Tag Archives: Outlook as a Business Tool

Keyword Shortcut to Create Outlook Email Reminders

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

I’m not a big fan of using keyword shortcuts but with the number of emails I have to deal with and set reminders, I particularly like using this shortcut key to flag or set a reminder on the email.

I find this much easier than either finding the right button on the ribbon or right-clicking on the email.

It’s simple:

  • Select the email in your inbox (or any other folder)
  • Press CTRL+SHIFT+G to display the following screen:

adding outlook email reminders

  • Add a flag or reminder and click OK.

I hope you find this tip useful.

Do you have your own favorite keyboard shortcut?

Share it with us by leaving a comment below.

Related Post

For those who are keyboard shortcut fans and also those who are looking to learn the Outlook keyboard shortcuts, you can get a list of the keyboard shortcuts in an earlier post on Keyboard Shortcuts in all Versions of Outlook

How to find Contact information Quick and Easy in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

In Outlook 2007 (and below), finding contact information (such as phone numbers, emails) was quick and easy thanks to the Find Contact drop-down on the toolbar.

This was lost in Outlook 2010/2013 as the toolbar was replaced by the ribbon but you can still get the “Find a Contact” option on the Outlook Quick Access Toolbar.

What is the Quick Access Toolbar? This is a row with few buttons that appear on the top-left-hand corner of the outlook screen. These icons will be displayed irrespective of which tab of the Ribbon you are on… and you can add your own icons/commands to it.

outlook quick access toolbar

To add “Find a Contact” to the toolbar:

  • Click on the arrow pointing downwards (as red circled in the image above)
  • Tick “Find a Contact” from the drop-down list.

Your toolbar will now show the Find a Contact option as show below (the screen maybe slightly different depending on your version of Outlook).

outlook find contact

Now if you need to make a call and don’t remember the person’s phone number, just type the contacts name (any part of the name) and outlook will provide a list of contacts matching your search.

Select the contact and press Enter. The contacts information (phone number, email etc) will be displayed.

Did you find this tip useful or do you have a better way of finding contacts quickly in Outlook 2010/2013?

Let us know by leaving a comment on the blog.

How to Create Email list in Outlook 2013

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Monday, May 20th, 2013

email marketing outlook

Do you regularly send out marketing emails, newsletters or family greetings to the same group of people?

If yes, then you can make this quick and easy by creating Email List in Outlook.

You can create Email List for different groups of people for example, you could have an Email List called Family and add the email addresses of all your family members to that group. Similarly you can create list for newsletters etc…

This saves you a lot of time when sending email blast as you are not required to individually type in email addresses… just select the group and Outlook sends a copy of the same email to all contacts.

Here are the steps to create an Email List in Outlook: (Instructions are for Outlook 2013 unless specifically mentioned)

  • Open Outlook
  • Click the Home tab > click New Items > click More Items > click Contact Group. This will display the blank Contact Group screen as shown below.

outlook email list

  • Enter a Name for the group/list
  • Click Add Members button on the ribbon. You have the option to select your contacts from your Outlook Contact list, Address Book or add a new contact. Select one of this options from the drop-down list
  • Now add your contacts to the group by clicking on the contact and click Members -> button. To select multiple contacts, press the CTRL button on the keyword and click on each contact and then click the Members -> button
  • Click OK
  • Click Save & Close

This will now save all your contacts to that group. You can repeat the same steps above to create different groups.

When you need to send an email to this group:

  • Open a new email
  • Click on the To: button
  • Select the Group you want to send the email too
  • Send the email

The email will be sent to all the contacts in the group.

NOTE: the emails will not be personalized and it will show the email address of every person this email is sent to in the TO: field on the recipient’s side.

So if you are looking for a quick way to send a non-personalized email blast, this works perfectly for you.

However if you are looking for a way to send emails which are personalized and individually addressed to the recipient, you can try out our Email Merge for Outlook addin.

With EmailMerge, you can personalize your emails for example Greetings/Salutation:

Hello John
Or
Hello Michelle

When the email is received by the person, he/she will only see THEIR email address in the To: field therefore they are more likely to read and respond to your email.

Check out the free demo video on our website for the mail merge addin for outlook

You can also try it out yourself by downloading the 30 day free trial

I hope you find this tip useful.

If you know of other ways to send out email blast from Outlook, share it with our readers by leaving a comment below.

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 ( 0 ) 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
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.

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.

Track Progress of Tasks Assigned to others inside Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

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

Assign Task in Outlook

  • 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.

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.

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.