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Blog: Technology As An Organizing Tool
Using Your Outlook Contacts

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most widely used software programs for email, but if you're only using it for email, you're missing out on a great productivity tool! Here are a few ways you can use Outlook to keep track of your Contacts.

Create a contact from an email message.

Drag and drop a message onto the Contacts folder, and a new Contact will automatically be created, using the name and email address from the message header. The message body will appear in the Notes section, which can be a valuable reminder of why the person contacted you in the first place. If the sender has provided their website address, mailing address, telephone number, or other important information, you can copy and paste this information into the appropriate fields.

Assign categories to your contacts.

If you have a lot of contacts, it is very easy to lose track of people, including prospective clients. By assigning one or more categories to each contact, you can easily locate the names of the people you need to contact for a specific reason.

Outlook comes with several standard categories, but you will likely want to create some of your own, based on your individual needs. Click on Edit - Categories - Master Category List, and type in your new category. Any categories added to the Master Category List will also be available in the Outlook Calendar and Tasks sections.

View a map of your contact's location.

If you're going to visit a client for the first time, or you don't remember how to get there, you'll love this feature! When a contact record is open, click on the Display Map of Address button and you will be connected to MSN Maps, where a map of the contact's address will be displayed. Of course, this will only work if you have entered a street address!

Print an address book.

Many people who use a paper planner or address book don't see a need to enter any details in Outlook other than the name and email address. Not only is it very easy to print out an address book right from Outlook, it offers a number of options for print layouts, including layouts for popular products made by Day Runner, Day Timer, and Franklin.

By using Outlook as your address book, you don't have to put up with messy changes and corrections, or spend time copying out information every year, or whenever you replace your address book. Instead, you can just print new pages from Outlook. You can even specify which contacts you want printed if you don't need them all.Maximizing Your Time With Outlook 2003

Add a picture.

Later versions of Outlook allow you to add a picture to a contact record. To some this may seem like more of a toy than a tool, but if remembering faces is not your strong point, you'll appreciate being able to view a photo before you head off to meet someone!

If you're using Outlook already, you owe it to yourself to learn how it can help you organize your time and your life! In honor of Computer Learning Month, save $2.00 when you order "Maximizing Your Time with Microsoft Outlook 2003" using the link on your right, until October 31.

posted on: 10/16/2008 8:30:00 AM by Janet Barclay
category: Business

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Technology As An Organizing Tool

by Janet Barclay

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Janet Barclay is a Master Virtual Assistant and the founder of Organized Assistant. Specializing in supporting entrepreneurs in the Organizing and Career Services industries, Organized Assistant provides top-notch Internet marketing services to business owners of all shapes and sizes.

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