In the post last week, we looked at some of the ways that you can customize outlook to suit your style of working and also effective handle the pile of emails in your inbox.
Other than emails, Outlook users also use the calendar and task to manage their daily lives and projects… and yet Outlook does not give us an easy way to manage projects inside Outlook. Outlook users frequently ask us how they can see all appointments and tasks that make up a project in one place.
Why is this important? Most work or projects are made up of a series of steps all being related to each other. As we finish a step, it is important to know what the next steps are to get the project completed. Things also don’t always go according to plan… and we need to see what else gets affected when things change.
Our research showed that there is no simple way to organize and view related tasks and appointments under projects… so we added this functionality to our Outlook Project Management addin Smart Schedules for Outlook.
With Smart Schedules for Outlook you can:
- Assign existing (or new) tasks and appointments to projects
- Quickly see all tasks and appointments for a project at the click of a button.
Here are step by step instructions showing you just how easy this can be:
Assign existing (or new) tasks and appointments to projects
- Open Outlook and go to the Calendar/Task folder that the existing appointment/task is located in
- Select the appointment/task
- Click on Assign Project button on the Smart Schedules toolbar/ribbon. This will display the following screen:
Select an existing project from the Project list.
- Note: You can also type in a new project name if you would like to create a new project and add this selected appointment/task to that project.
- Click OK.
Quickly see all tasks and appointments for a project at the click of a button
Smart Schedules Project Centre makes it easy to see all appointments and tasks that you have associated with a project.
On the Smart Schedules toolbar, click Project Centre
- From the Project drop-down, select the Project to which you assigned the appointment or task
- You will now be able to view the appointment or task assigned to the project and all other related appointments and tasks for the project as shown below:
Smart Schedules for Outlook was designed with the help of almost 20,000 Outlook users. Try it for yourself today and tell us what you think.
Download a fully functional version of Smart Schedules for Outlook.
Watch a short video of our Outlook based Project Management tool (Smart Schedules)
I hope you find this tip useful managing your projects in Outlook.
If you know of other ways to manage projects using Outlook, share it with our readers by leaving a comment below.
First of all Happy New Year to all our readers and welcome back to work J
I’m sure you all have enjoyed the holidays and now recharged to work through another year.
Your inbox is sure to be full of emails piled up while you were away and so in this first post for the year, we will show you some of the ways that you can customize outlook to suit your style of working and also effectively handle the pile of emails in your inbox.
Tip 1: Auto Highlight Important Emails in Outlook
Not all emails in your inbox will require immediate attention for example newsletters, so how do you pick out which ones are urgent and which ones can be dealt with later?
Outlook has an in-built feature which automatically highlights by color coding emails so that you remain focused and easily identify important emails from the hundreds of emails you receive.
For me, I’m only interested in emails that have the word Outlook in them.
I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.
This way you don’t have to waste time scanning through hundreds of emails.
Tip 2: Mark Outlook Emails READ only after you ACTUALLY Read them
If you are not using the auto highlight option above, you would likely be clicking through each email in your inbox to find the ones that you need to deal with 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):
Tip 3: Easy Email Search Tricks in Outlook
In the old days, finding an Outlook email meant wading through folders and manually searching for the correct email. Finding emails now is EASY particularly if you know some tricks to help you get more accurate search results. Here are a few of my favorite search tricks in Outlook.
I hope you find this tips useful in working through your emails this year.
If you have other tips for handling emails in Outlook, please share it with our readers by leaving a comment below
Email Marketing Tip: Using Outlook Categories to Segment your Customers/Prospects (for better sales result)
Have you heard of the phrase “ONE SIZE FITS ALL”?
This works quite well for devising policies or procedures within companies or single departments where individuals work for a single goal BUT…
If you are applying this strategy for your email marketing campaigns, you are likely to be annoying your customers/prospects by sending them emails/information that they don’t need.
As a result, prospects might unsubscribe from your list even before you get a chance to offer them something that would have been valuable to them and ultimately this could lead to a LOST SALE in future.
When it comes to email marketing, the phrase needs a slight tweak.
The phrase should say “NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL”
Not everyone on your list of customers and prospects are interested in everything you sell so it is important that you 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!
Users of our Email Merge PRO for Outlook software can easily use the Email Merge Wizard to both send out emails to particular segments/categories and to maintain their mailing lists.
The Email Merge Wizard lets you save your selected contacts to a new or existing category easily inside the Wizard.
I hope you find this tip useful.
If you have other email marketing tips, please share it with us by leaving a comment below.
Updated Outlook Reply protection is much more than just a warning prompt (Outlook 2007, 2010 and now Outlook 2013)
We have updated the Reply Guard feature in Send Guard so it fully supports Outlook 2013.
What is Reply Guard and why do users need it even when newer versions of Outlook have built in warnings?
How many times have you accidently done a Reply-All (when you really meant to do reply) and disclosed confidential information to people who should not have received/seen it… or maybe you accidentally did a Reply instead of a Reply-all and missed some people?
Send Guard protects you from accidental Reply-Alls with much more than just a warning prompt.
Whenever you click Reply or Reply-to-All on an email with multiple recipients, the Reply Guard feature in the Outlook addin will display a list of all the original recipients so that you can visually see and change who your reply is going to.
If you’ve accidentally addressed the email to the wrong people, just untick them. If you’ve forgotten to include some people, just tick them.
Reply Guard virtually ELIMINATES any chance of you replying or replying-to-all to the wrong people!
Send Guard for Outlook works with Outlook 2007, 2010 (32 and 64 Bit) and Outlook 2013 (32 and 64 Bit).
The latest version of SendGuard (1.1.4898) now fully supports Outlook 2013’s new Inline Response feature.
This update is FREE for Existing users of SendGuard. Install it over your old version and your registration information will automatically be retrieved.
In the old days, finding an Outlook email meant wading through folders and manually searching for the correct email. Finding emails now is EASY particularly if you know some tricks to help you get more accurate search results. Here are a few of my favourites.
THE SIMPLEST SEARCH
To look for words anywhere in your email (or contacts, calendar or task lists), simply click in the search box at the top of your emails and type the words that you are looking for.
In Outlook 2013, you can also change where the Search is done (current folder, current mailbox, all mailboxes etc) directly from the same screen.
In earlier versions of Outlook, the Search is done on the current folder but you can click the hyperlink at the bottom of the search results to search all folders.
The following are some of the tricks that I use to get much better search results.
From: This makes it easy to find emails from a particular person. For example if I want emails from John than I type From:John in the Search box.
To: If I am searching for an email that I sent to someone (say John), I type To:John
CC: In order to find an email that you CCed to someone (say John), type CC:John
OR: Maybe I sent the email to John or maybe I CCed it to him. In this case I can use the OR keyword (OR must be in capital letters). I can type To:John OR CC:John
AND: What if I want to find all emails that I have sent to James and John. I can type To:John AND To: James. The AND has to be in capital letters. This will return all emails that have both John and James in the To field.
I can also use AND to find all emails to James that have the word golf in them by typing TO:James AND Golf.
Exact Phrases: This comes in use where you want to search for words in particular. I may know too many Johns. When I want to find emails from John Smith with the phrase Microsoft Outlook in them. I can type From:”John Smith” AND “Microsoft Outlook”
These tricks have made it much easier for me to find emails. I hope that you find them useful too.
If you have tips of your own, please share it with other readers by leaving a comment on the blog.
When you are working on projects, supporting a customer or trying to close a sale, you are likely to exchange several emails overtime.
So when you need to refer to one of the older emails for additional information, how do you find the email?
You could use Outlook search but the results might give you TOO MANY or TOO FEW emails if you don’t use the right keyword.
In this post we will show you how to group your emails by Conversation so that all you get are emails related to the conversation.
To find related emails:
In Outlook 2010:
- Open Outlook
- In your Inbox (or any folder), right-click on a recent email related to the conversation
- Click Find Related > Messages in this Conversation
Outlook will now search all folders and find all emails (sent or received) related to that conversation.
In Outlook 2007/2003:
- Open Outlook
- In your Inbox (or any folder), right-click on a recent email related to the conversation
- Click Find All > Related Messages… this will pop-up a screen as shown below
All related emails will be grouped and you can double-click to open any email. (as shown above).
This built-in search features are handy but limited as you can only group emails by conversation or sender.
Our outlook addin EmailTags gives you the flexibility to easily group/find your emails by project name, job number, customer or anything else… all at the same time.
I hope you find this tip useful.
Do you have your own methods for grouping/finding emails?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.
This is the first blog post in a series that highlights lessons we learnt from interviewing customers before and after launching Email Tags recently.
This lesson took us by surprise!
We’ve always focused our products (and related websites) on helping customers file their emails better. But when we spoke to customers, it was clear that there was a shift away from filing emails to searching for emails.
Filing emails was the old way of making them findable. The new way for most users is Outlook Search.
This was true even for Outlook users who had good filing systems in place already.
Nobody wanted to go into folders and look through emails manually. Instead they were using Outlook’s built in Search tools to help locate emails quickly.
Users of Outlook Search however identified the following 3 problems:
- Search sometimes returns too few emails i.e. important emails may not be found if they don’t have the necessary keywords in them.
- Search sometimes returns too many emails… there may be other emails with the same keywords too.
- Unless you have your emails filed in separate folders, it is difficult to see a group of RELATED emails easily
Filing emails in folders could be a solution for some but for most people it no longer is an effective solution. It takes too much effort to maintain a folder based email filing finding system.
We created Email Tags for Outlook as a solution that builds on Outlook Search and provides all the benefits of folders and search.
We launched it and then interviewed users and found out… that you liked it… BUT… YOU HAD FANTASTIC IDEAS TO MAKE OUTLOOK THE IDEAL EMAIL FINDING TOOL!
We’re working on your ideas and will release something next week.
In the meantime you may want to look at the following links:
It can be difficult to keep track of tasks and projects when different people work on different tasks… but it is possible using Outlook (you don’t need any complex Project Management software).
In this post, I will show you how you can use Outlook’s own built in features to assign/delegate tasks to others in the team as well as keep track of their progress right INSIDE Outlook.
Read on to learn how to assign/delegate Tasks to others and keep track of their Task’s progress:
- In Outlook 2010, click the Home tab > New Items > Tasks
In Outlook 2007/2003, click File > New > Task
- Click Assign Task on the ribbon/menu
- In the To: field, enter the email address of the person the task will be assigned to. Complete the task form filling in the other required details
- Ensure that the 2 options “Keep an updated copy of this task on my task list” and “Send me a status report when this task is complete” are both ticked.
- In the body of the Task, you can add information about the Project, the Task, instructions for the person who this is assigned to etc.
- Click Send
This will now create a new Task in your Task folder and send an Invite to the Assignee to accept. Once the Task is accepted, it creates an entry in their Tasks.
You will now be able to keep track of the task assigned to others as it progresses right inside your Outlook from your desktop at any time you want.
If project management is a big part of your work, then you may also want to look at Smart Schedules for Outlook.
Do you have your own simple, easy methods of managing projects using Outlook?
Share it with our readers and us by leaving a comment below.
In an earlier post, we showed you how to export outlook contacts to a CSV file.
We had several readers asking if there was a way to extract email addresses from emails directly to external files like CSV…
The answer is YES and you don’t need any new program, you can use Outlook’s in-built Export feature to do this.
- The first thing you need to do is move/copy all the emails you wish to extract into a separate folder. For example you can create a folder called “Export”.
- In Outlook 2010, click File > Options > click on Advanced from the left pane > Scroll down and click on the Export button
For Outlook 2007/2003, On the main menu Click File > Import and Export…
- Click Export to a file > click Next >
- Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) > click Next >
- On the next screen, select the folder which contains the emails from which you wish to extract the email addresses
* Click the Browse… button to specify a location and file name for the new file.
* Click Next >
* Click Finish.
This should now extract the email address (and other information) from the emails to the new CSV file.
Wondering how this tip is handy?
If you do not want to invest in expensive, subscription-based, online email marketing systems, you can use Outlook and Email Merge for the same.
You can use the steps provided in this post to extract email addresses of your potential clients following a conference, seminar or any other event (who have contacted you) to a CSV file. You could also add them to your Contacts folder but this will be time-consuming as you will have to create each contact individually.
Once all email addresses are in the CSV file, you can use Email Merge for Outlook to create and send personalized emails to your mailing list. With Email Merge, you can send out unlimited number of emails, there is no monthly or yearly fee’s and you can load unlimited contacts from Outlook contacts and external files like CSV, Excel or even Access.
Hope you find this tip useful.
Do you know of other ways the Export feature can be handy?
let us know by leaving a comment below.
[A hidden but very useful feature of Outlook appointments is that you can link contacts to them. Here’s why and how.]
Why you may want to show contacts on Outlook Appointments?
Having your contacts linked to the Outlook Calendar appointment lets you see all the people associated with the appointment. In case you need to reschedule the appointment, you can simply get more information about the contact (like phone number) directly from the appointment screen and make a call to inform them of the reschedule.
Apart from being able to get information about the contact straight from the Appointments screen, the appointment will also appear in the Activities tab of contact record and also in the People pane when you receive an email from the contact.
How to display Outlook Contacts on Appointments?
The first thing you need to do is to make the Contacts field visible on your Appointment form. In the versions prior to Outlook 2007, the Contacts field was always available on the Appointment form, but this feature was disabled by default in the later versions.
To enable Contacts button on the Appointment form in Outlook 2010 and 2007:
- In Outlook 2010, click on File > Options > click Contacts from the left pane
- Tick the option “Show contacts linked to the current item“
- Click OK
- In Outlook 2007, click Tools > Options…
- Under the Preferences tab, click the Contacts Option… button
- Tick the option “Show contact linking on all Forms“
- Click OK and then OK again
To start attaching contacts to an appointment:
- Go to your Calendar folder and create a new Appointment, you will find the Contacts button as shown below:
- Say for example you want to create a meeting with Sanjay Singh of Standss (South Pacific) Limited. Simply click on the Contacts button, select Sanjay Singh from your contacts list and click OK.
- Click Save and Close to create the appointment.
You can also link contacts to other Outlook items such as Tasks, Journal, Notes etc following similar steps.
Let us know if you find this tip useful by leaving a comment below.