

BONUS TIPS: Fine-Tuning your Email Filing System (Even More)

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Earlier this week we released our free special report titled: 8 Simple Tips for Email Management in Microsoft Outlook.

I was truly overwhelmed by the feedback I received from readers. Hundreds of users wrote back saying how the tips discussed in the ebook was already helping them.

“I have implemented your suggestions and it has improved my work flow already”
Norman 
(This was received few days after release of the report)

Other users (who were already using similar techniques) wrote back with their own ideas to further fine tune the Outlook Email Management System.

If you haven’t read the first report yet, I recommend you download and understand the ideas in that first. You can download the report now from:

In the next few weeks… I will be sharing the additional tips that has been shared with me by Outlook users. Remember these are tips that are being used by actual users and it has worked for them.

If you are struggling to manage your emails in Outlook… stay with us and follow the tips to overcome this common email overload problem.

TIP #1: Use Rules for Non-Actionable Items (e.g. newsletters)

In the first report, I said that you should “Think carefully before using Outlook Rules”. The main reason for this is that Rules shift emails out of your Inbox before you’ve had a chance to see them.

Like me, you probably use your Inbox as a To-Do list i.e. emails are kept in your Inbox until you have carried out the required action. This means you should avoid using Rules except…

We all receive emails that do not require immediate action (or for that matter any action)… how many email newsletters do you subscribe to that you want to read in your spare time. Getting those emails into your Inbox can be a bit of a distraction.

For those non-actionable emails, it makes sense to use Rules to move them out of your Inbox.

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 File tab > Click Manage Rules & Alerts. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, on the E-mail Rules tab, click New Rule.
  • In Outlook 2007/2003, click Tools > Click Rules & Alerts > Click New Rule to display the Rules Wizard

manage_outlook_rules

  • 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.

rules_address

  • 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.

Try this tip… it surely has saved me several hours of time that was wasted moving or deleting this emails manually one at a time.

Hope you find this tip helpful… let us know if this works for you or not by leaving a comment below.

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Free E-book Ready for Download: 8 Simple Tips for Email Management in Outlook

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

As promised… I have compiled all the 8 tips we have discussed over the past several weeks into a simple downloadable and printable PDF copy.

Use these simple tips to:

  1. Ensure that your Outlook data file does not get bloated, slow-down and eventually corrupt itself and die (causing possible loss of some if not all your e-mails)
  2. Backup the correct Outlook data files in case of hardware failure
  3. Organize your emails so that your E-mail Folders matches your paper filing structure
  4. File your e-mails in a way that lets you quickly see all correspondence (incoming, out-going, to and from anyone) for a project quickly and easily in one place
  5. Get some control over your e-mails and use your Inbox like a proper In-tray holding only the items that need your attention.
  6. Easily archive e-mails for completed projects with other electronic documents (Word files, Excel files etc) for the same project.
  7. Quickly find specific e-mails for a project.

Get your own copy of this FREE e-book now!!!


Next week I will be sharing some additional bonus tips which I feel will help you manage your emails even better… so do check in again.

Till next time… have a safe and better Outlook.

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