Tag Archives for " Microsoft Outlook "

Learn how to use email better and fix your Word line spacing

Just because I haven’t posted here in a couple of weeks (longer?) doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy! Here are some tips I’ve posted elsewhere on the interwebs recently:

Declutter Your Inbox — Six experts (and I) share our top tips on keeping your email inbox sane. We each weigh in on Inbox Zero and share our best practices on dealing with the influx of daily messages. Click here to read what Lee Rosen of Divorce Discourse, Heidi Alexander of the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program (MassLOMAP), Catherine Sanders Reach (Director, Law Practice Management and Technology, for the Chicago Bar Association), Mark Rosch and Carole Levitt of Internet for Lawyers, Nora Regis (Trainer & Coordinator, Law Practice Management and Technology, for the Chicago Bar Association) and I have to say about how we optimize our email.

Fixing Your #@(*$#)$( Single-Spacing in Microsoft Word — Confession: I swear at Microsoft Office occasionally. And one of the things that frustrates me the most is a setting that Microsoft (in its not-so-infinite wisdom) re-set in recent versions of Word. Lawyerist recently re-published this article I wrote for them back in 2013 because, well, people are still wondering why their single-spacing looks a little off. Click here to find out why and how to fix it … permanently.

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.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Microsoft Outlook Accidents (and How to Fix Them)

Ever hit a wrong button or moved your mouse the wrong way in Microsoft Outlook, only to see something essential disappear? Apparently, it’s a common problem, since I get quite a few distress calls from co-workers saying, “Help! My [fill in the blank] disappeared from my screen!”

In my latest guest post at Lawyerist, I cover some of the most common oopsies I see and how to restore your Outlook to look the way you had it before you did that one-two-switcheroo.

Click here to read the full illustrated article.

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.

2 Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Send SMS Via Email for Faster Responses

The trouble with email these days is that everyone is getting so darn much of it that a lot of it gets ignored. But what if you have an urgent message that needs to be read NOW?

Studies show that, increasingly, the go-to technology for reaching someone quickly and getting a response is SMS (popularly known as a text message). With more and more people constantly connected to the grid via their smartphones, it makes sense: a text message will get attention and response more quickly because of the medium’s built-in immediacy.

The good news is, you don’t have to pick your own cell phone (and incur your carrier’s charges) to send a text message. You can do it via Outlook 2010, which has the advantage of allowing you to keep all your messages (email and text) in one easy-to-search file.

Click here for the full article.

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: Test your typing, frugal speech-to-text alternatives, Gmail in Outlook, and more

In this week’s Roundup of the reading file: a quick (and really fun and challenging) online typing test (how long has it been since you took a typing test?), how to configure Outlook 2010 for your Gmail account, some inexpensive speech-to-text alternatives for those who want to dictate to their PC, yet another reason to use Microsoft Word’s Style feature, and what those little black boxes next to your Microsoft Word text mean, particularly for your document’s pagination.

Keep reading →

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Outlook Search Folders

I’ve always been one of those people who has umpteen subfolders under her Outlook Inbox. And, up until recently, I just thought that was the way to do things.

A recent study on efficient email practices, however, has convinced me that maybe a lot of the time I’ve spent sorting emails into their little virtual cubbyholes hasn’t been time well spent.

In my latest post on Lawyerist, I explore what this means for all of us Outlook users and, more importantly, show you how to use the Search Folders feature to quickly organize those critical e-mails without spending so much time sorting.

Click here for the full illustrated article.

 

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).

Keep reading →

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: 3 Outlook Quick Tricks

Over on Lawyerist, I’ve been writing a lot lately about Microsoft Outlook — how to use tasks and categories and how assign tasks to other people, for example. This week, I’ve gathered up three features many Outlook users don’t even know about.

For instance, did you know that Outlook can automatically calculate “30 days from now” or “one week from today” when setting a due date? Or that you can redirect e-mail replies to another user? Or that Outlook can keep all of the e-mails in a particular conversation together for easy reference?

If these tricks are news to you, click here for the full illustrated tutorial.

Weekly Roundup: More shortcut keys, faster Word page setup, Quick Print

From this week’s Roundup of the reading file: some more shortcut keys you need to know about (particularly if you’re an avid Outlook user), a faster way to reach the Page Setup dialog in Microsoft Word, and how to add a Quick Print button to enable one-click printing from Word.

Keep reading →

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 →

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Using Tasks + Categories Views

Want to use Microsoft Outlook to organize your cases? Say, keep track of your overflowing to-do list, group all of your Smith v. Jones entries together, get an at-a-glance look at what’s on your plate this week?

In the second post in a series, I’m demonstrating those very things over on Lawyerist. In Using Outlook Tasks + Categories Views, I build on the techniques shown in the first post, this time focusing on how to use Task Views so you can get an overview of what’s coming up, like this:

You can even print these views out to put in your briefcase or working file.

To view the step-by-step demonstration of how the Task View above was created, click here.