Tag Archives: Email Tips

Mark Outlook Emails READ only after you ACTUALLY Read them

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, April 26th, 2013

Every morning, the first thing we normally do is download all our received emails in Outlook and quickly look through all emails to see which ones need our immediate attention and which ones can be dealt with later BUT…

As you are clicking through your emails, Outlook is marking them as READ, which means they will no longer appear BOLD for you to clearly identify which ones are still left to be ACTUALLY READ or dealt with.

Here is a simple setting in Outlook which lets you set a minimum time that you need to be on an email before it is marked as read (I have set mine to 5 second):

For Outlook 2013/2010:

  • Click on File > Options
  • Click on Mail from the left side column
  • Click on the Reading Pane button on the right
  • On the Reading Pane dailog box, tick the checkbox for “Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane
  • Enter a time in the box beside “Wait XX seconds before marking item as read”
  • Click OK and than OK again

For Outlook 2007/2003:

  • Click Tools on the menu > Options…
  • Click the Other tab
  • Click on the Reading Pane… button
  • On the Reading Pane dailog box, tick the checkbox for “Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane“
  • Enter a time in the box beside “Wait XX seconds before marking item as read”
  • Click OK and than OK again

I hope you find this simple tip useful.

If you have your own tips for better managing emails and your time in Outlook, share it with our readers by leaving a comment on this blog.

Warning: Your Facebook Picture showing up in people’s Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Today I received an email from someone I regularly do work with. When I clicked on the email, Outlook automatically showed me his Facebook profile picture… semi-drunk drinking rum straight from the bottle? He didn’t show me the picture, Outlook (not Facebook) just showed it to me!

Do you use Facebook? If you do, make sure that you have a good profile picture that you are happy for your business contacts to see. Why? Because it’s showing up in their Outlook every time you send them an email… thanks to the Facebook Social Media connector for Outlook (which is available as a  free download).

Once you have the Facebook connector installed, you will automatically see people’s Facebook profile pictures whenever you view an email to or from them…. and they don’t even have to be your Facebook friend to see your picture inside Outlook!

That means that everyone you email can see your Facebook picture… without going to Facebook… inside Outlook… and without being your Facebook friend!

Facebook profile picture

Is your current Facebook profile picture appropriate for your business contacts?

If not update it now… and let your colleagues know if their pictures are unflattering.

You can try out the Outlook Facebook connector for yourself from this link. It works in Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010. For Outlook 2013 users, it comes pre-installed.

Why you should avoid filing emails in the Outlook Deleted Items Folder

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The first and obvious reason is because the deleted items folder is your virtual RUBBISH BIN.

Although it may be referred to as a folder in Outlook, it’s purpose is not for filing/storing emails which you might want to refer to later.

We do not store anything in the rubbish bin in the real world to grab it out later right… then why do it in the virtual world.

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

  • Like its physical world counterpart (rubbish bin), the Deleted Items folder can be emptied very easily (right-click and then click Empty) causing permanent loss of your filed emails.
  • If your Outlook data file ever gets corrupted 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.
  • 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 three better alternatives then filing to the Deleted Items folder:

  • For those who like to keep their filing simple, have one folder in which you file all your emails. (Give this folder a generic name like Filing or Old Emails or Archive) and drag emails to this folder for filing..or
  • For a more organized system, have different folders dedicated to projects, cases, clients, topics etc and then file the email into the relevant folder. You could use a addin like QuickFile for Outlook to file your emails quickly into dedicated folders.
  • Tagging your emails with keywords and using search (Gmail Style) is becoming the modern way of email organizing which has the benefits of both options mentioned above. You can keep all your emails in a single folder but tag it with multiple keywords like project name, client name etc. This keeps you’re your Outlook lean and clean. You can try EmailTags for Outlook if this method suits your style of email organization.

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.

If you know of others who use their Deleted Items folder as a filing cabinet, feel free to share this post with them.

Do you do it yourself?

Please leave a comment if you have reasons for doing this.

Changing the Font of Email Notes in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Don’t like the font of your email notes in Outlook? Here’s a quick tip on how to change it.

Yesterday we received a feedback from an existing Email Notes for Outlook user:

“…my biggest complaint is that I do not like the typeface on Email Notes.”

We chose the default font because it looks (a little) like hand written notes but several users have told us that they don’t like it.

I suspect that there many users who have been “putting up” with our font selection. Here’s how you can change the font to something you like.

  • Start Outlook
  • On the EmailNotes Toolbar/Ribbon > click More > Click Settings…

Email notes settings screen

  • On the Settings screen as shown above, you can select the Font, the Font-size and the default color of the note you wish to use. (You can see a preview of your selections just below it)
  • Click OK

Alternatively, you can access the Settings straight from the Notes screen:

  • Select a email you want to add notes too > click on the Add Notes button on the EmailNotes toolbar/Ribbon

Emailnotes settings from notes

  • Right-click anywhere on the notes screen > select EmailNotes Settings
  • Make the changes as preferred and click OK

These settings will now be applied to all the notes that you create.

If you haven’t tried Email Notes for Outlook yet, you can download a fully functional 30 day trial of Email Notes for Outlook here.

If you are an existing Email Notes user and have any suggestions or ideas to further improve EmailNotes, please let us know by leaving a comment below or email us at news@addins4outlook.com

Related Posts

Let Outlook colour special emails (for example emails with notes)

Customer Story: How I use Email Notes for Outlook in my business

Save Time Responding to Emails

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Working solo or individually was very popular before but now more and more people prefer working in teams and groups.

There are obvious reasons for working in teams:

  1. It helps share the workload thus
  2. Work is done much faster and
  3. Working in team is just fun

Working in teams is what we have always believed and so when designing our addins (of course with the help from our customers who we also consider part of the team) we have ensured to design the Outlook Addins so that it allows easy sharing and collaboration with team members.

The post today occurred as a result of our recent communication with a client.

Here is what happened:

We recently received a query from a person who was the Head of the Support Department in the company he worked. He was looking for a Outlook based solution which would allow his team to respond to customers issues and queries quickly and efficiently.

He stated to us that a lot of the queries that they received on a day to day basis were the same and the support team were wasting a lot of time having to write the same emails (answers) every time. This was time consuming as well as error prone.

We told him about one of our Outlook Addons InsertText and provided a link to download a fully functional 30 day trial.

Upon trialing, he could immediately see the benefits of using InsertText rather then having the team members re-writing the same emails over and over again.

We then showed him how to configure InsertText so that the templates can be shared amongst other team members.

After communicating with our newly added customer, we realized how important the sharing of templates feature is and there could be others who are looking for a similar solution. There could be other readers on our list who are unaware of this feature of InsertText so we thought to share it.

Step-by-Step instructions

InsertText allows multiple users to share templates. If you are in an exchange environment you can use Public Folders as a location to share templates from. To enable sharing:

  • Open Outlook
  • Click on the little arrow On the InsertText Toolbar or Ribbon, click Settings
  • Click the Folder Settings tab
  • Tick the checkbox “I am using Microsoft Exchange Server…” to enable sharing of templates.
  • Use the Change Folder… button below this checkbox to select your appropriate shared folder which is in Exchange.
    Note: If you wish to view your shared templates by default when loading templates and also while saving templates then select Shared option in both the options in the Shared Templates Folder section.
  • Click OK

Now other users of the team who have InsertText installed will also be able to view the shared templates and use them when responding to emails.

About InsertText

InsertText makes it quick and easy to write and reply to emails. It does this by letting you create and save InsertText templates. These templates are simply prewritten text blocks that you can insert into your emails whenever you need to.

You owe it to yourself to try InsertText.

Categories : InsertText for Outlook, Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 0 )

Strategies for Outlook Sent Items Emails

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, November 10th, 2011

There are four things that we can do with emails sent from Outlook: 1) leave them in the Sent Items folder 2) Delete them 3) File them to another folder or 4) Leave a copy in the Sent Items folder and file a copy in another folder.

Here is how QuickFile for Outlook users can do all of these things almost automatically.

QuickFile for Outlook displays the Send&File screen every time you send out an email (i.e. the screen is displayed when you click Send).

Send and File screen

To leave the email in the Sent Items folder:
Click Send Only on QuickFile’s Send&File screen.

If you don’t want this prompt to be displayed (i.e. you want all sent emails to simply stay in the Sent Items folder), you can change the settings .

  • On the QuickFile Toolbar/Ribbon > Click More > Settings…
  • Under the General tab, you will find the option “Action to take when Send clicked
  • From the Drop-down menu, select Do Normal Send
  • Click OK

To delete the email after it is sent (i.e. you do not want a copy in the Sent Items folder or in any other folder)

Click Send & Delete when QuickFile for Outlook displays the Send&File screen.

To file the sent email into another folder and leave a copy in the Sent Items folder:

  • On the Send & File screen, select the folder to which you want to file a copy of the email
  • Click on the Show Options >> link on the bottom right corner of the screen
  • Select the option “File a COPY of email
  • Click Send & File button

If you normally want to file emails this way, you can change the relevant setting on the QuickFile settings screen.

  • On the QuickFile Toolbar/Ribbon > Click More > Settings…
  • Under the General tab, go to the section “Action to take upon Button Click
  • From the Drop-down list for Send & File:, select File a copy of email to folder
  • Click OK

To file the sent email out of the Sent Items folder and into another folder:

  • On the Send & File screen, select the folder to which you want to file the email
  • Click on the Show Options >> link on the bottom right corner of the screen
  • Select the option “File/Move original email
  • Click Send & File button

If you normally want to file emails this way, you can change the relevant setting on the QuickFile settings screen.

  • On the QuickFile Toolbar/Ribbon > Click More > Settings…
  • Under the General tab, go to the section “Action to take upon Button Click
  • From the Drop-down list for Send & File:, select File/Move original email to folder
  • Click OK

We hope this blog post helps you get more out of QuickFile for Outlook. . If you’re not a user yet, you can view a demo video of Quick File for Outlook or download a free Outlook addon trial from our website today.

Marketing with Outlook: How to Send your Catalogue

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

It’s that time of the year when Outlook users will start sending out holiday emails. One of the things that you may choose to do is to email out your catalogue to your customers. You have two options: Giving users a link from which they can download the catalogue or attaching the catalogue to your email.

Should you be attaching the catalogue to your email or giving users a link to download it from your website?

And the answer is that it depends… on the size of your catalogue and the number of people that you will be sending it out to.

The advantages of attaching the Catalogue to your Email

Customer is more likely to read the catalogue: The customer does not have to do anything extra to read your catalogue. It’s already there with the email and they can simply open it up and start reading.

(We recommend that you send the catalogue in PDF format. Everyone has a PDF reader so your customer won’t need to download any special software and more importantly, your file will stay formatted properly and display to the user the way you intended.)

The disadvantages of attaching the Catalogue to your email

Time to send emails: If you are sending out a lot of emails and/or your attachment is a big file, then the emails may take a long time to send out of Outlook.

Time to download emails (annoyed customers): If your file is too big, it may take a while to download, which could end you annoying the customer.

Customers may not get emails: Files with attachments also have less deliverability. It is likely that your catalogue consists of “sales talk” that could be regarded as spam causing your email to end up in the Outlook’s Junk Emails folder instead of the Inbox.

So what should you do…

  1. If you are sending a small file to a few or many people, you may choose to send it as an attachment via email.
  2. If you are sending a large file to a few people (who know you personally and work closely with you), you may choose to send it as an attachment via email.
  3. If you are sending a large file to many people, we recommend that you upload the file to the web and send customers a link via email.

And finally…

We recommend that all marketing emails (with or without attachments) should be individually addressed to the recipients (i.e. send a separate email to each person). Studies have shown that emails sent this way are up to 3X more likely to be opened and read.

Our customers know how easily you can do this from inside Outlook using an addon such as Email Merge PRO for Outlook. If you’re not a user yet, you can view a demo video of Email Merge for Outlook  or download a free Outlook addon trial from our website today.

Keep Outlook Emails as Unread until after you actually read them

By standss - Comments ( 20 ) Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

For big parts of my day my Outlook Inbox is where I work. I read many of my emails in the Outlook reading pane (the preview of the email while I am still in my Inbox). I also use the fact that unread emails still need some action from me. The problem is that as I step through emails, they get marked as having been read, even though I may not have actually read them.

Here’s a setting that one of my team member (Thank you Anand) pointed out to me that you can quickly change… now Outlook will only mark an email as read if you’ve spent a minimum time on it.

I’ve set mine to 5 seconds. That way if I am on an email for less than 5 seconds it stays unread. Anything longer than 5 seconds and Outlook assumes that I have read the email. You can use any time setting that fits the way you work.

For Outlook 2016/2013/2010:

  • Click on File > Options
  • Click on Mail from the left side column
  • Click on the Reading Pane button on the right
  • On the Reading Pane dailog box, tick the checkbox for “Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane
  • Enter a time in the box beside “Wait XX seconds before making item as read”
  • Click OK and than OK again

For Outlook 2007/2003:

  • Click Tools on the menu > Options…
  • Click the Other tab
  • Click on the Reading Pane… button
  • On the Reading Pane dailog box, tick the checkbox for “Mark items as read when viewed in the Reading Pane
  • Enter a time in the box beside “Wait XX seconds before making item as read”
  • Click OK and than OK again

I hope that this little tip makes your life in Outlook a little bit easier.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 20 )

Is your Email killing your Productivity?

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Monday, October 10th, 2011

Emails are a very dominant means of communication nowadays and it can take up hours of our time just checking, reading or answering emails. So let me ask you again, is your Email killing your Productivity?

If your answer to the above is YES, then below are just some simple email tips that can help you stay focused and more productive.

1. Turn-off any forms of Distractions (Email Alerts)

I have always preferred to turn off e-mail notifications in Outlook, particularly the blue notification rectangle that shows up everytime you receive a new email in Outlook versions 2003 and later.

Imagine this pop-ups appearing every 5 or 10 minutes, or even more often and the end result – your productivity is getting affected (even if you do not open and read the email immediately).

You can refer to an earlier post on how to Turn-off the Email alert in Outlook.

2. Automatically highlight important emails

You might receive hundreds of emails a day but this does not necessarily mean that all have to be dealt with immediately.

You can setup Outlook to automatically highlight or color-code important emails that require your immediate attention. This ensures that you are focusing your attention on the right emails.

3. Try to automate as many processes as possible (rather then doing it manually)

If you are using an email program such as Outlook, you can setup rules to perform some of the obvious tasks such as moving SPAM/JUNK emails out of the Inbox automatically. This saves you time which can be used for other important matters rather deleting individual SPAM emails.

4. Process your emails in batches

It’s not necessary to check emails throughout the day or work on them all day long. As noted above, more often you will find that not all emails require an immediate response. So try to process your emails in batches, you can answer the first lot of emails first thing in the morning and the others sometime in the afternoon.

This reduces frustration (that more often happens due to email overload) with emails and at the same time allows you to focus on other productive tasks through the day.

These are if you like some simple tips to help you stay focus and productive.

Do you have other methods of your own to stay productive?

Please share it with us and our readers by leaving a comment below.

Email Marketing Tips for Accidental Salespeople

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Right now a lot of you might be wondering… who are ACCIDENTAL SALESPEOPLE?

Well to keep it simple, these are people (like me) who have found themselves becoming salespeople because of the needs of their business and I’m sure there are others like me.

For the sake of this people, here are some of the Email Marketing Tips that are used and recommended by Real Salespeople:

TIP #1: Send a SEPARATE EMAIL TO EACH PERSON, personalized with personal data if appropriate.

Make sure that each person gets a separate email with only their own name in the To field. You can further personalize the content of the email with the person’s name and any other data you want if it adds to the value of your message.

  • Do NOT send just one email with everyone’s name stuffed in the To or CC field. It lets everyone know everyone else who is getting the email.
  • Don’t send the email to yourself (or undisclosed recipients) and BCC everyone else. It looks unprofessional and makes your email look like SPAM… both to the readers and to most spam filtering software.

TIP #2: Email your list with RELEVANT (and hopefully INTERESTING) information

The information you send to customers must be relevant to them… otherwise you will quickly find yourself banished from their Inbox to their Junk Emails folder.

  • Don’t spam your customers. Write content that they are interested in. That way they will WHITE LIST you so that your emails will stay out of their Junk Emails and get into their inbox.  

TIP #3: Email your list at the appropriate interval.

What is the appropriate interval between emails? Not so long that they have a hard time remembering who you are… and not so frequently that they lose interest in what you’re writing.

  • Don’t train your customers to ignore your emails… if you send them too much information, they won’t make time to look at it.

TIP #4: Segment Your Customers and Prospects (or you could end up losing sales)

Not everyone in your list of customers and prospects are interested in everything you sell. Try and group them into different segments… and then send different emails based on the needs of each group.

  • Outlook has a very powerful feature called Categories that you can use to segment your contacts. Unfortunately it is not as easy as it could be to do email merges with this!

TIP #5: KNOW why you are writing the email… What is in it for the reader? What is in it for you… what do you want the reader to do?

Why are you writing a particular email… Is it to inform the customer of a new product… is to inform them of a promotion you are running?

Is there something you want the customer to do… maybe click on a link… or call you… or download a file?

  • If you want your customers or prospects to do something then ask them to do it… they can’t read your mind! (You’d be surprised what a difference in conversion rates this simple tip will make)

TIP #6: Write your Emails in a way that gets into their Inbox (and not Junk Emails) folder.

We often get asked by prospective customers if our Email Merge for Outlook can guarantee that their emails end up in Inboxes instead of Junk Mail folders.

Email Merge does many things to improve your chances of staying out of SPAM folders but guess what… if your email is basically spam then chances are it will be blocked.

TIP #7: Respect your customers wishes… don’t send them marketing emails if they’ve asked you to stop

If your customer has asked you politely (the first email is usually polite) to not send them marketing emails then STOP. You will probably need to contact them via email again… use their email address against their wishes and you may find that you get blocked off.

These are if you like the 7 tips that can help you with your Email Marketing efforts.

If you have any other tips, please share it with us and our many readers by leaving a comment below.