Outlook Hints and Tips STAY ON SCHEDULE Did you know that Outlook allows you to convert an e-mail message into an appointment? Simply drag the message to the Calendar icon and drop it; fill in the meeting date and time, and recipients. You can also use this trick to create Tasks. VIEW TASKS YOU HAVE ASSIGNED TO OTHERS If you are working on a large project (or lots of little ones), assigning tasks to others is the most efficient way to get things done. But it can be difficult to remember which tasks you assigned to which people, unless you know the trick to do it within Outlook 2000. To view tasks in your Task List by assignment, click Tasks in the Folder List. Select View, Current View, and then click Assignment. All tasks will now be organized according to the assignments. NOTIFY YOU WHEN NEW MESSAGES ARRIVE It is easy to get so engrossed in your work that you forget to check you e-mail, so, have Outlook send you a message every time you get new one. Begin by clicking Tools, and then Options. You will now need to select the Preferences tab then click E-mail Options; select Display a Notification Message When New Mail Arrives and click OK twice. CREATE A SHORTCUT ON THE OUTLOOK BAR The Outlook Bar is not just for shortcuts to Outlook features like the Inbox and Calendar. You can also create a shortcut to any file folder on your hard drive. Lets say you keep all of your marketing reports in a folder called “Marketing.” If you want easy access to those documents when you are sending a status report to your boss, why not put a shortcut to that folder on the Outlook Bar? On the Outlook Bar, click the group to which you want to add the shortcut; right-click anywhere in the gray background of the group and select Outlook Bar Shortcut from the context menu. Now, click File System in the Look In box; navigate to your “Marketing” folder and select it, then, click OK. That folder now shows up on the Outlook Bar so when you click on it, its contents will be displayed in the Folder List window. You can also add a shortcut to a Web page so that you will not have to switch between Outlook and your browser. Go to the Web page to which you want to create a shortcut (you must have the Web Toolbar displayed in order to do this. If you do not see it, click View, Toolbars, Web). Click File, New then select Outlook Bar Shortcut To Web Page. When you install Outlook 2000, the Outlook Bar has three groups: Outlook Shortcuts, My Shortcuts, and Other Shortcuts, but there is no rule that says you are limited to just three. You may want to add more groups—perhaps to keep your business and person shortcuts separate. To add a new group to the Outlook Bar, simply right-click the background and select Add New Group from the context menu, type a name for the group and press Enter. Now your new group is ready for you to add shortcuts to it! ASSIGN A TASK TO A CONTACT If you use the task list, you know it is a handy way to keep track of what you are working on. However, it can also be a neat way to keep an eye on what others are working on. If you have to assign a job to someone, there is no need to send an e-mail detailing the job; simply create a new task and send it to whomever via e-mail! To do this, drag the appropriate contact listed in the Contact folder to the Task folder on your Outlook bar or select or open the contact and choose Actions and New Task for Contact. Outlook will fill in the “To” box with the contact’s name and e-mail address and you will fill in the subject and other information. Finally, click Send and the task request is on its way! Let’s say that a friend sends you an e-mail message saying, “Let’s get together at 8:00 tonight for dinner. I need you to bring chips, dip, wine, and cheese.” Rather than switching to your Calendar and retyping everything, just simply drag the e-mail to your Calendar. In order to do this, click on the e-mail message and drag it to the Calendar on the Outlook bar or in the Folder List. A new appointment window will pop up for today’s date, the subject of the e-mail message will automatically appear in the subject line of the appointment, and the text of the e- mail will appear in the Appointment window. You will probably have to adjust the time, as Outlook will automatically schedule the appointment for the next available half-hour increment. OUTLOOK DOES MAPS Have you ever left for a business trip and realized that you cannot find the map you bought? Not to worry—you can still get there. Outlook will map any route for you (assuming you have the exact address) with a little help from Microsoft Expedia Maps (you must have Internet access). Inside the Contacts folder, double-click the contact you are going to visit and make sure his/her correct address appears in the address box (if not, click the down arrow below the Address button and select Business, Home, or Other). At the top of the window, click the Display Map of Address button (it looks like a yellow street sign with an arrow on it), or select Actions, Display Map of Address. Your browser window will open to Microsoft Expedia Maps and, in no time at all, displays a map of that exact address. But how do actually get from Point A to Point B? Why, with directions, of course. While you are still on the Microsoft Expedia Maps page, click the Driving Directions link, fill in the Starting Point and Destination and click Go (Note: You may be prompted to fine-tune these locations. If so, select the appropriate locations from the lists given, then click Go again). Wait a few minutes and you have got your directions including time estimates at given intervals. FLAGGING IMPORTANT MESSAGES If you are like most people, you get more e-mail than you know what to do with. Do not let important messages slip through the cracks. Let’s say you are collaborating on an important project with a colleague. You can create a rule that will flag every message from that colleague automatically for a set number of days. That way, the project will not get lost among all of the others. To do this, begin by selecting Tools, Rules Wizard and then New. Now, in the Which Type of Rule Do You Want To Create? section, choose Flag Messages From Someone. In the Rule Description box, click on the From People or Distribution List link, find the name of the person or distribution list whose messages you would like to flag; click From and click OK. Now, choose which type of flag you would like to apply, specify how many days you would like the flag to appear and click OK. The Rules Wizard will walk you through refining the rule, if necessary, and offer you the choice of running the rule on existing messages or just on new ones. Click Finish when you are done. “WORD” AS THE EDITOR Do you use Microsoft Word? If so, you can use it to write and edit your Outlook e-mail messages. By choosing Word as your mail editor, you can more easily include tables, formulas, and fields in your messages. You will also have access to Word’s entire arsenal of formatting features, such as AutoCorrect and Borders. First, make sure that you have Word properly installed. Then, on the toolbar, select Tools, Options and click the Mail Format tab. Next you will want to select Use Word To Edit E-mail Messages and click OK. If for some reason you would rather not commit to using Word on a full-time basis, hire it as a temp! In other words, you can choose it as an editor for specific messages. Rather than clicking the New message button on the toolbar to start a new e-mail message, select Actions, New Mail Message Using Word. The New Message window that appears will have Word’s formatting capabilities. SEND LATER To get Outlook not to deliver a message immediately, compose a new message then click the Options button on the Standard toolbar. Under Delivery Options, select Do Not Deliver Before, and choose the date and time you want to send it by clicking the down arrow; click Close and then Send. The message will be held until the time and date you specify. Note that the message will only be sent automatically if you are using Outlook with Microsoft Exchange Server. If you are using Outlook with a dial-up account, you will still need to click Send and Receive while you are connected to the Internet. TASKS REQUESTS The next time you need to delegate tasks, stay right where you, in front of your computer. The Tasks feature makes it a snap to assign tasks right through the mail. To create a task request, simply press Ctrol-Shift-U (or select File, New, Task Request). Type the recipient’s address on the To line, or if he/she is already in your address book, click the To button, double-click on the recipient, and click OK. Now, all you have to do is complete the remaining fields: type a subject, select start and due date, etc.; include any instructions you have in the big white box at the bottom and you have finished creating the task. You simply click the Send button and off it goes. If you happen to be on the receiving end of a task, you will have two choices: accept it or reject it. Simply open the message containing the task and click Accept or Decline, click Send the Response Now and click Send. Or, if you have something to say about this task, like, “Are you kidding?”; click Edit The Response Before Sending, type your message and click Send. Don’t feel like completing a task but don’t want to be so bold as to decline it? Assuming you have the authority to do so, you can always assign it to someone else. Simply open the message that contains the task request and select Actions, Assign Task, then type the address of the desired recipient on the To line and click Send. It is that easy!
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