Ok – not really, but this may help…
Let’s start with email…
Apologies to Lindsay. A few weeks ago I sent him an email unintentionally. Well, I intended the email, just not to him! I sent it to the wrong person, of course. And I would like to blame Outlook. It tries SO hard to be helpful that it becomes an issue.
When I address an email in Outlook as soon as I start typing it tries to guess who I want to send to. So, here’s me typing “l” and Outlook being helpful…
And if I am not paying close attention (not my strong point at the best of times), the addressee can be someone I don’t even know! So I figured out some tips (OK, I googled some of these)…
- If Outlook keeps suggesting someone you rarely send email to, you can delete that person’s name from the drop-down
- Click the ‘x’ next to their name:
Easy as! (Kiwi saying)
- If you have added people to your Contacts list, wouldn’t it be nice if Outlook checked THAT list first instead of the default Purdue-address-list-combined-with-the addressee-of-every-email-you-have-ever-sent list? Here’s how to change the default…
- In the pop-up window, click “Tools” then “Options”
3. If you are STILL not getting the name you want, start typing it and then press CTRL+K (shortcut for ‘Check names’) – alright, this isn’t much of a help, but as long as my hand is on the keyboard instead of the mouse, it saves a little effort.
4. Ok, autocomplete is REALLY bothering you? Disable it!
- From the Outlook Inbox, click on File then Options
- In the Outlook Options window, click Mail
- Scroll down to the Send messages section
- Uncheck “Show AutoComplete List to suggest names when typing in the To, Cc, and Bcc lines”
- Click OK
Now when you address an email you will not see any suggestions at all, but the CTRL+K will still work:
Outlook for Task Management? Save me!
Now, I am also a big advocate of task lists, so I use my Outlook task list extensively. I use to use a combination of my Inbox and calendar, but that wasn’t quite doing it. So, here are a couple of tips for using the Task list more effectively…
Did you know you can drag an email message to your calendar or task list? EASY! Then I can file the email and not worry about forgetting to do actions required for it.
But it ain’t always pretty! Here are a couple of things that are exasperating and workarounds for them:
Problem 1: Dragging to the Task List
If you have your task list displayed on the right side of the Outlook screen and drag the email there, you get the email WITH the attachment… but you CAN’T make any changes to the task (such as “10/3 – forwarded to Bill for comments”):
Problem 2: Dragging to the Task button:
If you drag it to the Task button on the left of the Outlook screen, you get the email WITHOUT the attachment… but you CAN make changes to the task. In fact, the task window will open up so you can add and change whatever you want:
Workarounds if you want BOTH the attachment and ability to make changes/notes:
1. Drag the email to the TASK button (option 3) and then drag the attachment into the opened Task window
2. Skip dragging the email – just drag the attachment from the email to the Task button.
Next Problem: Deleting the email
If you drag an email to the task list on the right and then delete the email – the task is also deleted.
This image shows three copies of the same email-turned-to-task. In the first and the last, the email was dragged to the Task button on the left. The middle task was created by dragging the email to the task list on the right.
I deleted the email and one of the tasks was also deleted – the task created by dragging the email to the right task list:
SO… if you drag an email to a task on the right – DON’T delete the email! Instead file it into a folder to clear it out of your Inbox.