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AbigailYou may wonder what Tips for Outlook has to do with Networking Is Not Selling, but if you are trying to grow your business by networking, I’m sure you’ve found, like I have, that you need to stay organized. One of my favorite writers/speakers, Abigail Dougherty, has given us some useful tools to stay organized using Outlook. 1.  Change Your ViewSet up your Outlook page so you see your calendar before you see your email. That keeps you focused on the tasks that must be done for the day, before you risk being sidetracked with email messages. On Microsoft Outlook main page click on TOOLS, then OPTIONS. At the top of Options page you have choice tabs:  Preferences, Mail Set Up, Mail Format, Spelling, Security and Other. Click on OTHER.  Under General (the first choice) there are two buttons – select ADVANCED OPTIONS. Under “Startup in this folder”:  Browse for CALENDARThen OK yourself back to the main screen.This will prompt the calendar to be the first thing you see when you turn on Outlook.2.  Turn it OFF! A. Turn off default meeting reminders – You can manually set this for only your critical appointments. This will save you a long list of reminders for appointments that are passed when you’ve been away from the office for a few hours.On Microsoft Outlook main page click on TOOLS, then OPTIONS. At the top of Options page you have choice tabs: Preferences, Mail Set Up, Mail Format, Spelling, Security and Other. Select PREFERENCES, go down to Calendar (second choice) and remove the check mark from default reminders. B. Turn off all the incoming email notificationsOn Microsoft Outlook main page click on TOOLS, then OPTIONS. At the top of Options page you have choice tabs: Preferences, Mail Set Up, Mail Format, Spelling, Security and Other. Select PREFERENCES, go down to email (first choice), click on EMAIL OPTIONS. This opens up Advanced E-mail Options.The second section “When new items arrive in my Inbox” should ALL be UNCHECKED. You do not need a ding, a ghost, a changed cursor or an envelope to tell you email is there if you get in the habit of regularly checking your email only two or three times a day.3.  Building Your Contact ListUse your signature block on all new messages.On Microsoft Outlook main page click on TOOLS, then OPTIONS. At the top of Options page you have choice tabs:Preferences, Mail Set Up, Mail Format, Spelling, Security and Other.Select MAIL FORMAT, go down to SIGNATURES (third choice) and select your email account(s) that need a formal signature block. Select signature blocks for both the original messages as well as responses to messages. Click on SIGNATURES to see and edit any signature block you currently have set up.The key is to click on APPLY, rather than OK once you have made your updates/corrections. When someone pulls up your message they can easily create the contact page in Outlook to reconnect with you. They will simply drag your message into CONTACTS, which automatically opens a new contact. It’s a quick cut and paste to put the information in the right places in the contacts form.4. Booking AppointmentsHave you ever missed an appointment because critical information wasn’t on your PDA or calendar page?  It’s not even necessary to open the email to turn it into a calendar event.Simply drag the email message onto the Calendar selection and a new appointment will open – with today’s date and the current time. You will need to edit the date and time to match the actual meeting time. It’s also an excellent time to copy-paste the location or bridge line information into with the subject or the location of the appointment. Now your PDA will show the necessary details. A copy of the email will stay attached to the appointment in your calendar. The original message is still in your in box, so you can file it appropriately.These simple steps will make your life easier and allow a few more minutes to call that client or talk to that vendor you’ve been needing to meet.© 2009 Straight Edge News          All Rights Reserved.Contributed  by Abigail DoughertyStraight Edge Solutions  503-297-5798Abigail@StraightEdgeSolutions.com

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