Category Archives for "Outlook 2007"

2 Reader Question: How to double indent faster

It was one of those emails that I knew I’d get sooner or later:

When indenting a paragraph for a quote in a motion for instance, is there a way to indent both the left and right margins of the paragraph using a keyboard shortcut? I seem to recall Ctrl+M in WordPerfect, but don’t know of a built-in shortcut for MS Word.

Yeah, I’ve kind of been bummed about that, too.

The short answer is, no. Word didn’t considerately offer up a built-in shortcut key that’ll automatically indent both the right and left margins for an extended quote. I do not know why. It is a mystery for the ages. (Okay, maybe not quite that dramatic.)

But where Microsoft has failed, you can succeed. Here are three suggestions I had:

Keep reading →

Did you miss these Outlook tips on Attorney at Work and Lawyerist?

If you’re not following my social media feeds on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+, you might have missed a whole bunch of Outlook tips I’ve published recently at Attorney at Work and Lawyerist. Here are links to each article:

The 4 Most Dangerous Features in Outlook. Convenience can sometimes be dangerous, especially in a legal context. In this two-article series for Attorney at Work, I show you four features you need to either disable or (at least) use very, very carefully. Click here for Part 1 and click here for Part 2.

3 Microsoft Outlook Quick Tricks. Lawyerist recently re-published an article I did for them a while back about three Outlook features you probably didn’t know existed. Learn how to automatically organize emails into conversations for easier reading, how to re-direct email replies to your assistant or someone else, and how to get Outlook to calculate due dates by clicking here.

How to Fight Inbox Overload with Outlook. We’ve all got inboxes that are full to overflowing. In my newest post at Lawyerist, I’ve got a detailed, illustrated tutorial (with 22 screen shots!) on how to use Rules and Quick Steps to automatically deal with routine emails so you can concentrate on what’s critical. Click here to learn these time-saving techniques.

(photo credit: simiezzz via Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/simiezzz/1070601182/)

Buy a plugin, help a child

I’ve been an admirer of Standss – Outlook Productivity for a while now, but I wasn’t aware of their pro bono work, particularly the project with a children’s hospital. Standss has developed a database to help ensure that children in Fiji affected by Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) get the antibiotics they need (provided free by the Fiji government) on a regular basis. The database helps track an affected child’s course of treatment by reminding parents that antibiotics are due:

We approached the Children’s Hospital in Suva with the idea of creating a database that allows the hospital to track compliance down to the individual patient level. The aim of the database is to identify children who are not complying with the medical treatment necessary to control the disease. This enables the hospital to identify which patients are missing injections and to intervene early by calling their parents.

The first version of the database has already been developed is currently being trialled at the main Children’s Hospital in Suva. We hope to eventually link this system to mobile phone companies so that parents get reminded of as their children’s appointments (by SMS text) are due. This should further increase compliance while reducing the workload of the overworked nurses and doctors at our hospitals. The data from the database will also be submitted to Government to aid with decision making that will hopefully save unnecessary operations, cost and even lives.

Click here for more information on the project. (You’ll notice, as you scroll down, that these kinds of charitable endeavors are something Standss engages in frequently; other projects including supporting a home for the elderly and helping children with school supplies.)

We’ve spent a lot of time and emotional energy in the United States arguing about health care in recent months, with little to show for it. Here’s an opportunity to support a program that actually seems to be helping children live longer, healthier lives while conserving resources. Find a plugin of theirs that solves your biggest Microsoft Outlook problem and help fund this worthy cause!

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: 4 Ways to Make Outgoing Emails Work Harder

One of the biggest email-related time-sucks is the whole follow-up business. You can’t just send an email out and just mark that task “done.” Oh, no. You have to make sure your recipient actually gets your email, you have to get a response (and the right one at that), you have to do the next task in line, etc.

And even though I covered the whole “flagging emails for follow-up” in excruciating detail here on Legal Office Guru, I’m giving an overview of that and three other related Microsoft Outlook features you’ll want to consider using before hitting that Send button next time.

Click here to read the full article (after 11:11 a.m. CT, which is when the post goes live).

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Searching Microsoft Outlook with Lookeen

If you’ve ever been frustrated when attempting to search for an email you just know you received (or all the calendar items or tasks that have a particular party’s name in them, etc.), you may appreciate my latest guest post at Lawyerist. It’s a review of Lookeen (version 8), a popular search plug-in for Microsoft Outlook that not only searches Outlook .pst files (a.k.a. where all your Outlook data is stored), but can also be configured to search selected folders on your computer.

Click here to see the full review.

1 Reader Question: Cannot custom flag emails

A while back, one Legal Office Guru reader who’d just read my post, Make your Outlook e-mails un-ignorable, was having a curious problem: he couldn’t flag his e-mails. Well, that’s not entirely true. He could right-click on his e-mails and flag them, but he wasn’t getting all of the choices that I outlined in my post. As he described his problem:

I use Outlook 2010 and I like being able to Flag an email for a reminder on a specific day at a specific time. For some reason when I click on the red flag “Follow up” I only have one option “Flag Message” How do I set this up for Custom?

My first response was to do that really annoying thing that help desk people do: I asked him if he was sure he had followed the instructions. Yes, he had. So, the quest was on to figure out where the gap was between my instructions and his experience.
Keep reading →

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Review of Smart Schedules for Outlook

Have you ever had an event on your calendar — an upcoming trial or a recent case assignment — that you needed to create a bunch of preceding (in the case of the trial) or following (for the case assignment) Tasks and/or Appointments in Outlook? If you could automate the creation and management of those related Tasks and Appointments (ever had a trial continued and had to move a bunch of related deadlines forward by X days?), how much time would that save you?

In my latest guest post on Lawyerist, I review a product called Smart Schedules for Outlook that does just that. You tell Smart Schedules what the triggering date or event is and, based on a template (either Smart Schedules’ delivered templates or one of your own), all the related Tasks and Appointments (or, as they call them, “events”) will be created for you. You can even edit individual Tasks or Appointments without disturbing the “project” (what Smart Schedules calls the set of inter-related events) and assign certain ones to other members of your team.

Click here for the full illustrated review.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Outlook Meeting Request Do’s and Don’t’s

Glad as I am to see more Microsoft Outlook users moving beyond just sending and receiving email, I have a real pet peeve about the way lots of them use another message type, the Meeting Request. If you’ve ever gotten one of those messages that has Accept, Tentative, and Decline across the top, then maybe you have a few pet peeves about Meeting Requests, too.

Over at Lawyerist, I take a stab at establishing an etiquette for using the Meeting Request. Click here and have a read, and let me know in the comments whether you agree or perhaps have a pet peeve of your own to add.

2 Guest Post @ Lawyerist: 5 Microsoft Office Hacks to Finish Tasks Faster

Want to move things from your inbox to your outbox a lot faster? It’s time you upgrade your skills in Microsoft Office to find faster ways of doing common tasks, like:

  • Speed-formatting your text with Styles (it’s a one-click operation!)
  • Using shortcut keys for speed typing
  • Employing templates to speed document creation for common forms
  • Accessing boilerplate text instantly with Quick Parts and AutoText
  • Getting one-click access to commonly used commands with the Quick Access Toolbar

Click here to get your learning on over at Lawyerist.

4 Guest Post @ Lawyerist: 5 Ways to Shrink Your Outlook PST File Size

Lawyerist editor Sam Glover’s tweet about this post made me laugh: “Exchange admins everywhere whisper thanks to @legalofficeguru!” But, hey, Microsoft Exchange admins (the folks who run the software that powers a lot of y’all’s Outlook installations) will be thanking you if you’ll only take heed of my suggestions. You can pare down your Inbox and other Outlook folders without sacrificing anything important. (I promise!)

Click here for all five tips.

Weekly Roundup: Adobe’s way to archive old emails and good news for Ribbon-haters

For our Thanksgiving week Roundup: Adobe shows us how to print both entire batches and selected pdfs from an email portfolio (a great way to archive email for future reference), and if you hate the Microsoft Office Ribbon, you can get rid of it without downgrading your Office Suite.

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Weekly Roundup: Paste text your way, troubleshoot Outlook, AutoCorrect secrets

From this week’s reading file: Vivian Manning shows us what that little blue line underneath some of your text in Microsoft Word really means, DIY IT Guy shows us how to re-start Microsoft Outlook in troubleshooting mode to save your data (and possibly your sanity), and Susan Harkins has several ways to paste text in Microsoft Word to ensure the least amount of post-paste cleanup (always a good thing, especially when you’re pressed for time editing).

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2 Reader Question Follow-Up: Synchronizing Outlook with SynchPst

You may remember the Reader Question from a few weeks back involving synchronizing Microsoft Outlook information between two computers. I posted a list of possible solutions courtesy of Outlookipedia (and the comments to the post also contained some great suggestions, including using IMAP rather than POP3 email).

I also continued to follow up with this reader behind the scenes to see if I could find a better solution for this dilemma. I’m happy to report we did.

The developers of SynchPst (one of the solutions listed in the Outlookipedia article) contacted me and, after some back-and-forth via emails among the three of us, they consented to allow this reader to try a copy of their software free.

Here’s the reader’s review (edited for length as indicated by the ellipses):

Keep reading →

Weekly Roundup: More Word, Excel and Outlook Tips

This week’s Roundup of the reading file is an embarrassment of riches from the usual suspects: TechRepublic’s take on the most important Microsoft Word skills, how to put time values into Microsoft Excel, Vivian Manning tackles Microsoft Word’s mail merge feature, making it easier to switch between Word documents, and how to share your Microsoft Outlook calendar. Click the “Read More” link for the details. Keep reading →

Guest Post @ Attorney at Work: Four Microsoft Office Settings to Tweak

The editors at Attorney at Work reached out to me for some quick tech tips for their blog this week, and I was happy to oblige. Ranging across the most popular Microsoft Office suite applications, this guest post will show you how to:

  1. Set up your Status Bar to maximize its usefulness in every Microsoft Office application
  2. Improve the full-justification of text in Microsoft Word
  3. Make sure your Microsoft Excel sheets auto-calculate
  4. Start your Microsoft Outlook each day in the folder of your choice: Inbox, Calendar, Tasks, or even the Outlook Today overview

Click here to read these four useful tips.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Assigning Outlook Tasks

In my continuing quest to upgrade the Microsoft Outlook skills of Lawyerist readers, my latest guest post there shows how to assign Tasks in Outlook to others. From putting in the subject line and addressing the task (it’s as easy as sending an email) to tracking its progress, it’s a fully illustrated tutorial in how to hand off a to-do list item with Microsoft Outlook.

If you’re looking for an easy way to track not only what’s on your plate but also what you’ve given other people, click here for an introduction to Task assignment in Microsoft Outlook.

1 Weekly Roundup: A neat Excel trick, customize Show/Hide, discounted Outlook tools

For this week’s Roundup: how to put zeroes in otherwise blank cells in Excel (and not the long way, either), how to pick and choose which formatting marks Word shows you with Show/Hide, and a heads-up on some hefty discounts on several Outlook plug-ins.

Keep reading →

1 Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Organize Matters using Microsoft Outlook Tasks

In Microsoft Outlook (as in life), there’s a lot more than meets the eye. And it’s a shame not to explore Outlook’s features (beyond just email and calendar), particularly if you work in a law office. I mean, who else deals with so much information?

If you want to use Outlook to help organize your client matters but don’t know where to start, I’ve got you covered over at Lawyerist. In my guest post entitled “Organize Matters Using Microsoft Outlook,” I show you (step by step with screen shots and detailed instructions) how to:

  • Use Outlook’s Tasks feature to keep track of your to-do’s
  • Organize your Tasks by client/matter/file using Categories
  • Embed important information in your Tasks, like Word documents or Outlook v-cards with contact info

And this is just the beginning. Be sure to follow the entire series and pick up some skills that could save you a lot of time and busywork.

Click here for the full article.

15 Reader Question: Synchronizing Microsoft Outlook inboxes

A reader with multiple email accounts and two different computers (both with Microsoft Outlook 2010) has a problem that anyone who occasionally does the “work from home” thing can probably relate to: he wants to receive all his emails on both computers. But how?

I have a laptop at home and a desktop in the office. Both these computers use Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010. … On a daily basis, I receive emails with attachments up to 20 MB in size.

… I am having difficulties in maintaining an up-to-date  status on both the above mentioned computers when moving between office and home and vice-versa.

Presently, I am depending on Outlook’s Import and Export feature to export mails to a portable hard disk before leaving office. When back at home, I export this data from the portable hard disk to my laptop. The next morning, I export from the laptop to the hard disk. On reaching office, I have to import from the hard disk to the desktop. Also, it takes 10 minutes for each export or import.

Needless to mention, the frustration that I will encounter, if someday I forget to export or import.

I am sure you will have a workaround for such a tedious problem and anticipate your guidance.

‘Indeed I do,’ I thought to myself. (And, yes, I think “tedious” is the perfect word to describe the export/import routine he’s shackled to!)

For years, I’ve had a similar problem — namely, needing to access my most recent messages via webmail and/or smartphone during the day while Outlook is periodically downloading messages on my main PC. But I’ve solved it through the years with one simple setting in Outlook.

Many Outlook users don’t know there is a setting available in each email account that instructs Outlook to leave new emails on the server for X days (you specify how many days). To change that setting on each Outlook 2010 computer, go to the File tab and click the Account Settings button. (In Outlook 2007, you’ll need to go to Tools | Account Settings; click here for instructions on 2003 and earlier versions.) You’ll see a list of all of the email accounts you’ve set up.

(And, yes, I have way too many email accounts.)

For each email account, click on the name of the account (click #1 above), then click Change … (click #2) to get to the Internet E-mail Settings dialog box. Once there, go to the Advanced tab:

Once I’d outlined that setup, I thought it was “problem solved” for my reader. No such luck. As it turns out, Outlook automagically (yes, I know that’s not a word) marks messages on the server to remind itself, “yes, I’ve already downloaded that,” which means the second installation of Outlook won’t download it whenever that one does Send/Receive.

So, I went back to the drawing board. After doing a little research, I came across an article on Outlookipedia that listed a number of applications that purport to synchronize your Outlook setup between, say, your desktop and your laptop (as in this reader’s case). Here’s an excerpt:

How do you sync Outlook between two or computers?

While there are many useful utilities and addins offered by Microsoft that are designed to help you better manage Outlook; Microsoft does not offer a built-in feature or addin that allows you to keep Outlook synchronized between two or more different computers. However, the demand for a utility to sync Outlook between two or more computers is so great that there are quite a few addins offered by 3rd party software developers that actually do this quite well.

It should also be mentioned that there are several manual methods that you could employee to synchronize Outlook between two or more computer, but they appear to be quite time consuming and error prone and thus we will not waste your time in mentioning them. As previously mentioned there are quite a few addins offered by 3rd party developers that automate this task for you.

(Excerpted from Synchronize Outlook between two computers on Outlookipedia)

Just reading through the list of applications and their descriptions, there’s quite a bit of variance in what they synchronize (email only, email and contacts, the entire .pst file, etc.) and how much manual intervention is involved (i.e., whether you have to initiate the synchronization on either end and what equipment is involved). For my part, I’m inclined to go with something that synchronizes automatically over the Internet, but that comes with its own security risks that only the individual user can weigh for him/herself.

Unfortunately, I can’t really test this myself, but our intrepid reader is going to download one or more of the third-party applications listed in this linked article and let me know in a couple of weeks or so how he fares. Stay tuned for an update or, if this is a problem you’re having, try one of these yourself and let me know what you think!

Got a question of your own? Ask it via my Ask the Guru page!

Edit: Read the follow-up to this post (with the results of this reader’s testing) here.