Tag Archives: Tips

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 )

Work Faster in Outlook using Keyboard Shortcuts

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, October 14th, 2011

Several readers recently asked about keyboard shortcuts in Outlook. Truth is I don’t use very many keyboard shortcuts myself… you save a second or two each time but they really don’t add up to much in the grand scheme of things. Here’s a big list of Outlook shortcuts… with the ones I think are useful highlighted in red.

E-mail Shortcuts
Ctrl-Shift-I Go to Inbox
Ctrl-Shift-O Go to Outbox
Alt-S or Ctrl-Enter Send
Ctrl-P Print
Ctrl-R Reply to a message
Ctrl-Shift-R Reply all to a message
Ctrl-F Forward a message
Ctrl-Alt-F Forward as attachment
Ctrl-Alt-J Mark a message as not junk
Ctrl-Shift-I Display blocked external content (in a message)
Ctrl-Shift-S Post to a folder
Ctrl-Shift-N Apply normal style
Ctrl-M or F9 Check for new messages
Ctrl-N Create a new message (when in Mail)
Ctrl-Shift-M Create a new message (from any Outlook view)
Ctrl-O Open a message
Ctrl-Shift-G Display the Flag for Follow-up dialog box
Ctrl-Q Mark a message as read
Ctrl-U Mark a message as unread
F4 Find or replace in a open message
Shift-F4 Find next in an open message
Alt-Enter Show the properties for the selected item
Ctrl-B Display Send/Receive progress
Creating Items
Ctrl-Shift-A Create a Appointment
Ctrl-Shift-C Create a Contact
Ctrl-Shift-L Create a distribution list
Ctrl-Shift-X Create a fax
Ctrl-Shift-F Create a folder
Ctrl-Shift-J Create a Journal entry
Ctrl-Shift-Q Create a meeting request
Ctrl-Shift-M Create an e-mail message
Ctrl-Shift-N Create a note
Ctrl-Shift-H Create a new Microsoft office document
Ctrl-Shift-S Post to this folder
Ctrl-T Post a reply in this folder
Ctrl-Shift-P Create a search folder
Ctrl-Shift-K Create a Task
General shortcuts
Ctrl-1 Go to mail
Ctrl-2 Go to Calendar
Ctrl-3 Go to Contacts
Ctrl-4 Go to Task
Ctrl-5 Go to notes
Ctrl-6 Go to the folder list in the Navigation Pane
Ctrl-7 Go to shortcuts
Ctrl-.(period) Go to the next message (when you have a message open
Ctrl-,(comma) Go to the previous message (when you have a message open
F6 or Ctrl-Shift-Tab Move between the Navigation Pane, the main Outlook window, the Reading Pane and the To-Do Bar
Tab Move between the main Outlook window, the smaller panes in the Navigation Pane, the Reading Pane and the sections in the To-Do Bar
Arrow Keys Move around within the Navigation Pane
Ctrl-Y Go to a different folder
F3 or Ctrl-E Go to the Search box
Alt-Up arrow or Ctrl-,(comma) or Alt-Page Up In the Reading Pane, Go to the previous message
Alt-Down arrow or Ctrl-.(period) or Alt-Page Down In the Reading Pane, Go to the next message
Left arrow or Right arrow Collapse or expand a folder in the Navigation Pane
Alt-B, Alt-Left arrow Go back to the previous view in main Outlook window
Alt-Right arrow Go forward to the next view in main Outlook window
Ctrl-Shift-W Select the infobar and, if available, show the menu of commands.

Don’t forget to let me know your favourite shortcut by leaving a comment.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 0 )

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 )

Preventing Disasters caused by Outlook’s Auto-Complete feature

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

We have previously reported on the potential problems of accidentally sending emails to the wrong person because of Outlook’s AutoComplete feature.  Here’s more information on this important topic and how to protect yourself.

Whenever you type an email address in the To/CC/BCC field of an email, Outlook helps out by showing you a list of email addresses that match what you have typed. This can be very helpful in quickly entering a recipient’s email address.

But it also makes it easy to send emails to the wrong person.

What is the source of the Auto-Complete List

Outlook itself builds the Auto-Complete list using email addresses of people that you send emails to. This includes both people who are in your contact list as well as those who are not in your contact list. This means that…

People can be in the Auto-Complete list even if they are NOT in your Contact list!
Deleting someone from your Contact List does NOT delete them from the Auto-Complete list!

How to turn AutoComplete Off (or On)

I find Auto-Complete very handy but you may want to turn it off to avoid possible auto-complete disasters of your own.

If you are using Outlook 2000-2007:

  • On the menu click Tools and then click Options.
  • Under the Preference tab, Click the E-Mail Options button.
  • Click the Advanced E-mail Options button.
  • Untick the “Suggest names while completing the To, Cc and Bcc fields” box.
  • Click OK … until you are back in Outlook.

If you are using Outlook 2010:

  • On the menu click File and then click Options.
  • Click the Mail tab.
  • Scroll down to Send Messages
  • Untick the “Use Auto-Complete list…” box.
  • Click OK.

If you still want to use Outlook’s AutoComplete feature then, the following links may be useful.
Deleting Email Addresses from Outlook’s Auto Complete List

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 2 )

Improve Microsoft Outlook Performance – 2 Simple Tips

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Friday, July 22nd, 2011

If your Outlook is slow and unstable, it can seriously affect your productivity and may even lead to increased stress levels when you are not able to get your work done on time.

In this Post, we will provide you 2 simple tips which you can use to keep your Outlook fast and stable.

1. Maintain your Outlook Data (PST) Files

If you started using (or maybe are still using) Outlook before Outlook 2003 then your PST file (Outlook data file) is allowed a maximum size of 2 GB. This may still be true even if you migrated to new versions of Outlook since then.

If your pre-Outlook 2003 data file exceeds 2 GB then Outlook will not be able to open it… there’s also no warning built in to Outlook telling you that you are getting close to this dangerous limit. You might just come to work one morning and find that your Outlook does not open and you have lost all important emails, not forgetting the stress this will lead to and the time and money spent on getting it up and running.

It is for this reason that maintaining your PST files is very important. Here are a few things you can do to keep your PST files small:

  1. Delete messages that you don’t need to keep (don’t forget the Sent Items folder)
  2. Empty the Deleted Items folder regularly.
  3. Compact your PST file occasionally to remove the empty space that remains even after you delete emails. (Click the Compact button shown in the screen above)

2. Disable Addins you don’t need

Running alot of addins (unnecessary addins) can drop the performace of Outlook making it slower. Disabling unnecessary addins is a great way to make your Outlook run faster, more reliably and take less memory.

To disable unnecessary addins:

If you are using Outlook 2000, XP and 2003:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox.
  • Click Tools -> go to Options
  • Click on the Other tab
  • Click on the Advanced Options button
  • Click on the Com-Addins button. You will see your full list of addins installed.
  • Untick the checkboxes for all addins you want to disable
  • Click OK
  • Restart Outlook

If you are using Outlook 2007:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox.
  • Click Tools -> Trust Center
  • On the screen that appear -> click on add-ins on the left side
  • Select Com-Addins on the Manage drop-down -> Click Go. You will see your full list of addins installed.
  • Untick the checkboxes for all addins you want to disable
  • Click OK
  • Restart Outlook

If you are using Outlook 2010:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox
  • Click on the File tab > Options > Addins
  • Select “COM Add-ins” in the Manage drop-down
  • Click GO
  • Untick the checkboxes for all addins you want to disable
  • Click OK
  • Restart Outlook

I hope these simple tips will help you keep your Outlook performing faster, more reliably and keep your Outlook data safe.

Categories : Outlook Performance Comments ( 3 )

Office 2010 Service Pack 1 Released

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Friday, July 1st, 2011

Microsoft has released Office 2010 Service Pack 1 a few days back. The Office 2010 SP1 contains all updates released through April 2011 to June 2011 for the various applications that are part of the Office Suite.

We recommend that you do not download/install the service pack… yet!

In addition to bug fixes, SP1 contains additional improvements such as reducing the number of crashes and improved security.

Click Here to view the full list of issues addressed in SP1.

If you go to Microsoft’s update page you will notice that the update is available however it has not been checked yet. Since the update was just released few days back, I would recommend you skip the download of the update for now until further testing has been completed.

For those who are willing to download the update, you can download the packages from the Microsoft web site using the following links:

Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 64-bit

Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 32-bit

Categories : Outlook Installation/Setup Comments ( 0 )

[Video] Outlook Appointments & Tasks… the Fast, Easy ERROR-FREE way

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Since our last report, we’ve been getting a lot of emails from readers… is the video ready… I want to see if this solution will work for MY BUSINESS. So…

The video is ready… take a look right now at:

The Fast, Easy, Error Free way to Schedule, Manage and Reschedule Appointments and Tasks for all your projects… inside Outlook.

My personal favourite part of the Smart Schedules for Outlook… how I can see ALL appointments and tasks for a project in one place… it makes it so much easier to see the impact of changes.

Beta Testers have been telling us that their favourites include how quick and easy it is to create ALL appointments and tasks for a process from a template…. and how easy it is to ACCURATELY reschedule multiple appointments when there is a change in a deadline.

We’d love to hear what you like so please let us know after you see the video.

Sanjay Singh

PS: We are giving away a limited quantity of other software as part of the launch. Take a look at the video now to find out if this solution works for you.

PSS: Then, if you have the time, I would appreciate any feedback you can send me on the video… send us a email at news@standss.com. And…don’t forget to send us any questions you have on our new software.

Mark Appointments as Complete in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

A reader asked me if there was any way in Outlook to mark appointments as complete… this is available for Tasks so it should be fairly safe to assume that there must be an easy way to do the same for appointments/calendar items. It turns out there is no built-in way to do this but here’s a work-around you can use instead.

There is an easy way to change the color of individual appointment items in Outlook. I use this trick to make my completed appointment Red (you can use any color you want).

Appointment Completed

Here’s how you can do the same…

If you are using Outlook 2007 or 2010 (scroll down for earlier versions of Outlook)….

The color of appointment items in Outlook 2007 is controlled using categories.

First… let’s create a category to mean Complete.

  • Go to your Calendar.
  • Right-Click over any existing appointment.
  • Click Categorize and then click All Categories.
  • Click the New button.
  • Enter a name for the category (I used the word Complete), choose a Color and click OK.
  • Click OK again to return to the Calendar screen.

The appointment you had right-clicked over should now be colored. If this appointment is actually not completed, you can clear the color by…

  • Right-click over the calendar item.
  • Click Categorize and click on the Complete category again (or click on Clear All Categories).

To mark another appointment on your calendar as complete.

  • Right-click over the calendar item.
  • Click Category and select the category of your choice (the Complete category).

If you are using Outlook 2003 or earlier….

The color of appointment items in Outlook 2003 (or earlier) is controlled with labels. Outlook comes with a default set of 10 labels (each of a different color) and you can also create your own.

First… let’s change one of the labels to mean Complete.

  • Go to the Calendar folder.
  • On the menu at the top, click Edit > Label > Edit Label
  • Edit the label text as needed

Now… to mark an appointment on your calendar as complete..

  • Right-click over the calendar item.
  • Click Label and select the label of your choice.


This little technique makes it simple to see which appointments have been completed and which ones still need your attention. You can also use the same technique to color code different types of appointments for quick visual reference.

Did you like this article? Do you have suggestions to improve this technique?… Please leave a comment on the blog.

Other Posts on Outlook Appointments

Change the default reminder time for Outlook Calendar Appointments

Converting Outlook Emails to Appointments or Tasks

Categories : Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 0 )

How to protect your Outlook Data from data loss

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Do you know that by default Outlook is configured to eventually corrupt itself and lose some and maybe even all your e-mails?

In this post, I will go through simple tips that will greatly improve your use of Outlook.

Here are a few essential tips that will help you to ensure that your Outlook data is safe and protected from software corruption or data failure.

1. Find out where you Outlook E-mails are saved and backup

Unlike other Office programs, Outlook does not ask you where you want to save your e-mails. Instead it creates a data file of its own.

Unfortunately, unless you have a good understanding of the inner workings of Windows, the file is saved in a location you probably will never remember to backup.

Tip 1 in our free e-book shows you how you can easily find out where your Outlook data file is.

You can Click Here to download your own copy of the e-book.

Once you know where your Outlook Data file is, make sure that you back it up regularly.

Have more than one backup set. (I tried to restore from a backup CD a few years ago to find that the backup was corrupt too. I lost more than 12 months of e-mails)

2. Outlook may corrupt itself unless you split your data into at least two files.

By default, Outlook saves all your e-mails in one file. There are a number of problems with this:

  • As the Outlook data file gets filled up, Outlook will get slower
  • There is a physical limit to the size of your Outlook data file.
  • If you reach this limit, Outlook will suddenly stop working and
    there is a great risk that you could lose some if not all of your

The solution is to split your data into more than one data file.

Tips 3 and 4 of our free e-book have step-by-step instructions on how you should split your data file.

You can Click Here to download your own copy of the e-book.

3. Use QuickFile to simplify shifting e-mails out of your Inbox and Sent Items folders

QuickFile is an inexpensive, easy-to-use Outlook add-on that greatly simplifies the filing of e-mails.

  • It works inside Outlook by adding two buttons to your toolbar
  • It does not require you to change the way you use Outlook
  • It will dramatically reduce the time and effort required to file
    your e-mails.

Click Here to learn more about QuickFile and download a fully functional trail version.

Use the Free Outlook Social Connector to avoid sending emails to the wrong people

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Here’s how you can get Outlook to display pictures of the people you are sending emails to… a quick glance and you will know if you’re sending the email to the right person.

And the best part… Outlook will bring the person’s picture to you from Facebook or LinkedIn… you don’t have to do anything yourself.

Why is this useful?

The internet is full of horror/funny stories of people using Outlook accidentally sending emails to the wrong person… funny when it happens to someone else… possibly job-threatening if it happens to you.

The main reason this happens is Outlook’s Autocomplete feature… as you type an email address in the To, CC or BCC fields, Outlook automatically completes it for you.

Although this is normally a very useful feature, it also makes it super easy to accidentally send the email to someone else who has a similar name or email address to the person you really want to contact.

A Solution

Microsoft Outlook recently released a new (free) connector that pulls information from Facebook and LinkedIn directly into Outlook.

When you create an email, the person’s picture will automatically be displayed under your email.

Facebook picture in Outlook

A quick glance… and you know if your email is going to the right person.

Obviously this only works if the person you are writing to is on either Facebook or LinkedIn. Otherwise Outlook will not be able to display a picture.

You can try out the Outlook Facebook connector for yourself from this link. It works in Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010.

Related Articles
Your Clients are seeing your Embarassing Facebook Pictures in Outlook
Is your Facebook making you look unprofessional to Outlook users?
Deleting Email Addresses from Outlook’s Auto Complete List

Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool, Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 3 )