Posts Tagged ‘#outlook’

Outlook Duplicates

Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis April 25th, 2012

Sometimes Outlook, or your email server, messes up.  With all the syncing and smartphone use these days, there are more ways than ever to get COPIES, or duplicates, in your email, calendar, contacts, etc.  If it’s email, there can be several causes.  Here’s an article  that has good starting points for troubleshooting this issue (Thanks Mike at Demand Media!).  If these don’t help, keep searching, there is a LOT of info out there.  But after the fact, once you fix the source of the problem, you STILL can have a big mess to clean up.  I found a nifty free tool that can remove all duplicates from any given folder in outlook.  You can download it here

Outlook Rules

Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis March 8th, 2012

Keeping your email organized and sorted can be a real challenge.  One thing that can REALLY help is setting up Rules.  In Outlook these are automatic commands to do something with an email.  For example, I have all my Microsoft newsletters go straight to a folder named Microsoft.  That way I can go read them when I want, but don’t have to waste time on them when I’m busy.  Outlook can do thousands of varieties of this, but by far the most common is to Move to Folder from Recipient.  Office 2010 makes this a snap…just right click the email and choose Rules–> Always Move…  Keep in mind you need to have your designated folder set up BEFORE you do this.  Older versions of Outlook have a New Rule Wizard that steps you through the process.  In this case you must click the Hyperlink that says Folder and Recipient to set where/who.   Another slick trick is to have it automatically delete emails with certain key words.  So if your email providor is marking messages with a SPAM tag, you can have it sent straight to the trash.   If you add auto-archiving to your folders (see previous post), your email will stay managable with much less effort. 

HTML Email

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis December 8th, 2011

The format of email has been a rocky road for several years now.  On one hand, it’s nice to keep it simple (and avoid spam blockers) and leave everything in Plain Text or Rich Text Format (RTF).   It doesn’t give you many options, but relays information just fine.  The problem is that a lot of people want fancier options, or they are making ads or newsletters for their customers.  The solution is HTML.  This is the  formatting language of the web, and many programs these days understand it.  The problem is that different programs may interpret in different ways, despite all efforts to standardize.  A prime example is Outlook.  It uses MS Word to do HTML, and the results aren’t always pretty.  A big group tried to change this a few years back, but Microsoft wouldn’t budge.  MS basically said “It ain’t broke, so we won’t fix it”.  So the world gets a half-baked email formatting solution that relies on a program that was never truly intended to render Web content.  Way to go Microsoft!  Meanwhile, in the 2010 edition of Outlook, they’ve reduced the functionality of RTF, and there are some VERY WEIRD glitches in the HTML rendering.  I’ve had complaints from several customers already.  If you’re seeing strange characters pop up in emails, this is probably why.  Hopefully the MS programming team are working on a fix.  In the meanwhile, if you ARE having issues with Outlook formatting, here’s a great article  that tells you how it all works, and some things you can change to help it. (Thanks Slipstick!)

IMAP Blues

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis December 7th, 2011

If you’ve ever set up an email program you probably know about the types of email protocols.  The old-style one that most people have used is called POP3.  But there are some newer, more powerful ones called IMAP and MAPI.  Those of us who have small businesses (or support them) have always been jealous of big company EXCHANGE SERVERS.  These are very cool because they use the MAPI protocol, and do slick things like automatic sync with all devices, etc.  I had MAPI envy, so I wanted to try the alternative called IMAP.  Outlook can use it, and my mail server supports it, so why not?  LET ME TELL YOU WHY NOT!  Outlook does a TERRIBLE job with IMAP accounts.  Especially if you have a mixed bag.  There are a long list of issues, like not defaulting to IMAP sender, no rules applied to IMAP email, and on and on.  I DO NOT recommend using IMAP on Outlook.  Seems like Microsoft was trying to force the use of their (MAPI) protocol.  If you need the mail on multiple devices, try using POP3 and setting the mail to stay on the server for 1 day.  OR use web mail.  Or buy an Exchange service (Link2Exchange is a good example).

Outlook 2010

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis December 5th, 2011

If you made the jump to Outlook 2010, you may have been surprised at some of the new layout and features.  It looks much more like Word and Excel now, since they added tabbed menus to try and anticipate everone’s needs.  To me it feels a little more cluttered.  I’m starting to get used to it though.  One thing I HATE is the fact that they MOVED the Sent and Deleted Items folders.  They used to be mixed in with all the others, in alphabetical order.  Now they appear at the top of the folder list.  Grrrr.  I bet I’ve scrolled down the list 50 times already, only to realize it’s back up there where I started.  The other irritating thing I see is that the File Menu now completely wipes out your view of the current doument.  BUT it’s got a lot more utilities and options, so I think it’s a good trade-off.  For those of you who want to continue using the automated backup for Outlook (downloaded here), you have to make a change before it will work correctly.  See this page for details.  NOTE:  Microsoft claims it won’t work.  It will if you follow these directions.

Email Privacy

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis September 20th, 2011

With all the spam and junk mail out there, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind for email etiquette.  1) Business email should include a confidentiality notice to legally protect the contents (the easiest way to do this is to put it in your signature).  2) If you send to a large group, or forward FROM a large group, remove extraneous addresses from the body, and email it to YOURSELF.  Then put the list in the BCC line (this protects the recipient’s privacy)  3) To prevent getting filtered by spam blockers, I encourage my clients to use Rich Text or Plain Text rather than HTML format for sending.  In Outlook the default settings can be found in Tools, Options, Mail Format tab.  Next time:  Encrypting your email.

Email Woes

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 27th, 2011

The biggest problem I see with people’s email are because they NEVER CLEAN IT UP.  They let all their folders keep filling and filling until BLAP! they hit a wall.  For web mail it’s because there’s a limit to the amount they let you store.  For Outlook, it’s a problem with the program.  Depending on the version, Outlook will only allow 2 Gb of email to be stored…. more for the later versions  (Outlook express is worse, and just crashes).  Tips to manage your storage:  1) EMPTY THE TRASH! (deleted items)  2) Clear out as many sent items as possible (do you REALLY need 7 years’ worth?)  3)  Don’t leave everything in the IN BOX!  Create folders to stay organized, and move stuff out to those after you read them.  4) Auto-archive in Outlook can help automate cleanup, but there’s a catch.  If you turn on this feature, IT WON’T WORK UNTIL YOU TELL IT the setting you want for each folder.  So it defaults to not touch it.  This is good, but people don’t realize that each folder has an archive setting that you should set.  For example, I want my Tech Newsletter folder to get dumped if it’s 6 months or older.  But my login/registration folder I NEVER want touched.

Webmail vs Outlook

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis February 10th, 2011

Because of all the winter weather, a lot of people are stuck trying to work from home.  Many of you have Outlook at work, and are using webmail at home. But everyone needs to know that when you have outlook, it removes the mail from The Cloud so the only copies are on that PC.  So people that want to do web mail need to CLOSE OUTLOOK before they go home.  They also need to understand that this ONLY GIVES ACCESS TO NEW MAIL that comes in, not the stuff that’s already been downloaded to the PC.  For that you’d need something like Teamviewer (remote control of your work PC).

Android Task sync

Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis December 28th, 2010

Android sync to Outlook – Part 3.  Since I’m so cheap, and refused to buy anything to handle all the aspects of sync to Outlook, I found workarounds or solutions for each aspect except notes.  But tasks was a little different.  There really is no free solution for this, although all the Google Calendar users have been complaining about it from the git-go.  After I pondered it for awhile, I realized that it wasn’t really a big deal as long as you’re willing to let go of your Outlook task list.  It’s easy to set up a task list in Google, then just put shortcuts to it on your phone AND PC.  Opera is a great browser that will sync your favorites as well.  If you think of tasks like a scrap of paper (TO DO list) then this is an easy transition.

Contacts

Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis December 18th, 2010

Well, the Google calendar sync takes care of THAT aspect of Outlook, but what about tasks, contacts, and notes?  There is third party software for sale that will sync everything, but if you’re cheap (like me) you can do everything but notes for free.  The easy way to handle contacts (up to 250) is a website called Soocial.  It will do free sync with up to three different devices/services.  More if you go with the pay service.  So far Soocial has been working ok for me, but it has a few minor glitches that could make it better.  It doesn’t carry all the fields for contacts that Outlook does, for example, so you can miss information.  Otherwise it seems to work just fine.  Next time – Task list