Tag Archives: business

How to Improve Outlook Performance by disabling unnecessary addins

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Friday, June 4th, 2010

Outlook Addins are an essential productivity tool to most business users of Outlook. You may however find that you are running some unnecessary addins that you are not even aware of. Disabling or removing those addins can help speed up your system.

You can turn addins on or off from the Com Addins screen.

To display the Com Add-ins screen in Outlook 2010, click File-Options. Click Addins. Com Addins should already be selected in the Manage drop-down.  Click the Go button to display the Com Add-ins dialog box.

To display the Com Add-ins screen in Outlook 2007, click Tools-Trust Center-Addins. Com Addins should already be selected in the Manage drop-down.  Click the Go button to display the Com Add-ins dialog box.

To display the Com-Addins screen in Outlook 2000/2002/2003, click Tools->Other->Advanced Options->COM Add-ins,

You can turn off addins that you are not using by removing the ticks next to them or by selecting them and then clicking the Remove button.

Note: If you had downloaded and installed an addin that you no longer need then the best solution is to simply uninstall the addin from the Control Panel (as you would uninstall any other software).

Categories : Outlook Performance Comments ( 1 )

Is your Outlook data ready to crash – Outlook will not open?

By standss - Comments ( 4 ) Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

While checking something on my dad’s computer over the weekend, I found out that he will probably LOSE YEARS WORTH OF EMAILS soon… This is through no fault of his own and there will be no warning when it happens… Outlook will simply stop working.

Here’s how you can check to see if you may also have the same problem in the future.

Very briefly… Dad has been using Outlook since Outlook 2000.

If you are using an Outlook data file that was originally created by a version of Outlook prior to Outlook 2003, then your data file has a maximum possible size of 2 GB.

If this data file exceeds 2 GB (there is no warning as you approach this limit), Outlook will simply stop working. There are ways to recover your data but they’re not easy. (I’m glad I discovered this issue before the data got corrupted and he made me try and recover it)

What do you need to do? Find out the size and version of your Outlook data file. Full instructions are in the post on How to maintain Outlook data (PST) files that I did last week.

(I wrote about this topic last week but thought it worthwhile to stress the point in light of the discovery on dad’s computer)

Categories : Outlook Performance Comments ( 4 )

Easy Zooming for Meetings using Outlook/Office.

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Do you need to display your computer screen to others during meetings? Here’s a really easy way of quickly zooming in so that everyone can see the screen.

Hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard and scroll using the wheel on your mouse. You can zoom in or out depending on the direction you turn the wheel.

This works in the Preview Pane of Outlook 2010, 2007 and Outlook 2003 (not all emails work in Outlook 2003). It works in all open emails in the above versions of Outlook.

It also works for Word and Excel (2003, 2007 and 2010).

This tip was pointed out to me by one of my team members (Anand) during a team meeting and it has made our frequent meetings (where we discuss ideas around a computer screen) much more productive.

I hope it also works for you.

Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 1 )

Don’t File Your Outlook Emails in the Deleted Items Folder!

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, April 30th, 2010

Filing (?) emails in Outlook’s Deleted Items Folder is the easiest way to accidentally lose all your emails. Here’s why… plus a few better methods of filing your emails.

I was at a friend’s office last week and observed him retrieving an email for our discussions from the Deleted Items folder. I thought he may have accidentally deleted the emails but then found out that… the email was in the Deleted Items folder on PURPOSE!

His system for filing his emails and having a clean inbox was the DELETE button… once he was finished with an email he simply deleted it…  he wasn’t emptying his Deleted Items folder so he could refer to the emails again in the future when he wants.

no! No! NO!

The Deleted Items folder is your electronic rubbish bin… do you file your important papers in your physical rubbish bins.

Here’s why you should NOT file emails to the Deleted Items folder?

  1. Like its physical world counterpart, the Deleted Items folder can be emptied very easily (right-click and then click Empty) causing permanent loss of your “filed” emails.
  1. Also if you have Outlook data corruption due to file size etc. automated recovery programs may try and empty out your Deleted Items folder which could result in the loss of your data.
  1. IT Support people helping you with speed problems etc in Outlook may empty your Deleted Items folder before optimizing your file.

If you’re not going to refer to the email again and do not need to keep it (for legal reasons etc) then DELETE IT! Otherwise you need to FILE IT somewhere aside from Outlook’s Deleted Items folder (aka Outlook’s Garbage Bin).

Here are two options…

  1. Have One folder in which you file all your emails. (Give this email a generic name like Filing or Old Emails or Archive) and drag emails to this folder for filing… or…
  1. Have different folders dedicated to projects, cases, clients, topics etc and then file the email into the relevant folder.

Use whatever method works for you but DO NOT USE DELETED ITEMS as a filing cabinet.

If you’re new to the idea of filing emails, I would also recommend that you download our free ebook 8 Simple Tips for Email Management in Outlook from our blog.

Do you know of people who use the Deleted Items folder for filing emails? Do you do it yourself? Please leave a comment if you have reasons for doing this.


Sanjay Singh

Finding Real Emails in Outlook’s Junk Emails Folder

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Do a lot of your work emails end up in Outlook’s Junk Mail folder? Here’s how you can quickly spot the work emails amongst all the SPAM by getting Outlook to HIGHLIGHT the most likely real emails.

The trick is to get Outlook to automatically color code any emails that have certain words in them. In my case…

I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.

1. Go to the Junk Emails Folder.

2. On the menu at the top, Click View-Current View – Customize Current View to display the Customize View screen. (In Outlook 2010 click View-View Settings on the ribbon)

3. Click the Automatic Formatting(or Conditional Formatting) button.

4. Click the Add Button

5. Enter a name e.g. “Colour Code Outlook Emails”

6. Click the Font button and using 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.

7. 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

8. Click OK 3 times to return to your Folder.

Your Emails are Now Color Coded… Any emails in the folder that meet the criteria you specified will automatically be highlighted. Any new emails will also be highlighted using the same rules.

I can’t tell you how many times this simple trick has helped me immediately spot an important email that Outlook though was spam.


Sanjay Singh

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SPAM Filtering in Outlook Comments ( 1 )

Use Outlook to email links to files on your network

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Monday, April 26th, 2010

Do you share files with other users on your network? Here’s a way to email CLICKABLE links even if the file name or path has spaces in it.

We often share files with other users in our company by putting them in shared folders either on our computer or on the server. We then email the relevant people with a link to the file e.g.

I have put the latest copy of the software on the server at the following location:


If the file name and path have no spaces in it then you end up with a link that the recipient can click on to open the file.

The problem is that since Windows allows spaces in file names, many folder names and file names now contain spaces. If your path/folder name has spaces in it, then the link is not correct e.g. in the same example link above if there was a space in the word SoftwarePrograms:

\\Server\Software Programs\filename.exe

Here’s an easy trick to get around it. Start your link with a “<” and finish with a “>” i.e if you type

<\\Server\Software Programs\filename.exe>

Outlook will change it to:

\\Server\Software Programs\filename.exe

Sanjay Singh

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 0 )

Using Rules to process Newsletter Emails in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Last week we discussed why you should NOT use rules to process the majority of your work emails. This week I’d like to show you why it makes perfect sense to use Rules to process your newsletter emails.

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

I often mind 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.

What are Rules in Outlook?
According to Outlook 2007 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 4Outlook 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.
  • 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 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.

Use Rules in this way to move emails that you know are NOT part of your REAL WORK.

This keeps your Inbox clean and focussed on things that need your attention.

OPTIONAL RELATED OUTLOOK ADDIN: I recommend that you don’t use Rules to shift work related emails. Instead use QuickFile for Outlook addin to move emails AFTER you have finished with them.

QuickFile PRO for Outlook also has a special Newsletters feature which moves emails to a dedicated folder AND also reminds you once a day (at time of your choice) to look at newsletters.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 2 )

Outlook Signatures: How to Backup and Move Between Computers

By standss - Comments ( 10 ) Monday, April 19th, 2010

Here’s a super easy way to copy or backup your signatures in Outlook… not sure why Microsoft did such a great job of building this feature and then hiding it.

I recently got myself a new computer. I setup my Outlook and had “almost” everything working… except for my Signatures. Signatures are not saved with the rest of your Outlook data and so I procrastinated… because of the effort needed to find where they were on my old computer and where they should go on my new computer.

Turns out Microsoft has built in a hidden way to jump straight to the folder where your signatures are saved.

This works in all versions of Outlook..  from Outlook 2000 all the way to the soon-to-be- released Outlook 2010.

To Backup your Outlook Signatures
Click Tools-Options and then select the Mail Format tab. (In Outlook 2010 click File-Options and then select the Mail tab)

Now hold down the CTRL key and click on the Signatures button. Outlook will open the folder on your computer that contains all your signatures.

Copy all the files and folders in the open folder to your backup device (USB Drive, External Drive, DVD etc)

To Copy backed up Outlook Signatures to your new computer
Open Outlook on your new computer

Click Tools-Options and then select the Mail Format tab. (In Outlook 2010 click File-Options and then select the Mail tab)

Now hold down the CTRL key and click on the Signatures button. Outlook will open the folder on your computer that contains all your signatures.

Copy the files from your backup device over to this folder.

The next time you try and insert a Signature in Outlook, they will all be there.

I hope you find this tip useful. It certainly made it easier for me to switch from my old computer to my new computer.

OPTIONAL RELATED OUTLOOK ADDIN: If you use Signatures as an essential part of your business you may also want to look at our Outlook addin Signature Switch for Outlook.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, Outlook Installation/Setup Comments ( 10 )

Are You Backing Up Your Outlook Data File (it is NOT in your Documents folder)?

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, April 16th, 2010

Very few Outlook users know until it is too late that… Outlook does NOT by default save your email, task and calendar data in a folder that you would ever think of backing up.

Unless you are part of a corporate network using MS Exchange, all your Outlook data is stored in one Personal Folders file.

  1. This file has a .pst extension and is saved somewhere on your computer.
  2. This one file probably contains all your Outlook folders, e-mails, contacts, tasks, calendar items, journal entries and notes inside it.
  3. (Unfortunately) This file is NOT saved to your Documents folder (at least not by default) so chances are you are not backing it up.

So where is this file on your computer?

The exact location depends on the version of Outlook and Windows. To find out where your Outlook data is:

  1. Go to your Inbox and make sure that the list of folders is displayed
  2. Right-click the top-level folder and select Properties
  3. Click the Advanced button. The filename will be displayed in the box labelled FileName.

Just make sure that file is part of your computer backup plan.

If you are using more than one PST (e.g. a separate file for archives), then you need to do the above for each of your Outlook data files.

I hope that this little tip helps keep your Outlook data protected.

Categories : Outlook Installation/Setup Comments ( 0 )

When You Should NOT Use Rules to File Your Outlook Emails

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Rules are a handy feature in Outlook that can automatically move emails out of your Inbox to any other chosen folder but… I personally almost never use Outlook Rules (I’ll write about exceptions next week) to move emails.

So why don’t I use Outlook Rules?

I like to see ALL emails that I have not read or I have read but not taken action yet in one place… my Inbox… in effect the Inbox shows me the emails that I still need to work on.

I don’t use Rules because emails would be moved out of the Inbox before I’ve had a chance to even read them.

I move the emails out of the Inbox AFTER I have finished with it.

You can move the emails manually (by dragging and dropping) or…

You can use an Outlook addin like QuickFile for Outlook which speeds up the process. QuickFile lets you file up to 90% of emails at the click of one button by displaying an additional button inside Outlook for you. The button displays and links to the folder you are most likely to file the currently selected/open email.

Next week I’ll have an article on when it makes sense to use Rules.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 1 )