Do you have certain phrases or boilerplate text that you use often in emails? Here’s a time saving tip for making Outlook automatically insert those phrases for you into your emails as you type.
What is AutoText?
The easiest way to illustrate what AutoText is is with an example. I have set up an entry in my Outlook for I look forward to hearing from you. As I start typing the phrase, Outlook automatically prompts me to see if I want it to finish the phrase for me.
All I have to do is press Enter if I want the phrase entered. Otherwise I just keep typing whatever I want and the prompt disappears.
Setting Up AutoText entries in Outlook
Setting up your own entries is super easy.
- Type the phrase that you want (in an email).
- Select the text using your mouse.
- Click Insert on the ribbon.
- Click Quick Parts > AutoText.
- Click Save Selection to AutoText Gallery to display the following screen.
- I normally use the default options for AutoText but you may want to change the Name or Category.
- Click OK.
The next time you start typing the phrase, Outlook will offer to complete it for you.
Try it out. An added benefit of this tip… you’re less likely to send out emails with spelling mistakes or correctly spelling but incorrect words (my favourite… I look forward to jeering from you… who put the h next to the j on the keyboard!)
Outlook Jumplists are a great productivity tool… and yet so many Outlook users still don’t know how to use them. Here’s more information on what Jump Lists are, how to set them up and what you can do with them.
NOTE: You must be using Outlook 2010 and Windows 7 to use Jump Lists
What are Jump Lists?
Windows 7 lets you pin software programs to the TaskBar (we’ll show you how later). You can right-click over programs that are pinned to the Taskbar and shortcuts to do specific things in those programs. This saves you from having to switch to the actual program and carry out extra clicks inside them.
Pin Outlook 2010 to your Taskbar and the following options will appear by default when you right click over the Outlook icon in the Task bar.
So Why are Outlook’s Jump Lists useful?
They let you quickly create new emails, appointments, meetings, contacts and tasks without having to switch to Outlook. It may seem like a small thing but it is very useful when you’re doing something else and then need to quickly send out a reminder email, or set a task for yourself etc.
I also find that it helps me to stay focused and not get distracted by emails in my Inbox or items in my Task List e.g. if I am working in Word and I need to add a Task Reminder to myself, I only see the new Task window. I am able to stay better focused by being able to avoid seeing my Inbox or full Task list.
How to pin Outlook to the task Bar:
- Start Outlook.
- Right Click over the Outlook icon on the Task Bar and click pin this program to the taskbar.
I have found Jump Lists to be very useful… it is one of the best new things in Windows 7 with Outlook 2010.
If you have your own tips to share about the new features on Windows 7/Outlook 2010, please leave a comment on the blog.
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.
Last week we discussed why you should NOT let Outlook rules take control of your Inbox. 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 find 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.
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.
- In Outlook 2010, click on File > Manage Rules and Alerts
In Outlook 2007 and 2003, 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.
Did you find this tip helpful? let us know by leaving a comment below.
Setting up reminders on Task is simple and quite handy because with so much to do, we are likely to miss or forget about other important tasks that might be due.
BUT the overwhelming part is when you are in the middle of something very important and the Reminder Pop-up comes with several tasks. There is two things you might do at this point:
- Click on the red X button to close the Pop-up screen or
- Select each individual task and set a snooze time for it to reappear later
The second option is time-consuming and frustrating when you’re in a middle of something important and have no time to waste.
Get frustrated no more, here is a simple tip that will let you “Select All” Tasks and snooze them all at once:
When the Reminder Pop-up appears:
- Select the First item in the list
- Press Shift on your keyword
- Select the Last item. This should now select all the items in the list as shown below:
- Set the Snooze time from the drop-down
- Click Snooze
This should now snooze all the items in the list to the time specified by you so you can continue with your important task on hand.
For more Reminder Tips, you can refer to an interesting article by Deborah Savadra on Managing Microsoft Outlook Reminders.
Did you find this tip useful? let us know by leaving a comment below.
One of the point refers to… backing up your Outlook data. I am frequently surprised by how many Outlook users just assume that their Outlook data is backed up when they backup their Documents folder. Guess what… your Outlook data is not in your Documents folder.
Unless you are part of a corporate network using MS Exchange, all your Outlook data is stored in one Personal Folder file.
- This file has a .pst extension and is saved somewhere on your computer.
- This one file probably contains all your Outlook folders, e-mails, contacts, tasks, calendar items, journal entries and notes inside it.
- (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 let me show you how to find out where your Outlook Data File is stored:
The exact location depends on the version of Outlook and Windows. To find out where your Outlook data is:
- Go to your Inbox and make sure that the list of folders is displayed
- Right-click the top-level folder and select Properties
- Click the Advanced button. The full path to where your Data file is stored will provided in the box labeled Filename:
It would be a good idea to include that file as part of your normal computer backup plan. This ensures that your Outlook data is also getting backed up along with other things.
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.
Do you have your own tips on how to better use Outlook, share it with us and our readers by leaving a comment below.
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…
- 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
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Many people use Outlook’s Calendar to keep themselves organized. Here are my two favourite tips on being more productive when using the calendar. Each one will take you all of 10 seconds to learn.
Enter a date without knowing the date
When you are creating an appointment, reminder or meeting request, you don’t have to enter the date… you can enter things like Next Friday or 3 Weeks Time or Next Month or Today or Tomorrow or 2 Days Time… and Outlook will automatically fill in the date for you.
I use this tip a lot myself… when I set myself reminders to follow up on Tuesday or 2 Days Time.
Outlook even knows holidays (that occur on the same date every year) so you can type Christmas 2014 or New Years Day.
Instantly move to any date on your Calendar
Need to see what’s happening on a particular date on your Outlook Calendar. Here’s an easy way to jump directly to the date.
Here’s what I have seen many people do… they switch to the Week or Calendar View and then scroll through by clicking on the tiny arrows.
Here’s what you can do… press CTRL-G on your keyword. Then simply enter the date you want to see and click OK.
(You can combine this tip with the first tip and enter phrases like Next Friday to jump to dates… without knowing the date).
Did you find these tips useful? Do you have your own calendar tips that you would like to share. Please let us know by leaving a comment.
I set down last night to find out what were the most common problems that readers of our Outlook blog were trying to solve. I noticed that many visitors were looking for solutions to Outlook search problems or how they could use the outlook search features better.
So I thought, as part of today’s post, I will revisit some of the post related to search in Outlook.
Fixing Search Problems in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010
The Search functionality in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 is great… unless it is not working. Most of the time rebuilding the search index clears up the problems. Unfortunately it isn’t obvious, at least not from inside Outlook, how you can do this.
Check out this post to learn How to Rebuild the Search Indexes.
Make Outlook 2007/2010 search ALL folders instead of just the current folder
Outlook (by default) searches emails in the current folder you are in. The Search results also come up with a link at the bottom to “Try Searching all Mail Items”. I find myself ALWAYS clicking on the Search All link as I rarely bother to move to the relevant folder first.
This post shows how you can force Outlook to search all mail items by default
Human-Friendly Power Searches in Outlook 2007/2010
Do you find Outlook search to be to complex, not so human-friendly. Did you know that Outlook let’s you refine your searches using human friendly English words?
This post shows you how easy, human-friendly and powerful Outlook search is.
We hope that these tips help you use Outlook search better. If you have your own Search tips, please share it with other readers by leaving a comment.