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:

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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!

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.
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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):

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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.

3 Don’t miss that important Microsoft Outlook email!

Let’s face it: some emails really are more important than others. Like the ones from your boss. Or that especially lucrative client. Or virtually everything from any court.

So with your inbox continually filling up to capacity, how can you make sure you see the critical, gotta-deal-with-it-now emails?

You use Microsoft Outlook’s Rules feature, that’s how.

We’ve talked a bit about the Rules feature before, but mostly in the context of automating the movement of emails into subfolders and out of your inbox. But if all you want is just a friendly “heads up” whenever something particularly important comes in, that’s what we’re going to talk about now.

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1 Guest Post @ Lawyerist – Recycle text with Quick Parts and AutoText

Got a lot of texts you use over, and over, and over? Then you’ll be interested in my guest post over at Lawyerist entitled “Recycle Text with Quick Parts and AutoText.” In it, I show you exactly which feature is a better choice (answer: depends on what kind of typist you are, among other things), how to set these features up, and how to gradually build up a library of document building blocks you can use to instantly access those recycleable texts you love.

Click here to read the full article.

(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/5644838033/)

7 Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar

Want one-click access to the commands you use most in the ribbon versions of Microsoft Office? Then you need to be taking full advantage of the Quick Access Toolbar!

The Quick Access Toolbar really lives up to its name: it provides one-click access to virtually any command you want. All you have to do is customize it.

And one of the great things about the Quick Access Toolbar (or QAT) is that it's virtually the same throughout Microsoft Office. Sure, the commands vary according to the application, but the way you update it is the same across the Office Suite.

Here are two ways to add your favorite commands to the QAT:

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5 Instantly access boilerplate text with Quick Parts

Admit it: you repeat yourself.  A lot.

Oh, you don't think you do.  But if you work in a law office, you're probably constantly going back to old documents, picking up bits and pieces of text to drop into your latest magnum opus.

Stop doing that!

For one thing, it's just so inefficient.  Even worse, you're constantly in danger of forgetting to edit something client-specific when you do all that cutting-and-pasting.  (Do you really want to repeat that time you forgot to change "he" to "she" in the Notary Acknowledgement and your client had to correct you before she signed her name?)

Here's a better solution: Quick Parts.

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Sending blind copies in Microsoft Outlook 2007/2010

In response to a call for questions I put out to my newsletter subscribers recently (you do subscribe, don’t you?), one reader asked a question that’s been bothering her for a while (and which she was afraid was just entirely too simple):

I recently upgraded from Office 2003 to Office 2010 so I fear my questions may be so elementary as to not be worth your time. One question is: in Outlook 2003 there was a “bcc” option in the pulldown when sending an email. In Outlook 2010 there is no such pulldown option. Is it still possible to send a bcc of the email and if so, how do you access it?

Yes, switching from the old interface to the new, ribbon-based interface in Outlook can really throw you for a loop!  Fortunately, this is an easy question to answer.

In your New Message Window, go to the Options tab.  You’ll see an option called Show BCC:

Show From and Show BCC buttons in Microsoft Outlook

Click that so it turns orange (that means it’s enabled), and your BCC field should show up below the CC field.

It’s amazing how little time savers like this can make such a huge difference.  She wrote back:

THANKS SO MUCH for taking the time to answer … with the number of emails I send daily this is a big help to me—especially since my clients often do not want [other addressees] to have their email address.

My pleasure!

43 Make your Outlook email messages un-ignorable

Email’s great, isn’t it?  You can just type up a quick little message to someone to send them some information or answer a question or ask them to do something for you.

In the “asking them to do something for you” department, though, things can get a little hairy.  After all, as easy as it is to send someone an email, it’s just that easy for both sender and receiver to forget it’s there.

So, whaddya do to keep track of all those little requests (both the ones you send and the ones you receive)?

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The Ballad of OMG Dave (or, how to start Outlook in a different folder)

Once upon a time, there was this guy named Dave. (Actually, he wasn’t named Dave, but that’s what we’re going to call him.  Because I said so.).  He suffered from a curious affliction: Calendar Blindness.

Oh, he could see just fine.  (Especially after he had that fancy laser eye surgery.)  But as soon as he opened Outlook every day, he began obsessing over his overflowing Inbox and forgot all about his Calendar.

Occasionally, his assistant would go into his office on, say, Monday, and he would mention that he needed to do such-and-such by mid-week.  “So, we need to get that finalized before your trip to Podunk on Wednesday?” she’d ask.

“Podunk? Wednesday?” he’d reply, the color draining out of his face.

“Yes, Podunk.  It’s on your calendar for Wednesday.”

(This would be where the OMG part comes in.)

His assistant, proactive soul that she was, finally got an idea: she went into Dave’s office one day and set up his Outlook so that, instead of going straight to his Inbox, it showed his Calendar at startup.  He could then click on his Inbox folder when he was ready to view his email, but at least he had an opportunity to glance at his Calendar first.  (She also set up his Calendar to show the weekly view so future stuff didn’t sneak up on him anymore.)

And they all lived happily (or at least better informed) ever after.

I’d show you how to start up in a different folder in Outlook, but I don’t have to.  Because Vivian Manning from Small City Law Firm Tech already has, in her guest post on the Attorney at Work blog. She’s even given directions for three different versions of Outlook – 2003, 2007 and 2010.  (She’s good that way.)  She suggests starting in the For Follow-Up folder (makes sense), but you can really adapt this trick to use any folder you want to see — Calendar, Tasks, whatever — at start-up.

Click here to learn more from Viv.

7 How to permanently delete a problem email in Microsoft Outlook

Depending on how well your spam catcher of choice works, you may still see the occasional shifty-looking email in your Microsoft Outlook inbox – you know, something with a weird subject line, from a name you don’t recognize, etc.

But before you open it up or even click on it, be warned: It may be carrying dangerous cargo, and not always in the form of an attachment.

I’ll be the first to tell you: I’m no expert on spam and email security, so I can’t give you a rundown of all the dangers in this area.  But when I see something in my own inbox that looks suspicious, I err on the side of caution by permanently deleting it.

I say “permanently” because, if you simply hit the Delete key in Outlook, that email isn’t really deleted.  All Outlook’s done at that point is move it from your Inbox (or whatever subfolder it’s in) to the Deleted Items folder.  And, depending on your Outlook settings, it may stay there a while, lurking and still posing a potential security threat.

(I also say “permanently” because, as that word implies, once it’s gone, there is no way for you to retrieve it within Outlook, so don’t do this lightly.  This feature does not, however, provide a way to circumvent any sort of forensic recovery of individual emails from your account in the event of a lawsuit, investigation, etc.  In other words, if you’re trying to do the electronic version of shredding documents, this trick won’t help you.  But that’s a whole other discussion.)

Safely (and permanently) deleting email

Once you decide that something in your Inbox needs to be gone, here’s how you skip over the Deleted Items folder entirely:

  • First, before you even single-click on the offending email, be sure you’ve turned off AutoPreview (the feature that allows you to see the first couple of lines directly beneath each message’s header information) and the Preview Pane (the feature that shows a window at the bottom or side of your Inbox to allow you to scroll through the message without opening it).  Even a preview of the email, without actually opening it in a new window, may trigger malware that’s included with the email.  Look for these buttons on your toolbar:
Outlook Auto Preview button

Auto Preview

Outlook Preview Pane button

Preview Pane

  • Make sure both buttons are “de-selected” and you cannot see any of the actual message content in your Inbox.  (You should still be able to see the From, Date, etc. information.)
  • Once you’re turned off any preview features, then you can safely select the message with a single click. Once the message is selected, hold down the SHIFT key and press DELETE.  That’s Shift-Delete, simultaneously, to permanently delete the message.  (You may be asked to confirm that you want to permanently delete the message.)

That’s it!  That message is outtahere!

Synchronizing Microsoft Outlook with Google Calendar

Got an email from a reader (via my Ask the Guru page) last week that went something like this:

Can you steer me to information on how to sync Outlook calendar and contacts (v. 2010)  with my online Google calendar and contacts?  I’ve installed the Google gadget, and it worked for a week or two, but then stopped. I’m using Windows 7 on a 64-bit desktop.

Well, Reader, if my research is any indication, you’re not the only one having a problem.  But here’s what else my research turned up:

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1 Hyperlinking a networked file in an Outlook email

The ever-so-brill @VivianManning at Small City Law Firm Tech has updated a prior post of hers about a quick and easy way to send a hyperlink to a networked file in Outlook. This tutorial makes it just stupidly simple for you to drop a link into an email so you can prompt a co-worker (yes, you have to be working at the same place and hooked up to the same network with the same drive letters for this to work) to review/revise a shared network file.

This kind of mimics the functionality you’d see in something like Worldox, where you can send other people links to the document so they can update the file on the network server for everyone’s benefit.

If you can get the hang of the whole right-click mouse drag-and-drop trick (right button, people! no, on the right!), this is actually a cool way to collaborate.  As far as I can tell, this would work in any version of Outlook.

Way to go, Vivian!

(Photo credit: Me. Because Flickr was being annoying today.)

How Out of Office can keep the judge off your case

You know, I love electronic court filing and noticing as much as the next person. Trouble is, now that nearly everyone’s gone electronic, everybody also assumes that everybody else sees everything immediately. But it ain’t necessarily so.

Witness, for example, the pickle one attorney landed in recently. Seems he had a death in the family, followed immediately by a trip to the emergency room to check out his chest pains.

And while all this was going on, the court e-noticed two hearings for his client … which said attorney failed to show up for.

Oops.

In the Age of the Crackberry in which everybody expects you to be endlessly available, it’s important to let email senders know when you’re not reachable by email.  That’s where Outlook’s Out of Office feature comes in handy.

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2 How to redirect a reply in Outlook

Say you're the chair for a bar association program, so you're sending out personalized email invitations to your fellow members.  However, your assistant is handling the RSVPs.  How do you send your email so that (a) your assistant gets the RSVPs (not you) and (b) recipients don't accidentally reply to the entire list and cause everyone's inbox to melt down?

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