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Taking the time to learn about Outlook

outlook_2007_logoSo you purchased a new computer and it included the new Microsoft Outlook 2010. Or perhaps you even hired VBL Technologies to bring your old Outlook Express into your new computer environment. Your emails are there, you know how to create a new one, manage the old one with folders and perhaps you even know how to archive old emails for later use.

But is that all there is to the Outlook program? Is Outlook just an email tool? Then why did it cost so much? Why didn’t you just use one of those free e-mail programs?

As a technician, I see this all the time. Clients with busy work schedules use Outlook daily, but many have no idea the power that program can bring to organize their work load. These management features are available in all versions of Outlook, whether you are on an exchange server, which allows you to access even more features, or a stand-alone client.

So let’s take a brief moment to go over some features, to give you an idea what is available to you.

The Calendar feature has the ability to make your work day so much easier, but is almost never used by Outlook users. Taking a small amount of time to enter your information can be very beneficial.

You can enter an event, for example a work meeting, along with a reminder to leave for your important meeting a half hour early. Is the event weekly, biweekly, or monthly? No problem, all you have to do is check the appropriate reoccurrence box and Outlook will remind you thereafter.

Perhaps you have an appointment the following week; you can create an appointment, along with notes, directions, etc. and then allow the program to remind you at the proper time, with the correct information you may need. And that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the calendar feature benefits.

Contacts are another under used but extremely beneficial feature. You can add so much information to your contact database; you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. You can add pictures in a flash by simply right clicking on an image and choosing save as. You can add job titles, webpages, notes, as well as addresses and phone numbers. Each contact can be added to an appointment, which can be clicked on any time providing you with all the information you need for that contact and appointment simultaneously. You can even include personal touches to contacts with notes regarding their birthday, hobbies, or interests.

Lastly, Outlook also provides a task tool. Once again, this is a simple way to organize your day with one time tasks or reoccurring tasks. Each task can include timed reminders and any additional information, allowing you to free up your desk with sticky notes and additional notices.

This article is not meant to be an all-inclusive look at the tool. But hopefully I have encouraged you to start to discover the program for yourself, what it can do for you, and how it can make your life simpler.

I urge you to get educated on the software you have purchased. You may feel like your schedule is over loaded, and I am sure that it is, but taking the time to learn Outlook can be a huge time saver in the long run.

Dave Ianetta, Technician

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