Thursday, August 30, 2007

Times Online says that Email is the Number 1 Stressor at Work

A recent Times Online Report says that:

… workers are suffering "e-mail stress" because they are swamped with messages and constantly monitoring their inbox … E-mail is the thing that now causes us the most problems in our working lives.

My experience is that this is true for many people. However for most the problem is not the volume of email but poor email management.

Don't Use Your Inbox Like a Filing Cabinet!

When you have finished with an email, either delete it or move it out of the Inbox! Make sure that your Inbox only has emails that still need your attention.

Do you still keep paper files? I am sure you don't throw your To-Do list into your filing cabinet with the rest of your papers.

So why do so many of us continue to do this with our emails?

We have a free ebook on our website titled "The Professional's Guide to E-Mail Management in Microsoft Outlook" that outlines ways in which you can setup a proper email management system in Outlook. The book does make reference in several places to our email management product QuickFile 4Outlook but all the tips work with Outlook only (i.e. you don't need any extra software).

Update your Blog directly from Word …

I am not sure how many readers out there have a blog and how many people use Microsoft Word 2007 yet but …

Word 2007 has a cool new feature that lets you update your Blog directly from Word. It supports most of the standard blog services (such as blogger) and the process is very easy.

Click on the Office button and then click New.

Double Click "New Blog Post"

Write up your Blog title and article.

Click the Publish button on the Ribbon.

Word will ask you for your Blog log-on details either in the beginning or when you publish. Easy!

I published this post (as a test) directly from Word.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sending Pictures - The Safe, Easy, Recipient-Friendly Way!

You may be wondering what sending pictures has got to do with the stated aim of our blog .. using Microsoft Outlook for Business.

A lawyer friend recently had a baby. Like all proud new mothers and fathers (I did this myself a few years ago), she sent out pictures of her new born baby to all her friends.

Unfortunately for me (and many of her other friends) she had a new (very) high resolution camera – most probably recently purchased. The attached pictures were more than 10 MB in size and took forever to download.

The full list of disadvantages of sending full size pictures includes:

  • It could take a while for the email to leave your computer
  • It could take a long time for the email to download to the recipients’ computers (it is hard to appreciate a cute baby photo after it has taken 10 minutes to download)
  • It may not even get delivered to some recipients if the recipient has a limit to the size of emails they can receive (particularly true if they work in a big company)
  • Your Outlook gets slow and bloated because of the massive attachments stored in your Sent Items folder …

So what is the right way to send pictures …

Unless the recipients will be printing out the pictures, you generally don’t need to send the pictures in their full resolution.

The pictures can be greatly reduced in resolution/size while still being perfectly clear to the recipient.

There are many software applications that you can use to resize pictures. Just make sure that you resize the copy that you want to send and not the original. You probably still want the originals in full size for printing later.

If you are using Windows XP or Windows Vista, here is the built in, free, safe and easy way to send pictures.

Go to the Folder where the pictures are saved.

Select the picture(s) that you want to send. To select more than one picture, click on the first picture. Then press the CTRL button on your keyboard and keep it pressed while you select as many other pictures as you want. Release the CTRL button once you are done.

Now Right-Click on any of the selected pictures and click Send-To, then click Mail Recipient.

A dialog box will come up allowing you to automatically resize the email. I normally choose 640x480. You may want to choose 800x600. Either of these resolutions is fine to display your new baby to your friends on their computer screens.

Click Attach or OK (depending on which version of Windows you are using).

A new email will be created for you with all your chosen pictures resized and attached.

Add the emails addresses of the people you want to send to in the To, CC or BCC fields and click Send.

You’re Done!

This method only resizes the copy of the emails that you are sending out. Your originals are still safely stored in their full size on your hard-disk for later use..

MS Outlook for Business???

Welcome to our blog!

This Blog is dedicated to Microsoft Outlook users who use Outlook daily as an important business tool. My focus will be mainly on Professionals (lawyers, engineers, accountants, programmers, web developers …) who are working in solo/small to medium sized businesses.

A little bit about me and my company … We develop and market Microsoft Outlook Addins. Our websites include:

Over time I have come to the realization that our expertise is in helping our customers use Microsoft Outlook as a REAL BUSINESS TOOL.

In this Blog I hope to discuss and explore ways in which Microsoft Outlook can help you organize and grow your business. I will try and give you hints and tips to make better use of Outlook, as well as pointing you to ebooks (many free), websites and software that can make you more productive.

We may :) mention our products where it makes sense but I will generally try and focus on how Outlook (without any additional software) can help make you more productive.