What NOT to do after an accidental Reply-All (Hint: Recall does NOT work)

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Did you just do a Reply-All to an email and say something you regret… maybe sent some incorrect or worse insultive or embarrassing information. Here’s what you should and should not do.

(In most cases) Don’t bother with Recall

You may be tempted to use the Recall button that is built into Outlook but we really don’t recommend it. Why?

It does not work in many cases including when:

• The original message has been read. This can occur even when the email has not actually been read i.e. when the message is displayed in the Preview Pane or Reading Pane.
• The recipient is not using Outlook
• The recipient is not logged on to the mail service provider.
• The recipient is using Cached Exchange Mode and is working offline.
• The original message is moved from the Inbox.

In most cases, recipients will get an additional message saying that you want to recall the message. In our experience that makes recipients even more curious and they end up going and reading your original email which they may have been ignoring until then.

Before we look at what you need to do now… here’s what you can do to avoid this mistake the next time. Companies around the world use Reply-Guard for Outlook to avoid accidental Reply-Alls.

What you can do now (that the email has already been sent)

If you have sent incorrect information, you may want to do another Reply All immediately with something similar to the following.

Please disregard my earlier email because it contained incorrect information. I will be sending another email soon with the corrected information.

My apologies for any confusion caused.

Then take your time and send the corrected information.

If you feel that you may have offended someone in the Reply All, then we recommend that you send the person a one-to-one apology email, or even better pick up the phone and call them. You could also ask them if they would like you to do another Reply-All and apologise in the email thread.

How to avoid Accidental Reply-Alls (Prevention is better than cure)

Thousands of users around the world are already using ReplyGuard for Outlook. It prompts users for confirmation whenever a user clicks Reply-All.

You can use ReplyGuard on its own or use the full SendGuard which includes ReplyGuardGuard, DelayGuard and SendConfirm.

DelayGuard keeps your emails in your Outbox for a pre-set time thereby giving you time to change your mind.
SendConfirm does a final confirmation prompt with the names of recipients after you click Send.

Together these prompts help keep your companies safe from accidental reply-alls and other situations where confidential information could accidentally be sent to the wrong person.

SendGuard and ReplyGuard are already used by companies of all sizes around the world. Please contact us for more information or click on the image below to download a free trial.

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Quick Steps: Add shortcuts to the Outlook ribbon to file your emails

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Quick Steps: Add shortcuts to the Outlook ribbon to file your emails

This week we continue our series on automating Outlook using it’s built in Quick-Steps feature. I will show you how to use Quick-Steps to add buttons to your Ribbon that will let you file emails to any folder at the click of a button.

For example, you may want to create Quick-Steps to folders for your currently active projects.

If you have many folders for emails, you may also want to look at QuickFile for Outlook which learns and recommends filing locations.

Scenario

I have a few folders to which I often need to file emails to. For example, I have a Reading folder to which I read non-important emails that I want to keep for (leisure or research) reading later.  I also have a folder called Keep for Now for emails that are important for the moment (e.g. an email about a golf tournament in the next few weeks).

I have created Quick-Steps for both so that I can move emails to both folder quickly.

Step-by Step: Creating the Quick-Step

Click Quick-Step on the Home tab of the Outlook ribbon.

Click New Quick Step – Move to Folder

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Type in an easy to remember name for this Quick Step in the Name box

Tick the Move to folder checkbox

Select the folder to move to in the list

Untick Mark as read checkbox

Click Finish

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Now that you Quick-Step Is saved, let’s use it

Step-by Step: Using the Quick-Step

Click on the email that you wish to apply the Quick Step to (in this case the email that I want to move)

Click Quick Step on the Ribbon and then click on the appropriate Quick Step from the list.

… and That’s it!

Summary

Quick-Steps are a great way to file emails if most of your emails go into a few folders only. However if you have many folders, you may want to try a more complete solution for filing your emails such as QuickFile for Outlook.

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Outlook Quick Steps: Forward emails to the RIGHT person at the click of a button in Outlook

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Quick Steps are a built-in feature of Outlook (since Outlook 2010) that allow you to automate Outlook to do multi-step operations at the click of a button.

Despite being one of the greatest productivity features in Outlook, Quick Steps is probably one of the least used.

In the next few weeks I will show you how you can use Quick Steps to simplify your Outlook. I want to start with an example that I use every day.

Scenario

I often receive emails from clients that I need to forward to my assistant with some standard text at the top. Normally this would take at least 4 steps:

  1. Click on Forward
  2. Type her name in the To field.
  3. Type my standard text (Please deal with this for me) at the top of the email.
  4. Click Send.

Quick Steps allows me to do all this simply by clicking one button.

Step-by Step: Creating the Quick-Step

Click Quick-Step on the Home tab of the Outlook ribbon.

Click New Quick Step – Forward To. (Quick Steps can be used to do many other things too which you can explore by clicking on Custom if you wish).

Click the Options button to display the full screen.

Click the Show Options hyperlink.

Type in an easy to remember name for this Quick Step in the Name box.

Type in the email address of the person you wish to send the email to the To box.

Write anything that you want to add to the email in the Text box

Tick the Automatically send checkbox. Leave it unticked if you still want to manually click Send aftet the email is created.

(Optional) You can set a Shortcut key combination to use the Quick Step if you want.

(Optional) You can add some Tooltip text to remind yourself what this Quick Step is meant to do.

Click Save.

Now that your Quick-Step is save, let’s use it.

Step-by Step: Using the Quick-Step

Click on the email that you wish to apply the Quick Step to (in this case the email that I want to forward)

Click Quick Step on the Ribbon and then click on the appropriate Quick Step from the list.

… and That’s it!

Summary

Quick Steps are one of the hidden productivity tools in Outlook that can save you a lot of time if used properly. Try it out.

Please share your own ideas for using Quick Steps by leaving a comment.

Categories : Office Tip, Outlook Email Tips, Outlook Shortcuts Comments ( 0 )

It is easier to send attachments in Outlook 2016

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

One of the best improvements in Outlook 2016 is how much easier it is to add attachments to emails.

The designers of Outlook 2016 realised that you will usually want to send a file that you have recently worked on, and have designed this into the latest version of Outlook.

Here’s what you need to do.

Write your email as you normally would.

Click the attach file icon (paper-clip) on the ribbon. You will be presented with a list of the 12 most recent files that you have used in other programs (PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, plain text files etc).

Click on one of those files if appropriate (it usually is for me). Otherwise, click on Browse this PC or Browse Web Location which appear at the bottom of the list to select a different file.

This simple improvement saves me a lot of time every day as I find that 90% of the files that I need to send are there on the Recent Items list for me to pick.

If you have your own tricks for working better with attachments or know of other time-saving improvements in the latest versions of Outlook, let us know by leaving a comment below.

Categories : Outlook 2016, Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 0 )

How to Stop Legitimate Emails from Ending Up in the Junk Folder

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Do you find that Outlook is incorrectly sending legitimate emails to your junk mail folder? Here are a few tips to help your junk mail filter work properly.

These tips are based on the Safe Senders List. The Safe Senders list is basically a list of email addresses (or domains) that you say should NOT be treated as junk.

Change Settings to trust emails in your Contacts list and to trust people who you have sent emails to

The first thing you need to do is to tell Outlook to trust email addresses that are in your Contact list. You can also tell Outlook to add people to your Safe Senders list anytime you send them an email (even if they are not in your contact list)

  1. Right click over any email in your Inbox.
  2. Click Junk and then Junk E-mail Options.
  3. Click on the Safe Senders tab.
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  5. Tick the checkbox to “trust emails from my Contacts”.
  6. Tick the checkbox to “automatically add people I email to the Safe Senders List”.

Add people who end up in the Junk Mail folder to the Safe Senders List.

You will still find that some legitimate emails may end up in the Junk Emails folders. Here’s what you need to do to add them to the Safe Senders list.

  1. Go to your Junk Email folder.
  2. Right click over the email.
  3. Click Junk and then click Not Junk.
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  5. Make sure that the “Always trust….” checkbox is ticked.
  6. Click OK.

The senders email address will be added to the Safe Senders list and the email will be moved to your Inbox too.

I hope that the tips in this post help you to not miss out on important emails because they ended up in the Junk Email folder.

If you have your own ideas for managing junk emails, please share it with us by leaving a comment below.

Categories : Office Tip, Outlook Email Tips, Outlook Performance Comments ( 0 )

Creating and Using Plain Text Signatures in Outlook

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Do you have a great looking signature for your HTML emails but find that it either looks terrible or has missing information on plain text emails? Here’s what you need to do.

Problem

When you create a nicely formatted HTML signature in Outlook, it creates its own plain text version of it (for those instances when you send out or reply to plain text emails). The problem is that this automatically created version often does not contain essential information from the HTML version.

Step-By-Step Solution

In this post, we show you how to create a plain text version of your signature in Outlook. It probably won’t look as great as the HTML version (you can’t don any formatting in plain text) but you can at least ensure that it still contains all the information you want to put in.

(In Outlook) Click File and then Options.

Click on the Mail tab on the list of tabs on the left hand side.

signature

Locate the Signatures button but do NOT click on it yet.

Hold down the CTRL button and click the Signatures button. This will open the Windows folder that contains all the files that are used by Outlook to insert signatures in your emails.

Find the txt version of the signature that you wish to modify. The txt version defines the plaint text version of that signature.

Double-click the file to open it in Notepad. You will find that all formatting and images have been removed. You may also find that links etc are not where you expect them to be.

Edit the file to back the information you want. At the minimum, I recommend you put your name, company name, email address and website. You may also want to put a slogan if one is appropriate for your company.

signature

Testing Your New Signature:

Create a new email and insert the signature.

Click Format Text on the ribbon and click Plain Text.

You will find that the email has been changed to Plain Text but now your signature contains all the information you want.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 0 )

[Video] How to track opens and clicks on Outlook Email Merges

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Thousands of Outlook users use EmailMerge for Outlook to send personalised emails to their customers. Now you can also know exactly who has opened or clicked on an email…and do follow-up merges to them.

EmailMerge is an Outlook addon that installs inside Outlook and lets you send news, marketing and sales emails to your customers using an easy step-by-step Wizard.

EXISTING USERS of EmailMerge: click here to trial the tracking at no cost.

The video above shows you exactly how easy it is to send and track your emails… but here’s a quick summary.

Tracking Emails

Use the Email Merge Wizard as normal. The last step of the Wizard has a tracking section as shown below.

Tracking Merged Emails

Tick the check box, give this merge a name and click Finish to create and send out your emails.

Viewing Tracking Data

You will be notified immediately if someone or a recipient opens or clicks on a link on your email.

notification

This notification is displayed at the bottom right hand corner of your screen but you can optionally get email notifications that tell you who has opened the email, where and using what device.

You can also view summaries and details of the tracking information on EmailCaddie.com, a website that we have created specially for tracking.

caddie 2

Doing Follow-Up Merges

EmailMerge doesn’t just tell you who has opened or clicked on an email. You can also use the information inside EmailMerge to do follow-up merges. For example:

You can send out additional information only to the people who clicked on a particular link or..

You can send out reminders to the people who have not opened your email.

The video above shows you just how easy this is to do.

If you’re any EXISTING USER of EmailMerge, you can trial the tracking at no cost.

If you’re new to EmailMerge, download a 30-day trial today and see why thousands of Outlook users around the world use it daily to communicate with their customers and members.

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How to have a Clean Inbox and Procrastinate too!

By standss · Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Eeminders

Is you Inbox full of emails that you don’t want to work on but you don’t want to delete either? Here’s a tip on how you can keep them in your Inbox and remove them at the same time.  Confused? Read on.

My general strategy to Get Things Done is to only keep emails in my Inbox that I actually need to work on. However..

There are many emails in my Inbox that I know  that I won’t be working on today… or even this week. I don’t want to delete them because I (maybe) will work on them someday.

Here’s a simple thing I do weekly that helps me have a clean Inbox to work from… and still keep those unurgent emails around.

I will show you two ways of doing things… a manual way and an automated way using eemnders for Outlook.

1) The Automated Way

Once a week I do a Weekly Review.

I look at the emails and decide what I will work on this week. Those emails get to stay in my Inbox. The others get moved out.

I use eeminders for Outlook to move emails out of the Inbox. I’ll show you the steps in a minute but basically…

eeminders installs inside Outlook lets me select emails to “defer” or “snooze” to a date and time of my choosing.  The selected emails get moved out of your Inbox but then magically reappear on your chosen date and time.

You can download a fully functional trial of eeminders for Outlook.

You can use eeminders to snooze your non-urgent emails for a week using the following steps.

Go to your Inbox.

Select the emails that you want to move out (press the CTRL button to select multiple emails if you want).

Right-Click over one of the emails and then click eemind me – 1 Week.

eemind_me

The selected emails will get moved out of your Inbox into another folder called eeminders. A week later they come back into my Inbox.

Why I like this?

  1. I don’t have to think too hard and the process is FAST. It’s not like I am deleting the emails. It is easy to identify emails that I won’t be working on this week.
  2. The emails will come back into the Inbox so I WON’T FORGET THEM! Chances are that in next week’s weekly review, I am just going to defer them for another week but that’s OK. At least I won’t forget them.
  3. In case I run out of things or change my mind, I can always go to the eeminders folder and retrieve an emails that I need to work on.

2) Doing this Manually

(In case you skipped it, please read the Automated Way above first to understand the idea of the Weekly Review)

You could also do this manually by creating a folder and calling it something like Next Week. Then when you do your Weekly Review:

  1. Go to the Next Week folder and drag any emails that you plan to work on this week into your Inbox.
  2. Go to your Inbox folder and drag any emails that you do not plan to work on this week to the Next Week Folder.

My own experience (and the experience of many many Outlook users who we work with) is that the manual method requires too much will-power and discipline and after a while we stop doing it.

I have been using eeminders in this way for the last 3 months and my Inbox has been a joy 🙂 to work from.

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3 Things to Make Emails look RIGHT on Smart Phones

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, September 1st, 2016
SmartPhone

The majority of the emails that you send will be read on Smart Phones and tablets. That means you could be missing out on important business if your emails are not displaying correctly on mobile devices.

In this post we look at things you MUST do to ensure that your emails are displayed correctly on computers, tablets and most importantly smart phones.

Stats say 55% of email is now opened on a mobile device (Litmus “Email Analytics” -March 2016) and the numbers are expected to increase. In fact it is already up 500% since 2010.

Here are 3 quick and easy things you can do in Outlook to ensure that your emails look right, get read and most importantly get responded to.

  1. Use a BIGGER font size

Mobile device screens are small and you need to make sure that your text can be read easily. We recommend a minimum font size of 14 pts for body text.

  1. Use a dark text color (Black) on a light background (White)

Don’t get too creative with your font colors and backgrounds. Dark text on a light background usually works best.

It is readable in most conditions…like in bright sunlight. It is also readable if users have turned down the brightness of their screens to save battery life.

  1. Don’t use too many images

You can’t assume that your images will be displayed because many mobile operating systems (e.g. Android) turn images off by default.

Users often don’t download images in order to save data.

We recommend that you add images for effect but still write emails that convey your full message even if the images were turned off.

4th (Bonus) Tip: Write what is important at the top of the email

People often use their mobiles for “pruning” their emails before doing the real reading and responding on their computers.

Make sure you make your point quickly or your email could be deleted and never actually re-read on the desktop.

5th (Bonus) Tip: RESPOND QUICKLY! Don’t wait for the recipient to reply!

According to lead response management survey, your odds of qualifying a lead in 5 minutes versus 30 minutes drops 21 times.
That’s within the first 30 minutes!

The same survey shows that you have 10x greater chance of just contacting leads if you contact them within the first hour.

So… you need to know who has opened your emails and contact them, even if they don’t reply.

Coming Up…

We are relooking at all of our Outlook addins for Business to ensure that they continue to serve you in the new era of mobile devices. Next week, we will be making an announcement for Email Merge for Outlook which thousands of Outlook users are using to send out sales and marketing emails to their customers.

In the meantime, please let us know if you have your own tips on making emails more readable on mobile devices by leaving a comment below.

4 Tips to Tame Email without Multi-Tasking

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Monday, July 4th, 2016

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Studies clearly show that people who do not multi-task can focus for longer periods of time and feel also less stressed. But emails makes it difficult to NOT multi-task, particularly if you get notified each time an email comes in. This post shows you 4 things you need to can do to be more productive with emails without multi-tasking.

Turn OFF email Notifications

Be default Outlook displays a little notification in the bottom right hand corner of your screen every time an email comes in. It may also play a sound or show a little envelope icon in the taskbar.

Unless your work requires real-time notification of emails, we recommend that you turn off ALL email notifications.

Click File and then Options.

Click on the mail tab.

Scroll down to the Mail Arrival section and make sure that all the boxes are un-ticked as shown below.

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Have Email Processing Scheduled in Your Calendar

Try and have a fixed time where you go through your Inbox and delete out stuff that doesn’t need to be there, respond to important emails etc.

This is your main email time during the day. Don’t worry… you will still get to see emails again later in the day.

Download our free 3 Question Checklist to evaluate your own Outlook Email Filing System

Turn off Outlook when doing non-email related work

Many users turn to emails looking for a distraction when they are at a point in their work that is difficult or requires a decision. They turn to their Inbox hoping to find an excuse to avoid what they really need to work on.

You’re less likely to do this if your Outlook is closed… and even if you do, the time Outlook takes to start up will remind you to go back to your work.

Reward yourself by going to your Inbox when you finish a reasonable chunk of work… or when you finish a particular piece of work

Even if email is a distraction, a lot of real work gets done using it.

I go back to my Inbox roughly around once every one or two hours. This give me my email-fix as well as giving me the opportunity to respond to anything important that may have come up while I was doing other work.

Try these 4 quick tips today. They won’t solve all your email problems but they will put you more in control. You should find you’re getting more work done, feeling less stressed and still getting your emails answered.

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