Tag Archives: Outlook

Better Emails: Proof-listen (instead of proof-read) in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

How many times have you used Outlook to send out emails with correctly spelt but the wrong words in them?

The mistake I have personally made more than once is “I look forward to jeering from you” instead of “I look forward to hearing from you”… h and j are next to each other on the keyboard!

These mistakes are easy to pick up if you use Outlook’s built-in (but well hidden) feature that will read the email aloud to you.

Windows already has the ability to read text back to you. Here’s how you can add a button inside Outlook to read out selected text to you.

The following tip works in Outlook 2010 only.

How to add the button

  • Create a new email.
  • Right Click on a blank area of the Ribbon
  • Click Customize Quick Access Tool Bar
  • Choose Commands not in Ribbon in drop down

Word Options

  • Scroll and select Speak
  • Click Add
  • Click OK

Outlook will add a new button to your Quick Access Tool Bar as shown below.

Speak icon

How to use the button to get Outlook to read the email aloud to you

  • Create a new email
  • Type some text
  • Select the text that you want read out to you.
  • Click the new button that was added in the previous steps.
  • Outlook will read the email out to you.

Next Steps

You may also want to add the “Speak Selected Text” button to your Inbox so that you read emails that you are reading in your Reading Pane. Go to your Inbox and follow the steps above to add the button.

Finally you can also open an email that you have received and follow the same steps so that you can hear any email that you have received or already sent.

This simple tip has improved the quality of my emails… it’s so some much nicer to hear from customers instead of being jeered at.

Categories : General, Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 2 )

Your Personal Email Security Guard in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

In a earlier post, I mentioned how emails are causing stress and frustrations for many people and showed how you can take control of your emails.

With so many emails to handle each day, it is very common for us to make mistakes (we are all human after all), and if you are running a business, particularly a professional business, this mistakes can make you look unprofessional and waste precious billable time.

Please raise your hand if you ever:

  • Forgot to attach a document to an email message (which delays matters or could even result in missed deadlines)
  • Clicked Reply when you meant Reply-All (and thereby forgot to keep everyone in the loop)
  • Clicked Reply-All when you meant Reply (and accidentally disclosed confidential information to the wrong people)
  • Forgot to write a subject or sent an email with an old subject line (the correct subject on an email generally gets a much better response
  • Fired off an angry message that you later regretted.
  • Emailed someone using the wrong email address (for those of us with more than one email address).

This errors may not seem so much but in a professional environment, they could make a person (company) look unprofessional and waste valuable time.

Our Outlook Addin SendGuard, protects you from all these mistakes by automatically warning you if it detects the possibility of any of the above mistakes (and more).

It acts like your own email security guard running in the background. SendGuard works inside Outlook and takes no time to learn – you continue to write and send your emails the same way you always have. SendGuard will automatically warn you and let you take corrective action if it detects a mistake.

Click here to download a fully functional 30 day trial of SendGuard addin.

Do you have your own methods of preventing common emailing mistakes?

Please do share it with us by leaving a comment below.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SendGuard for Outlook Comments ( 2 )

Use Outlook Contacts for Holiday Season Emails/Fax/Post to Customers and Friends

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

The holiday season is about to start. If you’re running a business, it is an important time to contact your customers with news and special offers. Over the next two months, some of our blogs will focus on the best ways of doing this using your Outlook contacts list.

Let’s start by looking at the different ways you can contact your customers or friends.

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.

View EmailMerge PRO Video on our website

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.

View more information on Fax for Word

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:

Use mail-merge in Word with Outlook data to create and print personalized letters

Use mail-merge in Word with Outlook data to print mailing labels and envelopes

I hope you find the above information helpful in staying in touch with friends, family and customers this year.

Keep Outlook Emails as Unread until after you actually read them

By standss - Comments ( 22 ) Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

For big parts of my day my Outlook Inbox is where I work. I read many of my emails in the Outlook reading pane (the preview of the email while I am still in my Inbox). I also use the fact that unread emails still need some action from me. The problem is that as I step through emails, they get marked as having been read, even though I may not have actually read them.

Here’s a setting that one of my team member (Thank you Anand) pointed out to me that you can quickly change… now Outlook will only mark an email as read if you’ve spent a minimum time on it.

I’ve set mine to 5 seconds. That way if I am on an email for less than 5 seconds it stays unread. Anything longer than 5 seconds and Outlook assumes that I have read the email. You can use any time setting that fits the way you work.

For Outlook 2016/2013/2010:

  • 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 making 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 making item as read”
  • Click OK and than OK again

I hope that this little tip makes your life in Outlook a little bit easier.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 22 )

Email Marketing Tips for Accidental Salespeople

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Right now a lot of you might be wondering… who are ACCIDENTAL SALESPEOPLE?

Well to keep it simple, these are people (like me) who have found themselves becoming salespeople because of the needs of their business and I’m sure there are others like me.

For the sake of this people, here are some of the Email Marketing Tips that are used and recommended by Real Salespeople:

TIP #1: Send a SEPARATE EMAIL TO EACH PERSON, personalized with personal data if appropriate.

Make sure that each person gets a separate email with only their own name in the To field. You can further personalize the content of the email with the person’s name and any other data you want if it adds to the value of your message.

  • Do NOT send just one email with everyone’s name stuffed in the To or CC field. It lets everyone know everyone else who is getting the email.
  • Don’t send the email to yourself (or undisclosed recipients) and BCC everyone else. It looks unprofessional and makes your email look like SPAM… both to the readers and to most spam filtering software.

TIP #2: Email your list with RELEVANT (and hopefully INTERESTING) information

The information you send to customers must be relevant to them… otherwise you will quickly find yourself banished from their Inbox to their Junk Emails folder.

  • Don’t spam your customers. Write content that they are interested in. That way they will WHITE LIST you so that your emails will stay out of their Junk Emails and get into their inbox.  

TIP #3: Email your list at the appropriate interval.

What is the appropriate interval between emails? Not so long that they have a hard time remembering who you are… and not so frequently that they lose interest in what you’re writing.

  • Don’t train your customers to ignore your emails… if you send them too much information, they won’t make time to look at it.

TIP #4: Segment Your Customers and Prospects (or you could end up losing sales)

Not everyone in your list of customers and prospects are interested in everything you sell. Try and 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!

TIP #5: KNOW why you are writing the email… What is in it for the reader? What is in it for you… what do you want the reader to do?

Why are you writing a particular email… Is it to inform the customer of a new product… is to inform them of a promotion you are running?

Is there something you want the customer to do… maybe click on a link… or call you… or download a file?

  • If you want your customers or prospects to do something then ask them to do it… they can’t read your mind! (You’d be surprised what a difference in conversion rates this simple tip will make)

TIP #6: Write your Emails in a way that gets into their Inbox (and not Junk Emails) folder.

We often get asked by prospective customers if our Email Merge for Outlook can guarantee that their emails end up in Inboxes instead of Junk Mail folders.

Email Merge does many things to improve your chances of staying out of SPAM folders but guess what… if your email is basically spam then chances are it will be blocked.

TIP #7: Respect your customers wishes… don’t send them marketing emails if they’ve asked you to stop

If your customer has asked you politely (the first email is usually polite) to not send them marketing emails then STOP. You will probably need to contact them via email again… use their email address against their wishes and you may find that you get blocked off.

These are if you like the 7 tips that can help you with your Email Marketing efforts.

If you have any other tips, please share it with us and our many readers by leaving a comment below.

Is Email Marketing a thing of the Dead?

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Everyone is talking about Social Media these days… so is email marketing a thing of the dead. NO!

But you need to use it properly… inform and educate and (sometimes) market/sell to your list… don’t spam them.

A few simple guidelines…

  1. Make sure that you are only emailing people who have given you their email addresses.
  2. If possible, segment your list into logical groups
  3. Send out emails to each group based on its interests.
  4. Personalize each users email with their own email addresses and possibly names. (Don’t stuff a lot of names in the CC and BCC fields)

There are online email marketing services that you can use but these generally incur monthly fees and are more applicable if you have larger lists.

If you have a small list and you would like to do your email marketing directly from Outlook, then you may want to look at Email Merge PRO for Outlook.

EmailMerge Pro lets you send out your emails directly from Outlook, it can personalize each email and it can even maintain different marketing lists for you (making it easy to segment your list).

But remember… whatever tool you use… only email people who have given you permission to email them!

Other Related Posts:

Do NOT CC customers from Outlook

NEVER Email Merge All Your Bulk Emails From Outlook in One Big Lot!

Start your day with Outlook the way YOU want

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Everytime you open Outlook in the morning, the first thing you see is a inbox full of emails that you will be working on. This is how the day starts for alot of us, but this can be changed.

We are all different and we always like things which can be personalized and configured to our likings.

Do you wish to view your Calender, Contacts, Task or anything other then your Inbox (emails) in the morning?

I personally have Outlook setup to open my Calendar so I know what I had actually planned for my day. (I don’t like starting with the Inbox because it is too easy to jump into emails and start working on things that are not real priorities)

You can follow the simple steps below to change to the folder of your choice:

In Outlook 2010:

  1. Click the File menu > Options > click Advanced on the left column
  2. Under Outlook Start and Exit, click Browse and then choose what folder you want Outlook to show you first: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks or any of your other folders

In Outlook 2007 & 2003:

  1. Click the Tools menu > Options
  2. Click the Other tab, and then click Advanced Options.
  3. Under General Settings, next to the Startup in this folder box, click Browse and then choose what folder you want Outlook to show you first: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks or any of your other folders.

Now when you start Outlook, it will display the folder that you have selected above.

QuickFile Email Management Outlook Addin Update (Free)

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

QuickFile is an Outlook addin that simplifies email management allowing you to file 90% of your emails at the click of a button. Version 4.1.172 of QuickFile for Outlook is now available for download at our website.

This update is free for all existing registered users of version 4.0 or later.

Fixes and Features in this upgrade include:

  • Bug Fix: Find&Goto does not search Public folders in Outlook 2010 even though they exist.

Click here to view the full list of updates in QuickFile for Outlook
Download latest version of QuickFile for Outlook

New to QuickFile: Watch this short video on managing emails inside Outlook.

You can also download a fully functional trial version of the QuickFile Outlook addon.

Categories : QuickFile for Outlook Comments ( 2 )

Download the Rugby World Cup 2011 Game Timetable into Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 15 ) Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The Rugby World Cup 2011 is going to start in less than two weeks (9th September). Here’s what you need to do in Outlook to ensure that you don’t miss a single game of your favourite team.

Follow these steps to download the times for all the games into your Outlook Calendar.

1. Make sure that your computer is setup to the correct time zone. This step is important to ensure that the game time gets shown at the correct time depending on where in the world you are. Go to the Windows Control Panel and open Date and Time.

Date and Time Settings

(Your screen may be slightly different depending on the version of Windows… it may have a separate tab for Time Zone).

Make sure that the correct Time Zone is displayed i.e. the time zone of where YOU are. (I am in Fiji so the screen shot above says Fiji). Click on Change time zone if you need to.

2. Click on the link below and save the .ics file to your desktop
Download Rugby World Cup 2011 Schedule
(Fixtures are from the Rugby World Cup 2011 Official website)

3. Import the downloaded file into your Outlook by using the following steps. If you are using Microsoft Outlook 2010, click FileOpenImport. For all other versions of Outlook, click FileImport & Export.

Import and Export Wizard

4. Select Import an iCalendar (ics) or vCalendar file (vcs) from the list and click Next.

5. Use the screen that comes up to select the ics file that was downloaded in Step 2.

(You may get the following extra steps depending on the version of Outlook you are using)


6. Click either Open as New or Import. (I simply imported it to my main Outlook Calendar as it then synched with my Iphone too)

The times for all the games will now be in your Outlook.

Enjoy the games and may the best team win.

Personally I am predicting an All Blacks win… it’s about time that the trophy went back to New Zealand… I was a student there in 1987 and still remember them winning the very first world cup final. It has been a long wait for the kiwis… but this is their year.

Categories : Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 15 )

Solutions to Outlook Search Problems

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Since we posted Better Search with Microsoft Outlook earlier this week, several readers have indicated that Outlook’s Search does not return expected results for them. Here are a few tips that may help you solve Search related problems in Outlook.

1.  Rebuild the Search Indexes

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.

Search in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 uses Windows Search Indexes (i.e. it’s a Windows feature and not an Outlook only feature). If Windows Search Indexes are not built properly or corrupt you may find that Outlook Search does not work properly.

You can refer to our earlier post Fixing Search Problems in Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010 to learn how to rebuild the search indexes.

2. 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.

You can refer to our earlier post Make Outlook 2007/2010 search ALL folders instead of just the current folder to learn how to force Outlook to search all mail items by default.

I hope this post makes it easier for you to search and find your emails.

Categories : Outlook Search Tips Comments ( 0 )