Thursday 21 February 2008

Get the best from Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007 - Part 1

Here’s the first part of my Top-10 list of how to get the best from Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Exchange 2007.

If you spend a lot of time working within Microsoft Outlook (and who doesn't!?) these tips can really boost your efficiency. As easy as they are, they are often overlooked and underused. There are usually additional short-cuts and alternative menus for all the tips below.

1. Flag for Follow-Up – use this to set Reminders on Messages
To set a reminder, which is visible in your Inbox and reminds you to act on or reply to any message, right-click on the message, select Follow Up, and choose your Due By time and date. You can chose a reminder for Today, Tomorrow, This Week etc.
When you click OK, the message will be flagged for you to remember to respond to, and the date and time will be automatically kept track of. To clear the flag, right click on the message and choose Clear Flag.

2. Use the To-Do Bar to manage your daily priorities and information
Check your priorities for the day by looking at the To-Do Bar. It shows your flagged messages (follow-ups) and Outlook Tasks in a simple list which you can manage and customise to suit you.
Cunningly, the To-Do Bar also connects tasks you may set in other Office 2007 applications including OneNote and Windows SharePoint Services.
Check your Calendar too because this is integrated with the To-Do Bar and show items due for action for each day. This allows you to easily schedule and block out time to work on items.

3. Permanently Delete Messages
When you delete something, hold down the Shift-key as you click Delete and it’s permanently deleted. You’ll be asked if you want to permanently delete the message, just to make sure, as it doesn’t go into the Deleted Items folder!
You can multi select a number of messages, or all folder contents, and it works the same way.

4. Quickly Undelete a Message
Ctrl-Z will bring it back. Works across all Microsoft Office applications too.

5. Catch those misspellings and common typos
You can easily have Outlook check your spelling in all outgoing messages – very handy if you’re a speedy & error-prone typist. In the Tools menu, click on Options and the Spelling tab, then select Always check spelling before sending.

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