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I Can't Wait to Show Her

Week of January 9, 2002

'Mommy why are all the cars going in the other direction?'



Switching email clients isn't a popular chore, but sometimes the 
reasons for doing so are compelling. For example, if your company 
switches to Microsoft Exchange Server from another mail server, Outlook 
is definitely your best client choice. Or perhaps you've been using 
Eudora, Outlook Express, or another POP/IMAP mailer and now want to 
take advantage of Outlook's calendar and task features. 

I recently helped a friend move from Outlook Express to Outlook 2002. 
She had already set up her mail accounts, so we concentrated on 
organizing her Inbox, Calendar, and Contacts data with features that 
deliver the most 'bang for the buck' to new Outlook users. 

My friend, who has her own business, uses one email address for 
business and another for personal mail. She wants to respond quickly to 
client messages but knows that email from family and friends can 
usually wait until she has free time. Because she has two separate 
email accounts, we created a new By Account view for her Inbox so she 
can use the E-mail Account property to group messages. Outlook 2002 
lists the E-Mail Account property in the Field Chooser under All Mail 
fields. (In Outlook 2000, you can group mail by account only in 
Internet Mail Only mode, not in Corporate/Workgroup mode.) Now business 
and personal messages are clearly separated in her Inbox. 

Next, we organized her contacts by category. Like many new Outlook 
users, she wondered whether it was better to keep everyone in one 
Contacts folder or to create separate folders for business and personal 
contacts. I recommended the single-folder approach, because some really 
useful Outlook features work only with the default Contacts folders 
(e.g., the Add to Contacts command in a mail message, the toolbar's 
Find a Contact feature, reminders for flagged contacts). 

Categories provide an easy way to organize contacts. I showed her how 
to press the Ctrl key and click to select multiple contacts and then 
right-click and choose Categories to mark a group of contacts with the 
same category. I also explained that an individual contact can belong 
to multiple categories. We then looked at the By Category view, which 
groups contacts by category. With a grouped view, you can select one or 
more categories and choose Actions, New Message to Contact to create a 
message addressed to all the selected contacts. You can also drag a 
contact to a different category group to add the target category to the 
contact's record. All versions of Outlook let you organize contacts by 

In the Calendar folder, I demonstrated Outlook 2002's new color labels 
and how to right-click any appointment in the Day/Week/Month view to 
add color-coding. As an example, I explained how I use one bright color 
for my writing deadlines to distinguish those items from others in my 

Finally, to make sure she could find her way back to Outlook's original 
views, I showed my friend how to use the View, Current View command to 
access a list of saved views for the current folder. I also showed her 
how to use the Define Views command to create new views. She had some 
trouble with toolbars and menus, so I had her click Toolbars, 
Customize. Then, on the Toolbars tab of the Customize dialog box, I 
showed her how she can select any toolbar or menu and click Reset to 
restore it to its default appearance. 

After just an hour's overview of these key features, my friend is well 
on her way to becoming a very productive Outlook user. I can't wait to 
show her how to drag mail messages to Tasks to create new to-do items, 
to use journal items to log phone calls, and to use the Rules Wizard to 
organize incoming items in different ways.  

Until next time,

Sue Mosher, News Editor, olupdate@slipstick.com
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