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.

How to manage opt-outs from newsletters you send from Outlook using Email Merge

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

We had a user ask us a question regarding EmailMerge for Outlook yesterday:

“How does your Email Merge Software work with unsubscribing from the mailshot?”

We replied to the user mentioning about one of the new features we added to the latest version of EmailMerge called the “Do Not Send List”.

For all existing users of EmailMerge for Outlook and also who are currently trialing it, this post highlights what the “Do not Send List” feature is and how you can use it to handle Unsubscribes.

Before we get into using the Do Not Send To list, here’s a small quote from a happy user of this feature.

“I just found the function to update the do not send list from email responses in the current folder with Unsubscribed in the subject line and the ability to change the Subject word being searched for. Awesome! I lost my unsubscribe list, but keep all my responses in one folder.”
Marge

I’d like to say a Special Thanks to Marge for the positive feedback.

What is the “Do not Send To” list?

The Do Not Send list allows you to maintain a list of email addresses to which EmailMerge will NEVER send emails (even if they are in your mailing list).

Why? Certain contacts may request to not be part of your mailings. Accidentally emailing them could result in annoyed prospects or customers… or complaints against you to spam authorities.

Adding these contacts to the Do Not Send list ensures that EmailMerge will not send emails to them.

How to Use it?

To Open the Do not Send List:

  • In Outlook go to your Inbox, click on the little arrow beside(below) the EmailMerge button on the Toolbar/Ribbon.

  • Click Do not Send List. The application will open the following screen:

1. Add an email-address to Do not Send List:

  • Click Add, the application will display the following screen:

  • You can add email address(s) to the Do not Sent list using 1 of the 3 options below:
    • Manually add the new items to the list
      Select this option if you would like to type-in the email addresses manually. (Enter 1 email address per line)
    • Email address (sender) of currently selected email(s)  Select this option if you want Email Merge to automatically add email addresses for the emails you have already selected in the current folder. The email address of the sender will be added to the Do not Sent List.
    • Emails in current folder with unsubscribe/bounce back words in subject

People can unsubscribe from receiving emails from you by having certain words in the subject of the email they sent to you. (Normally they would reply to your email and add the word Unsubscribe)

You may also find that certain emails addresses on your list are no longer valid as emails you send are bounced back. EmailMerge can automatically add addresses of the above to the Do not Send List by comparing words in the Subject fields.

You can edit the list of words by clicking on Maintain Word List to add, delete or reset the Word list to default.

2. Edit Do not Send List:

  • Select the email-address and click Edit
  • Make the necessary changes to the email-address
  • Click OK to save your changes

3. Remove an email-address from Do not Send List:

  • Select the email-address you want to remove
  • Click Delete and the application will display a prompt to confirm the removal of the indicated email address from the list.
  • Select Yes to remove the email-address from the Do not Send List.

So… are you using the Do Not Send To feature of Email Merge PRO for Outlook. Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

Not a user of Email Merge PRO for Outlook yet? Find out how you can keep customers informed using EmailMerge PRO for Outlook.

Tip# 8 of 8: File (COPY) the e-mails out of your Sent Items folder

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Welcome back folks to the final tip of the 8 simple tips for email management in Outlook series.

We started of this tips series to overcome a common problem… EMAIL OVERLOAD and I had promised to provide step-by-step instructions for a VERY SIMPLE email management system that will work for any businessperson who works with clients, projects or cases. Following this tips, you should be able 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.

Last week we looked at how to keep a clean and organized Outlook Inbox so it acts like a To-do list rather than a storage space.

Today we will look at organizing your Sent emails because this emails are as important and crucial as your incoming emails.

The e-mails that you write to your clients can be crucial for
clarification and dispute resolution later.

E-mails that you send are moved from the Outbox to the Sent Items folder after they have been sent.

You must move or copy the e-mails that you want to keep for future reference from the Sent Items folder to the appropriate folders in your E-mail Filing System. Any remaining e-mails can be deleted (or left in the Sent Items folder if you want).

Our customers tell us that they prefer to have a copy of the email filed in the relevant project folder and also leave a copy in the Sent Items folder. This enables them to fill in timesheets at the end of the day, quickly answer queries about something sent in the last few days etc.

How do you copy emails instead of moving them?

  • Right-click (instead of Left-click) and then drag and drop.
  • When you drop the email (release the right mouse button) you will get presented with the option to Copy or Move. Click on Copy.

In our experience, Sent e-mails are the Number 1 reason that E-mail Filing Systems fail so… set aside some time periodically (at the end of the day or week) to move these e-mails to the correct folder

This brings us to the end of this 8 Simple Tips for Email Management in Outlook series.

I do hope that you have found this tips useful and hopefully are ruling over your emails rather than the other way around.

This tips have worked for thousands of people and there is no reason why it shouldn’t work for you so if you still haven’t gone through this step by step, here are quick links to all the post.

Tip #1 of 8: Turn Off Auto-Archiving in Outlook
You should archive e-mails as projects are completed. Don’t disorganize yourself by archiving based on dates.

Tip #2 of 8: Think carefully before using Outlook Rules
Rules can cause you to miss taking action on certain e-mails and also filing them into incorrect folders.

Tip #3 of 8: Find out where your Outlook data file is and backup regularly
How can you be sure that your Outlook data is being backed up if you don’t know where it is?

Tip #4 of 8: Split your Outlook data into more than one file
This technique will stop your e-mail file from getting bloated, slow and eventually corrupting itself and dying.

Tip #5 of 8: File your e-mails using the same folder structure as you do for your paper files
Filing e-mails into folders makes it much quicker and easier to file, find and archive e-mails later.

Tip# 6 of 8: Setup Outlook so that it is easy to drag and drop e-mails to the correct folders

Tip# 7 of 8: File things out of your Inbox as soon as you have READ the e-mail

What’s Next…

A lot of our blog readers have requested for a PDF version of the tips so that they are able to recap the tips in one place and also keep a printed copy of it on their desk as a reminder to keep following this tips to manage their emails… as it is very easy to forgot this in our busy schedules.

I have started compiling all this tips into a PDF version and will have it available for download next week on our blog.

THIS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR FREE SO DO CHECK IN TO GET YOUR OWN COPY

Mail Merge from Outlook to Microsoft Access

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Monday, July 14th, 2014

Do you have lists in Microsoft Access that you need to send sales or marketing emails to? You can now email merge directly from Outlook using data stored in Microsoft Access.

Mail Merge is the process of taking one letter (or email) and then personalizing and sending it out to many people. Each person gets a separate copy of the email with only their own name on the To field. The email subject and body can also be personalized with their details.

Thousands of users have been using our best selling addin Email Merge PRO for Outlook to send out sales and marketing emails from Outlook using Outlook data or lists saved in Excel spreadsheets.

We have now updated Email Merge PRO so that you can also use data from Microsoft Access databases.

Email Merge gives you an easy step-by-step Wizard that results in individual personalized emails.

email_merge_access

If you’re an existing user of Email Merge PRO, you can download the update for free.

If you haven’t tried it yet, download a functional trial of Email Merge PRO from our website.

Email Merge for Outlook Addon version 3.1.5294 Released: Supports Microsoft Access + Minor Bug Fixes

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Friday, July 11th, 2014

Standss is happy to announce the release of EmailMerge version 3.1.5294 which is faster, more stable and NOW allows you to use Microsoft Access database (Excel, CSV and Outlook contacts) as your contact source.

This update is free for all existing registered users of version 4.0 or later.

Email Merge for Outlook is already used by thousands of users around the world as an email marketing tool because it works directly from Outlook, there are no monthly or yearly fee’s and allows you to send unlimited emails to unlimited number of contacts.

Fixes and Features in this update include:

  • New! Supports loading of contacts from Microsoft Access files in EmailMerge 32-bit and 64-bit
  • NEW! Excel contact source/CSV contact source: Remembers the last external file being used.
  • Fixed issues with using Excel file as contacts data source.
  • Ignores Outlook hidden contact folders.
  • Other minor bug fixes

Download latest version of Email Merge for Outlook

New to Email Merge: Watch this short video to see just how easy and simple it is to send out personalized individual copies of emails to your mailing list directly from Outlook.

You can also download a functional trial version of the Email Merge to try it out for yourself.

Helping Children with Special Needs

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, July 10th, 2014

hilton_children

I am writing today to share how you have been able to help us create a Physiotherapy unit for children with special needs here in Fiji.

Earlier this year we launched a major upgrade to Quick File for Outlook. We promised our readers and customers that we would set aside a percentage of sales to assist child-related charities here in Fiji.

Thanks to your support we handed over a cheque of $10,000 to the Hilton Special School.

The Hilton Special School is the main organization in Fiji dedicated to working with disabled children with special needs. This organization serves a very important and often neglected group of children in our community… and they have been doing it very well for many years.

In a recent meeting with them, we found out that they are trying to setup a physiotherapy unit to help children who are disabled from a young age.

Early intervention and the right therapy can enable these children to experience a much better quality of life later on.

While this may be common practise in more developed countries, a lack of resources had previously made this difficult in Fiji. The team at the Hilton Special School have a vision to change this… and we want to support them.

The money we have been able to donate will be used towards the purchase of equipment and to contribute to the salary of a trained physiotherapist who will work with the children.

donation

The whole Standss team visited Hilton Special School to witness the life-changing work that they are doing.

It was a reminder to us to be grateful for everything we have (but so often take for granted). It was also a reminder that we must use our own success to make a difference in the lives of others.

We feel very privileged to be allowed to contribute to this project which will change so many lives.

I would like to personally acknowledge and thank all of you. This has only been possible thanks to your continued support of our products and our company.

With Thanks
Sanjay Singh and the team at Standss

Categories : Charity Projects, General Comments ( 1 )

Tip# 7 of 8: File things out of your Inbox as soon as you have READ the e-mail

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

In the last tip, we showed you how to configure Outlook to make it easy for you to drag and drop emails out of your Inbox to dedicated client or project folders.

Your inbox should not be your filing cabinet or storage folder… it should be more like your To-do list or Actions folder.

Your Inbox should only have e-mails that you need to take action on!!!

Once you have your folder structure in place, you are ready to shift e-mails out of your Inbox.

If you have left your e-mails in the Inbox until now, it may take you some time to move all the e-mails out to the appropriate folders. You can do it now or do it later but DO IT.

In the meantime make sure that at least the new e-mails that you receive are filed properly.

Ideally, you should move your e-mails out of your Inbox IMMEDIATELY after reading them… unless it’s urgent and you will be taking action (reply, forward or delete) on them in the next few minutes.

Drag and drop the e-mails from the Inbox to the appropriate folder.

To drag and drop the ORIGINAL email:

  • Left-click on the mouse and hold the button on the e-mail that you want to shift.
  • Drag it to the appropriate folder on the folder List.

To drag and drop a COPY of the email:

  • Right-click (instead of Left-click) and then drag and drop.  When you drop the email (release the right mouse button) you will get presented with the option to Copy or Move. Click on Copy.

If you think Drag and Drop is tedious and you always need to remember which folder a particular email needs to go to or even where the project folder is located in the first place?

I would recommend you give our QuickFile for Outlook addin a try.

QuickFile automatically learns and recommends to you the correct folder to which you are likely to file an email from a client or related to a project… just a click of a button and the email is filed to the correct folder.

You don’t need to take my word on this… try QuickFile yourself by downloading the fully functional 30 day trial version from our website.

      Time to join the conversation – what do you think?

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Feel free to share your own experience and the filing system that you use to keep your inbox clean and organized with our readers.

If you have not subscribed to our blog yet, JOIN US today so we can notify you when we post the tips on our blog.

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Here are links to the earlier tips we have discussed so far in case you missed out:

Tip #1 of 8: Turn Off Auto-Archiving in Outlook
You should archive e-mails as projects are completed. Don’t disorganize yourself by archiving based on dates.

Tip #2 of 8: Think carefully before using Outlook Rules
Rules can cause you to miss taking action on certain e-mails and also filing them into incorrect folders.

Tip #3 of 8: Find out where your Outlook data file is and backup regularly
How can you be sure that your Outlook data is being backed up if you don’t know where it is?

Tip #4 of 8: Split your Outlook data into more than one file
This technique will stop your e-mail file from getting bloated, slow and eventually corrupting itself and dying.

Tip #5 of 8: File your e-mails using the same folder structure as you do for your paper files
Filing e-mails into folders makes it much quicker and easier to file, find and archive e-mails later.

Tip# 6 of 8: Setup Outlook so that it is easy to drag and drop e-mails to the correct folders

Tip# 6 of 8: Setup Outlook so that it is easy to drag and drop e-mails to the correct folders

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Welcome back folks… hope you have found the tips shared so far useful and tried to implement the simple email filing structure discussed in the post last week.

If you missed out, please read the earlier post which will help you implement a simple email filing structure and you will see how easy it becomes to file, find and archive e-mails later.

So… now that we have an email filing structure inplace… today’s tip is to answer the next obvious question

How do I file my sent and received emails to this folders?

For users of our QuickFile for Outlook addon… all you got to do is select the email you wish to file, select the folder and click a button to file away your emails.

If you are not using QuickFile or any other email management tools then the easiest way to move e-mails is to drag and drop.

Here is how I think you should configure Outlook so that your list of folders is displayed next to your Inbox (as shown below).

inbox_folders

Viewing the list of folders beside the list of e-mails makes it much easier to drag e-mails from the Inbox/Sent Items to project folders.

To display the list of folders:

  • In Outlook 2013: Click View tab on the menu > click Folder Pane > click Normal.
    If you do not have the Reading Pane display, click Reading Pane > click Right
  • In 2010/2007:  Click View on the menu > click Navigation Pane > click Normal
  • In Outlook 2003:  Click Go on the menu > click Mail. If the Navigation Pane does not show: Click View on the menu Click Navigation Pane > click Normal

That’s it… try this filing method for yourself and see how easy it becomes to drag and drop emails into project folders and keeping your inbox clean.

Time to join the conversation – what do you think?

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Feel free to share your own experience and the filing system that you use to keep your inbox clean and organized with our readers.

If you have not subscribed to our blog yet, JOIN US today so we can notify you when we post the tips on our blog.

subsribe_now

Here are links to the earlier tips we have discussed so far in case you missed out:

Tip #1 of 8: Turn Off Auto-Archiving in Outlook
You should archive e-mails as projects are completed. Don’t disorganize yourself by archiving based on dates.

Tip #2 of 8: Think carefully before using Outlook Rules
Rules can cause you to miss taking action on certain e-mails and also filing them into incorrect folders.

Tip #3 of 8: Find out where your Outlook data file is and backup regularly
How can you be sure that your Outlook data is being backed up if you don’t know where it is?

Tip #4 of 8: Split your Outlook data into more than one file
This technique will stop your e-mail file from getting bloated, slow and eventually corrupting itself and dying.

Tip #5 of 8: File your e-mails using the same folder structure as you do for your paper files
Filing e-mails into folders makes it much quicker and easier to file, find and archive e-mails later.

Tip #5 of 8: File your e-mails using the same folder structure as you do for your paper files

By standss · Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Welcome back folks to yet another week of email management tips.

I had several readers emailing me and asking why the next tip was not posted and when it would be available.

First of all I would like to apologise for the delay in posting this week’s tip… I had intentionally delayed the post for several reasons:

  1. I had mentioned in my first post that I will be posting the tips in the order that I feel would give you a simple and efficient email management system. Several readers wrote back to me saying they were busy and were unable to read the old tips… so I thought to give them a bit of time to catch up.
  2. I wanted to make sure that everybody had enough time to setup the multiple Outlook Data files structure discussed last week.
  3. Lastly… I wanted to know if readers were following the post or not. Based on the number of emails I received as a result of the delay… readers are definitely interested and finding this tips useful… Thank you all for that.

So… without any further delay let’s get straight into this week’s tip.

I have seen clients with thousands of e-mails in the Inbox and Sent Items folders. I have even seen clients using their Deleted Items folder to store old e-mails.

Do you use your trash can to file your important papers? 

Many of our clients file paper copies of their e-mails because they don’t have a system for filing electronic copies. Even if you file paper copies of your e-mails, having an email filing system will make it significantly faster and easier to locate correspondence.

How should you file your e-mails?

The same way you file paper documents – create a separate folder inside Outlook for each project and then file all e-mails for the project into the folder.

If you don’t know how to create folders inside Outlook, here’s how:

  • In Outlook 2013/2013, click on the Folder tab > New Folder
    In Outlook 2007/2003, click File > New > Folder to display the Create New Folder screen.

create_folder

  • Enter a Name for your folder.
  • Select Mail & Post Items in the Folder Contains list.
  • Use the list displayed under “Select where to place the folder” to choose the folder’s location.
  • Click OK. The folder will be created as a subfolder of the location you selected in the previous step

You should use the new PST file created in the previous Tip to file your e-mails. This will ensure that the main PST file that Outlook uses stays small and fast.

We recommend the following folder structure. Create two folders in your Projects PST file called:

Active Projects
Completed Projects

(You can have other top level folders for other important areas in your life called Personal, etc)

Under the Active Projects folder create separate folders for each active project that you are working on. Whenever you receive or send an e-mail that you want to keep, move it to its appropriate project folder.

Name the folders anyway you like. The three common ways are:

  • Have a separate folder for each client
  • Have a separate folder for each project
  • Have a separate folder for each client and then have folders under it for each project for that particular client.

We use project based filing (and not client based filing at our office). However we name our folders in a way that makes it very easy to know both the project and client. Our folder naming convention is:

<Client>-<Project> 

Using the above naming convention, your folders will look something like this:

folder_structure

Note that in the list, the user is working on two projects for John Smith.

This structure works well because:

  1. When you open the Projects folder, you get to see a list of all current projects in one place.
  2. Multiple Projects for a client are shown right next to each other because of the way the folders are named.
  3. It is easy to archive old projects – When a project is completed simply drag its folder from the Active Projects folder to the Completed Projects folder. You don’t need to then find the client folder first.

Time to join the conversation – what do you think?

I hope that you find the tip today useful… try to implement this simple email filing structure and you will see how easy it becomes to file, find and archive e-mails later.

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. Feel free to share your own experience and the filing system that you use to keep your inbox clean and organized with our readers.

If you have not subscribed to our blog yet, JOIN US today so we can notify you when we post the tips on our blog.

subsribe_now

Here are links to the earlier tips we have discussed so far in case you missed out:

Tip #1 of 8: Turn Off Auto-Archiving in Outlook
You should archive e-mails as projects are completed. Don’t disorganize yourself by archiving based on dates.

Tip #2 of 8: Think carefully before using Outlook Rules
Rules can cause you to miss taking action on certain e-mails and also filing them into incorrect folders.

Tip #3 of 8: Find out where your Outlook data file is and backup regularly
How can you be sure that your Outlook data is being backed up if you don’t know where it is?

Tip #4 of 8: Split your Outlook data into more than one file
This technique will stop your e-mail file from getting bloated, slow and eventually corrupting itself and dying.

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