Thursday, November 1, 2007

Six brilliant ways to get more from Outlook 2007


By Meryl K. Evans

The first release of Outlook came bundled with Exchange Server 5.5 in 1997 as nothing but an email application. In the ten years since, Outlook grew from an email application to personal information manager. Although Microsoft added calendar, contacts and tasks into later editions, each application worked alone rather than as part of a whole.

Outlook 2007, finally, tightly and seamlessly integrated mail, calendar, contacts and tasks. In addition to its predecessors' basic functions of sending and receiving emails, managing appointments and creating tasks, Outlook 2007 provides you with the following new features:

  • Instant Search: Search information in emails, calendars, tasks, contacts and notes by keywords, date and other criteria.
  • To-Do Bar: Get an overview of your day in one place including due tasks, flagged email and upcoming appointments.
  • Flag emails as Tasks: Flag emails as tasks for a quick way to create new tasks from emails in one step.
  • Preview Attachments: Get a quick glance of the attachment in the reading pane without opening the file.
  • Text Messaging: Send text messages from within email.
  • RSS Feeds: Read RSS feeds in your inbox.
  • Sharing calendars with others and through the Internet.

The following six tips help you speed the way you work with Outlook and make Outlook do more work for you.

Brilliant way #1: Load Outlook files and folders on a second computer

Since having more than one computer is common, you might want your Outlook data and folders on the second computer. Copy the PST file from the first to the second computer. In Outlook, select Account Settings from the Tool menu and select the Data Files tab. Select Add, leave the Types of storage selection as is and select OK to locate the PST file.

Select the file and select OK. Give it a name in the Create Microsoft Personal Folders window select OK. Close Account Settings" and the new personal folders file appears in the Navigation Pane. You can also import a PST file using Import and Export from the File menu.