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Tip: Save an email conversation in a text file (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • For informational purposes, you might need to save an email conversation thread, but you don't want all those emails cluttering your mailbox. It's easy to save the entire conversation in one text file. To do so, select the message, or messages, from the Message list in the appropriate Mail folder. Next, choose File | Save As. The Save As Type dropdown list automatically displays Text Only. Choose a location to save the file, and then enter a name in the File Name text box. Click Save and a new text file is created that includes the selected emails. Once all the information you need is in the new text file, return to Outlook and delete the selected messages if you desire. It's important to note that no attachments or formatting are saved in the text file; only the header information and message text is saved.

Tip: Assign a category to a group of existing Contacts (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • Perhaps you've imported a group of Contacts from Microsoft Excel, and you now want to add a category to each of these contacts. Click on the Contacts icon in the Navigation Pane (click on the Contacts folder in the Folder List in 2000 and 2002). Select each Contact entry that you want to add to a category by clicking on each Contact entry and holding down the [Ctrl] key. Then, select Edit | Categories from the Outlook menu bar. Next, select a check box from the Available Categories list box in the Categories dialog box. Or, enter a custom category in the Item(s) Belong To These Categories list box, and then click Add To List. Click OK to close the open dialog box. This adds the category to all the selected Contacts in one easy step.

Tip: A better way to create a Task from an email message in Outlook (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • If you need to create a task and already have the relevant information in an email message, use it to your advantage. Just drag the email message from the Message list to the Tasks icon in the Navigation Pane (in 2000 and 2002, drag the message from the Message list to the Tasks folder in the Folder List). A new Task form launches with a subject line and the body of the email message in the message area of the Task form.
  • This method won’t include attachments from the email message in the Task form, but here’s an easy way to get around that. First, click on the Mail icon in the Navigation Pane (click on the Inbox folder in the Folder List in 2000 and 2002).In the Message list, right-click on the email from which you want to create a task. Then, choose Move To Folder from the resulting shortcut menu. Select the Tasks folder from the Move The Selected Items To The Folder list box in the Move Items dialog box, and then click OK. A new Task form then launches with the Subject line filled in and an attachment in the message area. Click on the attachment in the message area to display the original email message along with any attachments.

Tip: Be considerate and block off your Calendar when you’re away from the office (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • If you're on vacation, on a business trip, or otherwise unavailable for meetings, it's a good idea to block off these days and times on your Outlook Calendar. This way, others who have access to your free/busy times in Outlook don't try to schedule meetings with you for these times you're actually available.
  • Open your Calendar and click on a day that you'll be unavailable. Open a new Appointment form, and select the All Day Event check box. Select Out Of Office from the Show Time As dropdown list. Enter the effective start and end dates in The Start Time and End Time text boxes--the event can span multiple days. Enter a subject, and then click the Save And Close button.

Tip: Calculate your email delivery time by delaying it (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • Did you know that you can create an email and send it, but delay its delivery until a later date or time? By doing so, if you change your mind about what you'd like to include in an email, you can go back and retrieve it.
  • It’s also quite useful if you simply need to delay the delivery of a message; for example, if you're going on vacation and don't want to send a message until the following week.
  • To delay an individual message, create a message and click the Options button on the Standard toolbar of the Message form. Select the Do Not Deliver Before check box in the Delivery Options section. Then, enter a date and time from the accompanying dropdown menu(s). You can manually enter a date and time to deliver the message precisely when you want.

Tip: Remind an email recipient with a message Flag (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • If you send an important email, you can easily remind the recipient to review it with an email flag. To do so, launch a new Message form. Then, choose Actions | Follow Up | Add Reminder (Actions | Follow Up in 2002; Actions | Flag For Follow Up in 2000). If you have Microsoft Word set as your email editor, click the Message Flag button on the form's toolbar instead. Make a selection from both the Flag To and Due By dropdown lists in the Flag For Follow Up dialog box. Then, click OK. Complete your message, and click Send. The recipient receives a reminder about reviewing the email you sent at the date and time you've specified.

Tip: Complete a Send/Receive from anywhere in Outlook (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • By default, the Send/Receive button is located only on the Standard toolbar when a Mail folder is active. Therefore, when you want to check for new mail or send an item immediately, you probably switch to a Mail folder and click the button. Not necessary! Just press [F9] and to run a Send/Receive.

Tip: Create a recurring appointment or meeting quickly (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • To create a recurring appointment or meeting, it’s easy to get right to it. Right-click on a blank area in a Calendar day and choose New Recurring Appointment, New Recurring Event, or New Recurring Meeting. This way, a new form launches and the Appointment Occurrence dialog box displays automatically.

Tip: Have Outlook start when you launch your computer (Outlook 2002/2003)

  • If the first thing you do when you turn on your computer every morning is launch Outlook, why not launch it automatically instead? All you need to do is add an Outlook shortcut to the StartUp folder.
  • First, create a shortcut to Outlook on your desktop, if you don't already have one. To do so, choose All Programs | Microsoft Office | from the Windows Start menu. Then, right-click on Microsoft Outlook and choose Create Shortcut. Drag the newly created shortcut to your desktop. Navigate to the \Document And Settings\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp folder in Windows Explorer. Drag the Outlook shortcut from your desktop to this folder. The next time you start up your computer, Outlook automatically launches.

Tip: Print a blank calendar from Outlook (2000/2002/2003)

  • A blank Calendar is helpful in several situations. Perhaps you're attending a project planning meeting and need a Calendar to flush out important project milestones. You don't want to deface your own calendar with all the information, so print a blank Calendar from Outlook instead.
  • To do so, first create a blank calendar as follows: Click on the Calendar icon in the Navigation Pane (click on the Calendar folder in the Folder List in 2000 and 2002). Next, click the New button's arrow and select Folder. Give the folder a name, such as Blank Calendar, in the Name text box of the Create New Folder text box. Select the Calendar folder from the Select Where To Place The Folder list box, if necessary. Then, click OK.
  • Now we’ll print the calendar: In 2003, select the Blank Calendar check box from the My Calendars section of the Navigation Pane and deselect all others. In 2000/2002, click on the folder in the Folder List in 2000 and 2002. Choose File | Print from the Outlook menu bar. Select a style from the Print Style list box, and enter dates in the Start and End text boxes in the Print Range section. Click OK and a blank calendar prints. Save this new Calendar if you often need to print blank calendars.

Tip: Save stationery used in email that has been sent to you (Outlook 2002/2003)

  • If someone sends you a message using stationery, you can save the stationery template on your own system for later use in Outlook. To do so, click on the Mail icon in the Navigation Pane (click on the Inbox folder in the Folder List in 2002), and then open the message that uses the stationery. Next, choose File | Save Stationery from the form's menu bar. Enter a name for the stationery in the Enter A Name For Your New Stationery text box in the Create New Stationery dialog box, and click OK.

Tip: Print your daily Calendar in Outlook (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • Some people live and die by their Outlook Calendars. But what happens if you aren't at your computer to continually check your Calendar? Well, you don't have to memorize all your appointment and meeting details; just print your daily schedule instead. This way, you have access to your schedule wherever you are. To begin, click on the Calendar icon in the Navigation Pane (click on the Calendar folder in the Folder List in 2000 and 2002). Next, choose File | Print from the Outlook menu bar. In the Print dialog ox, choose Daily Style from the Print Style list box. Then, select today's date from both the Start and End dropdown lists in the Print Range section. Click OK to print your schedule, including each appointment, its time, and its location.

Tip: Send email to a distribution list minus a few names (Outlook 2003)

  • It can be a real pain when you have a large distribution list and you want to remove just a few names from before sending an email. Perhaps you're having a surprise party for your manager--you certainly don't want to send the email to her. Well, removing her from the email and still using your distribution list actually isn't hard at all. In Outlook 2003, you can expand a distribution list by clicking on the plus sign that precedes the list's name once you've entered it in the To, Cc, or Bcc field. From there, you can simply delete any names that you'd like.

Tip: Quickly locate unread messages (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • If you receive a large number of Outlook messages daily, it's quite easy to lose track of them. Oftentimes, you may want to go back and check for any unread messages. To do so, click on the Mail icon in the Navigation Pane (in 2000 and 2002, click on the Inbox folder in the Folder List). Then, choose View | Arrange By | Current View | Customize Current View from the Outlook menu bar (View | Current View | Customize Current View in 2000 and 2002). Click the Filter button in the Customize View: Messages dialog box (View Summary in 2000 and 2002). Next, click on the More Choices tab in the Filter dialog box. Select the Only Items That Are check box, and then select Unread from the corresponding dropdown list. Click OK twice. Now your Inbox shows only unread messages. Click on any subfolder to see its unread contents as well.
  • In 2003, you have the additional option of using Search Folders. This feature has a default folder that shows unread messages. To use this feature, click on the Mail icon in the Navigation Pane, and then click on the plus sign preceding the Search Folders folder in the All Mail Folders list. Then, click on the Unread Mail folder. All your unread messages, regardless of what folder they currently reside in, are listed in this Search Folder.

Tip: Display multiple Outlook windows at once (2000/2002/2003)

  • There may be times when you want to have multiple windows open in Outlook. Perhaps you want to have easy access to your email while you're viewing your Calendar. Well, it's easy to view multiple windows at once. For example, right-click on the Mail icon in the Navigation Pane (right-click on the Inbox icon in the Outlook Shortcuts Bar in 2000 and 2002), and then choose Open In New Window from the resulting shortcut menu. Outlook then opens another window, where you can display whatever you'd like, without closing what you previously had open.

Tip: Mark an entry as private in your Outlook Calendar (2000/2002/2003)

  • Just because you give someone else permission to access to your Outlook Calendar, it doesn't mean you want her to see everything. If a particular meeting or appointment contains information you don't want to share, you can make the item private so that no one other than you can view its details. While you have an appointment or meeting open, simply select the Private check box in the bottom-right corner of the form. This ensures that only you have access to this item's details.

Tip: Send an email to an entire category of Contacts (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • If you use categories to help organize your Outlook items, you can easily send email to an entire category of Contacts. To start, click on the Contacts icon in the Navigation Pane (click on the Contacts folder in the Folder List in 2000 and 2002). Next, click on the folder that contains the Contacts to which you want to send email. Then, choose View | Arrange By | Current View | Categories from the Outlook menu bar (View | Current View | By Category in 2000 and 2002). Finally, click on the category header that contains the entries you want to send email to, and then choose Actions | New Message To Contact from the Outlook menu bar. A new Message form launches containing all the Contacts within the selected category. Simply enter the pertinent information, and then click Send on the Message form.

Tip: Remove a sender from your Outlook junk email list (2003)

  • Sometimes senders that we legitimately want to receive email from get banished to our Junk E-mail folder. Here's an easy way to put a sender back on your safe list. Click on the Mail icon in the Navigation Pane, and then click on the Junk E-mail folder in the All Mail Folders List. Next, in the Message list, click on a message from the sender that you want to deem as safe. Then, choose Actions | Junk E-mail | Add Sender To Safe Senders List. Future messages from this sender should now remain out of the Junk E-mail folder.

Tip: Locate all your unread messages in Outlook in a snap (2000/2002/2003)

  • You may receive so many emails on a daily or weekly basis that you lose track of them all. You may even skip over some without reading them. Here's an easy way to locate all of your unread messages within a folder quickly. Click on the Mail icon in the Navigation Pane, and then click on the folder you'd like to search in the All Mail Folders List (click on the folder that you'd like to search in the Folder List in 2000 and 2002). Choose View | Arrange By | Current View | Unread Messages In This Folder from the Outlook menu bar (View | Current View | Unread Messages in 2000 and 2002).
  • In 2003, you can also use a Search Folder to locate all your unread messages. To do so, click on the Mail icon in the Navigation Pane, and then click the plus sign in (+) from of the Search Folders folder in the All Mail Folders List. Next, click on the Unread Mail folder to view all of your unread messages; this technique displays all of your unread messages regardless of their location.

Tip: Let [Ctrl]Z become you best friend in Outlook (2000/2002/2003)

  • Pressing [Ctrl]Z reverses many actions in Outlook. For example, if you move a message to a different folder, delete a message, or type a sentence you don't want to include in an email, just press [Ctrl]Z to undo the action. You must press [Ctrl]Z, however, before performing any other action. This doesn't work for everything (i.e., you can't undo sending a message or meeting request), but give it a try next time you accidentally perform a step. You may be pleasantly surprised at the power of this handy little keyboard shortcut.

Tip: Show two Calendars side by side in Outlook (2003)

  •  A new feature in Outlook 2003 is the side-by-side Calendar display, and it's simple to activate. Perhaps you like to keep separate personal and professional calendars in Outlook. Right-click on the Calendar check box in the My Calendars List, and then choose New Folder from the resulting shortcut menu. Next, enter a name for the new Calendar, such as Personal, in the Name text box of the Create New Folder dialog box. Then, click OK. Now, all you need to do to display these two calendars side by side is select their corresponding check boxes in the My Calendars List. That's all there is to it!  

Tip: Save a series of Outlook messages in a text file (2000/2002/2003)

  • Perhaps you often receive information, such as new product numbers, in email. Now several of these emails are clogging up your Inbox, but you can't get rid of them since you repeatedly reference them. You can, however, save all these emails in one text file.
  • Select the messages you'd like to save in the text file from the Message list; use [Ctrl]-click to select several items. If possible, select them in the order that you'd like them to appear in the text file. Then, choose File |Save As. Enter a name for the file in the Name text box of the Save As dialog box. Browse to the location you'd like to save the file, and then click Save. Click Delete to get rid of the email messages; you no longer need them since they're now all contained in a single text file for easy reference.

Tip: Close all open Outlook items at once (2000/2002/2003)

  • You realize that it's time to leave work and it's Friday afternoon. You want to get out as soon as possible, but you have several Outlook items open. One by one you start closing them, but not so fast! Just choose File | Close All Items from the Outlook menu bar to close every open Outlook item. You'll be on your way to a blissful weekend in no time.

Tip: Hiding Outlook's toolbar in other Microsoft Office documents (2000/2002/2003)

  • Let's say you're working in Microsoft Word and then decide to send the document to someone via email; you'd just choose File | Send To | Mail Recipient or File | Send To | Mail Recipient (As Attachment) from the Word menu bar. Then, perhaps you realize that you aren't ready to send the document or it's the wrong document altogether. But now you can't get rid of the pesky Outlook toolbar -- it's even there when you reopen the document. Simply choose File | Send To | Mail Recipient from the menu bar once again to send the pesky toolbar packing.  

Tip: Link items to a Contact entry (Outlook 2002/2003)

  • It's often helpful to link items to a Contact entry for reference purposes. You can link all types of items to a Contact entry in just a few easy steps. First, open (or just select) the Contact entry to which you'd like to link an item. To link an Outlook item, choose Actions | Link | items from the menu bar. Next, select the folder that contains the Outlook item you'd like to link. Then, select the item to link in the Items list box and click OK. To open the Outlook item that's linked, click on the Contacts form's Activities tab and then double-click on the item.
  • To link a file from outside Outlook (such as a Microsoft Word document), choose Actions | Link | File from the Contact form's menu bar. Next, choose the file to link and click Insert. A shortcut to this document is then created in the Journal Entry form that displays. Click Save And Close in the Journal Entry form. The journal entry then displays on the Activities tab of the Contact form; double-click on the journal entry and then double-click on the shortcut to open the linked file.  

Tip: Find all messages in a specific conversation thread (Outlook 2000/2002/2003)

  • You know how many times people can send email back and forth about one particular topic. Luck would have it that the one email in the conversation you're looking for isn't jumping out at you. Luckily, you can find all the related messages in a snap. First, right-click on one of the conversation's messages in the message list. From the resulting shortcut menu, choose Find All | Related Messages. Once you do this, the Advanced Find dialog box launches with the search criteria automatically filled in. Outlook also offers a By Conversation view. Just choose View | Arrange By | Conversation from the Outlook menu bar (View | Current View | By Conversation Topic in 2000 and 2002).  

Tip: Move email from a specific sender to the Junk E-mail folder (Outlook 2000/2002)

  • No one wants to continually receive unwanted email, whether it's a company trying to sell you something or silly jokes from an annoying classmate who retrieved your email address from the 20-year reunion. So, we'll have Outlook move this email out of the way instead. First, we must turn on the Junk E-mail feature. To do so, click on the Mail icon in the Navigation Pane (click on the Inbox folder in the Folder List in 2002). Next, click the Organize button on Outlook's Standard toolbar. Select Junk E-mail from the Organize Inbox Pane, select Move from the first dropdown list and Junk E-mail from the second, and then click the Turn On button at the end of the Junk message line. Return to the message area by clicking the Organize button again. To block email from a specific sender, right-click on a message from the sender in the message list. Next, choose Junk E-mail | Add To Junk Senders List from the resulting shortcut menu. That's all there is to it!  

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