Tag Archives: Microsoft Outlook

5 Problems That Arise from Outlook’s “Reply-All”

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, August 31st, 2017

Should you do  Reply or Reply-to-All? Have you ever looked at an email and wondered if your reply should be seen by ALL other recipients included in the email?

In most cases a simple ‘Reply’ would suffice, as only the sender would receive the email.

Situations where a ‘Reply-All’ would be justified is if the information being sent adds value and relevance to all the recipients of the original email.

On the other hand, Reply-All should NOT be used if your reply is a ‘Thank You’ or ‘Ok’. In this case, either using Reply, or providing no reply will do, as the subject matter is not necessary for the sender and all the other recipients to see or be a part of.

It is also important to note that at times these Reply-All email chains are the result of an accident, i.e. clicking ‘Reply-All’ instead of ‘Reply’. Users do not always fully  understand the function of Reply-All, resulting in email chains sent back and forth without knowing about all the other included recipients.

Regardless of the intentions behind clicking Reply-All, by choosing to send a reply to all the recipients listed in the email, many problems can arise.

In this post we will be looking at some of these problems and why they should be avoided.

Emails or Spam Mail?

The first problem with Reply-All messages is that they are very annoying. At times these messages are similar to spam mail, which for many organizations is not something they want to deal with on a daily basis.

For instance, if you were part of an organization that employed thousands of people around the world, and one of your associates accidentally clicks Reply-All to an email that all the employees are addressed in. The amount of emails being sent would be HUGE. In addition, once others start replying back using Reply-All on the same email chain, the cycle of emails being sent and received would seem never ending.

Having to constantly check these incoming emails to ensure that they are work related would be irritating and a waste of time. On the other hand, having to ignore incoming emails is not wise, due to the possibility of receiving emails from clients/customers.

Causes Server Issues

As emails are being sent back and forth, they are ultimately stored in the organizations computer servers and cloud based storage. When put in a situation where everyone in the organisation is receiving the same number of emails at the same time, multiple problems can arise for the servers.

For starters, the size of the organization and the number of employees will have an effect on the functionality (i.e. the speed and available space) on the servers. This simply means, if there are a whole lot of employees receiving a whole lot of emails, the rate at which the servers are filled may cause some problems regarding how well the servers work.

Furthermore, as the servers and other storage systems are filled, there may not be time to purchase more space, due to the lack of time and costs involved in buying more servers/space at the last minute. This could result in lagging computers and networks, due to the strain put on the servers trying to send out emails to all the listed recipients, while simultaneously trying to allocate space and data for various business operations.

With the increased pressure placed on the servers, the likelihood of it ‘flooding’ and therefore crashing is a big concern for the organizations due to the magnitude of data and emails being shared.

Decreases Organizational Productivity

The drip down effects of employees having to constantly check their emails, increasingly  slow network receptions and crashed servers will have a negative effect on the organizations productivity.

By having so many obstacles that affects so many people, from the restrictions to their ability and quality of work will also increase. Furthermore, in some situations, these problems may take days to amend, leaving organizations and their employees unable to perform their daily tasks and meet important deadlines.

Loss of Clients and Customers

Businesses can also potentially lose clients and customers if they are included as recipients in these Reply-All emails. Receiving what seems like never-ending emails, that has no relevance of their role  in the organization would be very annoying/frustrating. This may cause them to negatively perceive the company and may even lead them to part ways, to reduce the risk of a similar situation happening because of the organization.

The Secret’s Out

The final problem we will be looking at is the inclusion of BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) recipients in Outlook emails. When BCC recipients are included in emails, the recipients in the To and CC lines are unaware of their inclusion, besides the sender, due to their email addresses being hidden.

There is nothing negative about using BCC’s in the right context, such as BCCing the HR or legal department when addressing sensitive situations as a compliance measure. On the other hand, when BCC’s are used as a method of protection for gossip or as a way to confront other co-workers, is where it can get problematic.

If BCC’d recipients decide to reply to the email with Reply-All, things can get messy. For one, their secret is out, i.e. their identity and involvement in the email is made known to all other CC’d recipients. The next problem is that CC’d users now know that the sender of the email had included other recipients without their knowledge, this can reduce the level of trust the recipient has for the email sender, and it will also make them question the motives behind the email.

All these situations mentioned above, have been more frequent recently due to human error and the rush of everyday life. That being said, with a little bit of time and proper email etiquette can be avoided.

However, If you are interested in providing extra protection at the click of a button whenever replying to emails for you and your organization, feel free to download the free trial of ReplyGuard for Outlook which provides solutions for Reply-All related problems, or for increased range of email protection solutions, download the free trial of SendGuard for Outlook.

Learn more about preventing accidental Reply-Alls in your organization

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Categories : ReplyGuard, SendGuard for Outlook Comments ( 0 )

Where are you Outlook emails (are you backing up the RIGHT files)?

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Monday, January 26th, 2015

Do you know where your emails are saved on your computer?

They may not be where you think they are. Here’s how you can find out where your emails are so that you can be sure that they are part of your backup plan.

Last week at the golf club, I spoke to a frustrated fellow golfer who had just lost all his emails…

The harddisk on his old computer had crashed… and when he used his backups top restore his data to his new computer, he was in for a shock.

His Outlook emails were not there… despite having a well-thought out and implemented plan for backing up his computer.

Because Outlook does not actually ask you to save emails in a particular location, it is easy to forget about them.

Where does Outlook save emails?

If your emails are hosted with Office 365 or MS Exchange then a copy of your current emails will be on your server. Hopefully your network administrator is backing them up.

However, if you are using a POP3 mail account (which many people still are) or if you are archiving emails outside of Exchange, you need to know where your emails are being saved.

All your emails are generally saved in one big data file (PST file… which is short for Personal Storage Table). Unfortunately Outlook does not always create this file in a folder that you would remember to backup.

Some users may also have multiple PST files with additional files for Archives etc.

To find out exactly where all your data files are in Outlook 2010/2013:

  • Click File.
  • On the Info Tab, click Account Settings and then Account Settings again.
  • Click Data Files to display a list of all your currently connected data files as shown below.

image 1

Makes sure that you are backing up all the Outlook data files shown above.

Additional Tip: If you’re not using Exchange, you may want to put your main Outlook PST files in your Documents folder. Assuming that you’re backing up your Documents folder regularly, you should be safe.

Categories : Outlook Data Backup Comments ( 1 )

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.

Keyboard Shortcut to Hide or Show the Ribbon in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Monday, May 26th, 2014

Here’s a super shot quick and easy to hide or show the ribbon in Outlook. This is a useful tip if you want to make better use of your screen space but still use the buttons on the Ribbon too.

  • To hide the Ribbon, simply press CTRL+F1
  • To show the Ribbon, press CTRL+F1 again

Do you have your own keyboard shortcuts that you find useful… or tips on making better use of the Ribbon. Let us know by leaving a comment below.   Related Posts Keyboard Shortcuts on Ribbons in Outlook 2010 (and 2007) Keyboard Shortcuts in all Versions of Outlook oi_kbd_scuts Subscribe to Outlook for Business Blog

QuickFile for Outlook Add-in Update (Free)

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

I know that it’s only been a few weeks since we released the new version of QuickFile but we’ve had so much great feedback from users that we felt had to be implemented and put out there for you to use right now.

This update is free for all existing registered users of version 5.

Fixes and Features in this upgrade include:

  • Show Sub folders: In previous versions of QuickFile, it was possible to see subfolders of a folder (after searching for it). We’ve put this feature back in Version 5 and done a separate blog post on how to use it.
  • Remove suggestions: Folder recommendations in QuickFile are significantly more accurate in QuickFile Version 5. However there may be cases where you want to remove a suggestion. You can do this now by right clicking over the suggestion on the QuickFile screen as shown in this blog post.
  • Significant speed improvement when moving emails: Some users found that QuickFile as a sometimes slow when moving emails. We’ve rewritten the moving code.
  • Bug Fixes: There were a number of small bugs in other screens that have been tidied up.

Click to download the updated version (or a fully functional trial version) of the QuickFile Outlook addon.

Registered Users: Download the trial version and install it on your computer. It will automatically pick up your existing registration and settings.

New to QuickFile: Click QuickFile for Outlook Version 5 for more information on the easiest way to file and find your emails in Outlook.

Showing subfolders in QuickFile Version 5

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

QuickFile makes it easy to find a folder but what do you do if you need to see its subfolders too. Previous versions of QuickFile showed you the folders in a way that let you expand folders to show its subfolders. Here’s how to view subfolders in QuickFile Version 5.

Please note that this feature is only available in QuickFile 5.0.5252. If you need to, you can download the latest version of QuickFile for Outlook from here.

Open the QuickFile screen by clicking on QuickFile or Find & Goto on the ribbon.

Blog image 2

Right click over any folder in the Best section.

Click Show Subfolders in Search Results.

The setting will be saved for you and used in all future searches. You can changes it by repeating the steps above.

Please let us know if you find this feature useful by leaving a comment below.

New to QuickFile: Click QuickFile for Outlook Version 5 for more information on the easiest way to file and find your emails in Outlook.

Getting the Weather Forecast in Outlook 2013

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Here’s a small but handy feature of Outlook 2013. Do you know that you can get the weather for the next few days (in all your favourite cities) displayed at the top of your Calendar?

Weather Forecast

Here’s how you can:

  1. Set how the temperate is displayed
  2. Choose what towns/cities temperature you are interested

Turning Weather On and Setting Celsius or Fahrenheit

We live in Fiji where we use the metric system. I just can’t get the feel for what is a hot or a cold day any other way. Here’ what you need to do to change the units used to display the temperature if you need to.

  •  Click File-Options
  • Click on Calendar
  • Scroll down to Weather
  • Make sure that Show Weather on the calendar is ticked and click on Celsius.
  • Click OK.

Choosing Your Favourites Locations

What location’s temperature is being displayed? Use the following steps to add your location and to add other cities too if you want. I like to add locations that I will be travelling to soon as it helps me get a sense if how cold or hot it will be.

Go to your Calendar:

  • Click on the drop-down arrow next to the name of the city where the weather is displayed (In the image above, you can see my home town Suva is shown)
  • Click Add Location (from the list of options in the drop down).
  • Enter the name of the city town followed by a comma and the name of the country (e.g. New York and press Enter (or click on the magnifying glass)
  • Select the name of the city from the Search results.

The new city will be added to the list and its weather forecast for the next few days displayed. You can change between your list of cities by using the drop down arrow.

Do you find the weather feature in Outlook 2013 useful? Are there other “hidden” Outlook features that you use? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

(I personally find the temperature display useful in planning my afternoon golfing. It’s also useful to know the expected weather in places I will be travelling to… helps me to mentally climatize myself before the trip).

oi_kbd_scuts

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Categories : General, Office Tip, Outlook Performance, Windows Tip Comments ( 0 )

How to create NON-SPAM emails that get opened and read

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

Do you use Outlook to send out sales and marketing emails to your customers? Here’s a few tips to help your emails reach customers and not get blocked as SPAM

1. Send SEPERATE INDIVIDUALLY ADDRESSED to each person

Don’t send one email with a big list of recipients… or worse to undisclosed recipients. That’s a red flag to junk mail filter software.

Instead send separate emails so that each recipient should only see their own name in the To field of the email that they receive.

Creating separate emails for each person can take time. If you have a big list of prospects or customers you can use an Outlook addin like Email Merge PRO which will create and send separate emails to each customer.

2. Don’t use words that Spammers use.

This means avoid words like free, discount, guarantee, special offer, best price, bargain etc.

But… how can you sell something without using those word…  use them… but use them once or twice only where it makes sense.

Don’t make your whole email a sales promotion. Spam filters look at how often these trigger words are used so make sure you also have other (relevant) content.

3. Send emails from your own email account.

If you’re using Outlook, you probably don’t need to worry about this one. This applies to people who try and use unknown servers or web services to send out emails.

If the recipient’s ISP detects that your email is coming from an unreliable server or if the email is coming from a different domain then your email will be blocked.

Even when your email has gotten through to the user’s Inboxes, your job is still not done. You still need to get past the main Junk Mail filter… the person reading this email.

1. Make sure that the email is individually addressed (in the To field) only to him (or her).
When I see a big list of recipients from someone who is not a personal friend (I still get some joke emails etc from friends), I assume that someone is trying to sell me something.

2. Personalise the email at the start (something like Dear Sanjay) but don’t get carried away and personalise it too many places.

3. Send the email only to people who are actually interested in what you are writing about selling etc. If you have a big list of people, you may want to segment it into smaller lists. Not everyone is interested in everything you have to offer.

(If you are using Email Merge PRO, you can group your lists into smaller segments directly from the Wizard)

4. Make the Subject line interesting enough that the user wants to open the email.

I hope that these tips help your emails deliver better results for your business.

You may also want to look at Email Merge for Outlook which has an easy-to-use Wizard that helps you send out personalized individually addressed emails. It works from inside Outlook (your recipient list can be inside Outlook or Excel…)  and also has advanced features to help you segment your list etc.

How to use Outlook Search Folders to never miss an Important Email from your Boss/Client

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, May 9th, 2013

How many times have you not responded to an email from your Boss or an important client because the email got buried under other 100’s of emails in your Inbox?

You can easily solve this by using a feature built directly inside Outlook called Search folders.

For those who do not know what a search folder is, it is like a virtual folder in Outlook which you can use to view all emails that match a particular criteria for example:

  1. All unread emails2
  2. Mail from and to specific people
  3. Mail from specific people
  4. etc

In this post we will show you how to create a search folder for emails received from a specific person like your Boss/Client.

Follow the steps below to create the search folder: (Instructions below are only for Outlook 2010/2013)

  • Open Outlook
  • Click the Folder tab on the ribbon > click New Search folder. The following screen will be displayed:

outlook new search folder

  • Select the option “Mail from specific people
  • Click the Choose button > select the contact and click OK
  • Choose the mailbox in which you receive your email
  • Click OK

This will now create the new search folder with emails from the specific contact that you selected.

To easily access the search folder, you can also add it to your favorites list, simply:

  • Click on the new search folder which you created
  • Click the Folder tab on the ribbon > click Show in Favorites

This will now show the search folder on the top left corner with your other favorites list.

I hope you find this tip useful.

If you have other ways of filtering your important emails, let us know by leaving a comment below.

Related Post

Outlook Email Alert for Important Emails Only!!!

Changing where Outlook Searches Emails by Default

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Last week we had some tips on searching Outlook emails. Here’s how you can tweak things further by controlling where Outlook searches by default.

Outlook 2013/2016
Type anything in the Search Box and Outlook will search the current folder except if you’re in the Inbox. If you’re in the Inbox, Outlook searches all folders in the current mail box.

Since I have started using Email Tags, I now organize my emails by Tags instead of folders. As a result I prefer for my Searches to be in ALL MAILBOXES and not just the current mail box. Here’s how you can change the setting in Outlook 2013 to search All Mailboxes.

  • Open Outlook
  • Click File > Options
  • Click the Search tab to display Search Options.

Outlook Search Options

  • Select All Mailboxes and click OK

Now when you do a search, Outlook will search in all mailboxes by default.

In Outlook 2010/2007, there is not an option to search all Mailbox but you can search all “All folders” by default.

Here’s a quick setting changing that will force Outlook to search all mail items by default.

In Outlook 2010:

  • Click File > Options
  • Click the Search tab to display Search Options.

search all folders outlook 2010

  • Click All folders and then click OK

In Outlook 2007:

  • Click Tools > Options
  • Click the Search Options button on the Preferences tab to display the Search Options box.

search all folders outlook 2007

  • Click All folders and then click OK.

It’s a small tweak but it could save you a lot of clicks.

Do you have any other Search tricks that you find useful. Share it with other readers by leaving a comment on the blog.