The Good news is, Outlook already has a built-in Recall feature which lets you do just that.
The Bad news is, it only works with Exchange server accounts and has a very low success rate, mostly because recall only works with unread messages.
For those who have a Exchange Account
If you would like to recall a email you sent a co-worker:
- Go to the Sent Items folder and open the email you want to recall
- In Outlook 2010/2007, click on the Other Actions menu (or Actions depending on your Outlook settings) and select “Recall this message…”
In Older versions, click on the Actions menu and select “Recall this message…”
After clicking Recall this Message, a dialog comes up, giving you the option of Deleting the message (if unread) or replacing the message with a new one.
If you enable the option to be told if the recall was successful, you’ll get a message back within a few minutes letting you know if the recall was successful or failed.
Note: the above method is only useful if the email you sent has not been read by the recipient.
Prevention is better then Cure
We all have heard the saying above but often enough end up looking for cures rather then preventing the mistakes in the first place.
SendGuard for outlook is a simple add-in which allows you to delay all or selected emails for a preset time in your Outbox. This lets you change your message if you’ve had a change of heart after clicking Send. For the super cautious, SendGuard can be configured from the settings screen to get confirmation before sending out emails to all or selected recipients.
What would you perfer, sending the email and then looking for a way to recall it OR safeguard yourself from sending the email in the first place?
let us know by leaving a comment on our blog
How much time do we WASTE looking at an email and rethinking the same thoughts again? How many ideas are lost by the time you get around to responding to an email? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to make notes on your emails… ready for you to use later?
Ideally you should only have to read an email once and then respond to it. In the real world this is not possible.
Like me, you probably open an email, read it… have some thoughts on it (maybe write your notes down on a piece of paper)… decide you need to get more information and then leave it for later.
Then when you are ready to respond… you can no longer remember or find your notes… so it either takes longer to respond to your email… or it doesn’t contain all the information it should have.
Here’s how you can use Email Notes to IMMEDIATELY jot down any thoughts you have while reading an email. The notes get added to the email (just like sticking a note to a piece of paper) for your later reference:
1. Select an email and click Add Notes button on the EmailNotes toolbar
2. Type in your notes
3. Click on Save button to save the note contents
EmailNotes is also great if you need to add notes to emails based on phone calls.
Now you can have all the information in one place for when you are ready to respond.
Email Notes for Outlook was basically designed by our 30,000 or so readers and customers… we have made writing notes on emails AS EASY AS STICKING NOTES TO A PIECE OF PAPER!
• One click to add and link notes to emails
• One click to view and edit notes linked to an email
• Forward, Reply and Print your emails with or without notes
• … and much more
If you’re not using Email Notes for Outlook yet… you owe it to yourself to try it out. There is a fully functional 30-day trial on our website
In an earlier post, we identified 3 Types of Email Overwhelm. One of the causes of email overwhelm is the time and effort needed to keep all the incoming and outgoing emails organized.
Normally the manual effort required means many of us just give up and leave everything in a mess.
This article shows you exactly how I PERSONALLY USE QuickFile for Outlook on a daily basis… I hope you find ideas in it that will help you take control of your emails.
I am able to file 90% of the emails at the click of a button
QuickFile adds a toolbar inside Outlook. Whenever I select an email, QuickFile changes one of the buttons to the name of the folder I last used to file a similar email… most times the email needs to go into the same folder. One click and the email is moved out of my Inbox.
What I like:
- I am actually filing my emails because I don’t have to hunt through a tree of folders.. one click is so much faster.
- My Inbox doesn’t feel like a list of endless tasks because it only contains emails that still need my attention.
A COPY of my Sent Emails are automatically filed to the correct folder
QuickFile prompts me for a folder every time I send out an email. The prompt contains a list of folders where I am most likely to file the email…. Double-click and the email is automatically filed to the correct folder after it is sent.
(The prompt can be turned off if you prefer to bring it up only when you want by clicking Send&File instead of Send)
What I like:
- Without this, emails in my Sent Items folder were NEVER filed. I don’t look at Sent Items as often as my Inbox and it’s just too easy to forget.
- QuickFile can either move the original email or file a copy from the Sent Items folder. The copy feature was implemented as a result of user DEMANDS and I really find this useful. A copy gets filed to the correct folder and I still have a copy in my Sent Items for quick reference. Many users tell me that they also use the Sent Items emails for filling in timesheets.
I don’t let Newsletters distract me
I subscribe to many different newsletter emails. Most of these newsletters do not need my urgent attention… they do not need to be added to my list of things to do.
QuickFile lets me treat any email in my Inbox as a newsletter at the click of a button. After that any email from that email address automatically gets moved to a folder dedicated to Newsletters, which I then read at my convenience.
What I like about this:
- My Inbox does not get cluttered by newsletters… there is less stress each time I look at my Inbox.
- I’m not distracted from my real work by an email with an interesting topic
- QuickFile reminds me once a day to look at my newsletters with an email in my Inbox… I do a quick scan to make sure that I am not missing out on anything time-sensitive.
- Many emails that I was spending (wasting) a lot of time reading no longer seem important… now that they’re not in my Inbox, I don’t feel as compelled to read stuff that I won’t actually use.
I (defer and then) deal with non-urgent emails in batches
Many productivity gurus recommend that you don’t deal with emails first thing in the morning but… we’re in a different time zone from many of our customers… I need to reply to them first thing to ensure that we are able to communicate while we are still both at work.
I start from my Inbox and deal with each in it. If it’s urgent I deal with it there and then.
Otherwise, I use QuickFile to defer it to 11 am… a time I have set aside for email processing. QuickFile moves the email out of my Inbox and then brings it back at 11 am. (QuickFile can defer each email to a different time of your choosing).
What I like:
- My Inbox does not contain emails that I have decided not to work on now. This keeps me focussed only on what I need to think about.
- The email automatically appears at a time of my choosing.
- Batch Processing emails is actually a much more productive way of dealing with emails instead of getting distracted by emails 50 times a day.
I am able to find Email Folders by typing any part of the folder name
I have many folders of several levels inside Outlook. Finding the right folder to file or retrieve an email can take a long time… OK… it takes less than 10 seconds but it feels like a long time.
QuickFile adds a Find&Goto Folder button to the Outlook toolbar. To find a folder all I need to do is click on the button and type a few characters from anywhere in the name of the folder.
QuickFile shows me all matching folders and I double-click to go to the correct folder. Easy!
What I like:
- I don’t have to remember where the folder is or it’s exact name.. or even the start of the folder name. QuickFile will do a find anywhere in your Outlook file and based on any part of the folder name
- It makes answering queries that requires reference to old emails much much faster.
That covers my favourite ways in which QuickFile makes me productive.
If you’re not using QuickFile yet… you owe it to yourself to try it out. There is a fully functional 30-day trial on our website.
One of the things that Microsoft (for some reason) did not implement in Windows … an easy way to get the full filename (including the path) of a file. Here are the two quickest ways I know to do this:
In Windows 2000 and XP
Open Explorer and navigate to the file that you are interested in.
Click Start-Run to display the Run dialog box.
Click Delete to empty whatever is currently displayed in the Run box.
Now drag and drop the file (or folder) from the Explorer window into the Run box.
The above tip will also work in Vista and Windows 7 if you have configured it to have the Run command as part of the Start menu. However Vista and Windows 7 also has another even easier method…
In Windows Vista and Windows 7
Press and hold down the Shift Key and right-click over the file (or folder) you are interested in. Choose Copy as Path and this will copy the path to the clipboard.
You can now paste (CTRL-V) the path anywhere you want.
Why Microsoft chose to hide this option by requiring us to press Shift, I’ll never know.
Did you know that Outlook let’s you refine your searches using human friendly English words. The following examples will get you started…
If I want to find all emails that were sent by James Raman, I just need to type the following into the Search Box…
From: James Raman
If I want to find all emails with the word Rugby anywhere in the subject, I just have to type the following in the Search Box…
If I want to find all emails with the word Rugby in the Subject that were sent by James Raman, I just have to type the following in the Search Box…
From: James Raman and Subject:Rugby
I can even refine this further to something like…
From: James Raman and Subject:Rugby and To:Sanjay
Other tags that you can use include BCC and CC.
This simple technique has greatly reduced the time it takes me to find emails. I hope you find it useful.
Do you have any other Search tricks that you find useful. Share it with other readers by leaving a comment on the blog.
Fixing Search Problems in Outlook 2007/2010
Whenever you type an email address in the To/CC/BCC field of an email, Outlook helps out by showing you a list of email addresses that match what you have typed. This can be very helpful in quickly entering a recipient’s email address. But …
People’s email addresses change or you may have stopped communicating with certain people – yet their old email addresses keep showing up in the list.
Deleting Single Entries
It’s easy to delete individual items from the list. Type a few characters in the To field to display the list. Then use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move to the old email addresses and click Delete.
Deleting the Whole List
Use with Caution because there is no way of getting the list back!
You can also completely delete the list to start from a clean slate by following the steps in this link:
It is almost Christmas… its the time of the year when we need to send out invitations, greetings and newsletters to friends and clients.
Depending on your contact list, the best way to contact your friends this year maybe using email, fax or post/hand delivery.
Most of these mailing can be considered “mass mailing” i.e. we want to send copies of the same mail to everyone… possibly customized with their name and address at most.
Microsoft Outlook and Word have some built-in features that automate this process for you. In addition we have built our own tools to further speed up and simplify the process for you.
In this post I’ll discuss both the built in free ways as well as our own addins.
How to Email out Invites, Greetings and Newsletters.
I am going to start with what I consider to be the easiest, fastest and most powerful way of doing this… our own EmailMerge PRO for Outlook.
You can view a short video on our website to see just how easy this is.
How to Fax out Invites, Greetings and Newsletters.
Despite what many people will have you believe, Faxing is not dead.
In fact in terms of deliverability, it can beat email – there is almost no chance that your fax won’t get delivered because of an over-zealous spam filter.
You can use Microsoft Word and the free fax printer that comes with Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 to send out personalized faxes to your customers this year.
The Bad News: Windows Fax and MS Word don’t talk easily to each other out of the box.
The Good News: Fax4Word allows you to fax merge straight from Word to the Windows Fax printer.
How to Print Letters and Envelopes for Posting and Hand Delivery
Even if you will be sending paper based mail this year, technology can help you.
Here are step-by-step instructions to:
I hope you find the above information helpful in staying in touch with friends and family this year.
Need to make sure that you get something done… EMAIL YOURSELF! This works much better for me then putting it on a Task List. Why? Like many people my Inbox acts as my real (or at least more immediate) Task List.
Here are some ways to get the most out of this super easy tip.
- Basic Way: Just Email yourself when you need to remember to do something.
- Need to follow up on an email that you are sending out to a client: BCC yourself on the email and a copy will end up in your Inbox.
- From your BlackBerry or other email-enabled phone: This is my FAVOURITE. It means that I can update my To Do List from anywhere… I’m at the supermarket and remember that I need to call a client on Monday… easy… I create and send an email from my phone… and I can get back to chasing my 4 year old down the candy aisle.
Did you find this tip useful? Do you have your own creative ways of applying this tip. Leave a comment on the blog.
Do you need to arrange a meeting with someone in another time zone? Or maybe you are traveling and need to know the time at home and at your temporary destination.
Here’s a super simple tip to viewing two time-zones in your Outlook Calendar.
Display your Calendar in Outlook (either Day or Week view).
Right-Click over any of the time labels on the left hand corner to display the pop-up menu. (see big red dot in picture)
Click on Change Time Zone to display the Time Zone settings screen.
Tick the “Show a second time zone” checkbox and enter the rest of the settings.
Click OK .
Your Calendar will now be displayed with both time zones.
You can choose to leave both time zones displayed or turn one off once you’re done by following the steps above (by clearing the tick next to “Show a second time zone”).
I think Outlook’s Junk Email Folder does a fantastic job of keeping spam out of my Inbox but … occasionally real emails end up there. Here’s a quick tip to reduce the number of emails that get incorrectly moved to the Junk Email folder.
Outlook has a Safe Sender’s list. Outlook knows that anyone who is on your Safe Sender’s list is authorised to send you email.
It makes sense (most of the time) that anyone you actually write to should automatically be put on your safe sender’s list.
The ability to do this is built into Outlook but is turned off by default. To turn it on…
- Go to your Inbox.
- If you are using Outlook 2010, (on the ribbon) click File–Junk–Junk E-mail Options
For other versions of Outlook, (on the menu) click Actions – Junk Email – Junk Email Options
- Click the Safe Senders tab.
- Tick the checkbox “Automatically add people I e-mail to the Safe Senders List”.
- Click OK.