Dec 24, 2010

7 tips to manage your contacts in Outlook 2007


       One common question is how to manage business contacts in Outlook.  There are seven important key steps to succeed in doing this well.

1. Storing Customer Email Addresses

Outlook can store up to three email addresses per business contact. This is one of the hidden keys to keeping track of contact relations, and the cornerstone of creating a history of correspondence, communications, and actions associated with your clients.


These built in ways to see contact data, allow you to see information you might not have noticed before.  For instance, if you choose to view by company, you'll see all the contacts in your Outlook directory who work for the same company.  Choose to view by flag status, and you'll be able to see all the contacts which have been flagged.

3. Categories

You can either use  the default categories provided in Outlook, or you can also create your own custom ones.  Viewing by categories allows you to see all the contacts associated with a particular keyword.  If you use categories, this view allows you to do a lot more with your contacts. You can also categorize the categories according to colors and name them. 
Example: You can use Category name to be "High importance" and assign a red color to it and then follow it up with the 2nd category to be "Medium importance" and assign it an Amber color.

4. Actions

This is the best way to start up just about anything.  While the Actions menu the previous Outlook version was simpler, you can still find the same features in an open contact item within the Contact Tab > "Communication Group", and the Insert Tab > "Include group" and "Links group". If you're looking at your contacts list but don't have a contact item open, then select (not the same as open) a contact item and look in the Actions menu for Create > New "x" for Contact. 
Use these in every contact record to start relating correspondence and other items to that specific contact.  There are lots of things you can associate with a contact using these.  If you start any action from here, the item will automatically be linked with the contact record.

5. Contacts Link Field

You can use the contacts field to associate one contact with another contact.  Do you have an existing appointment item that you'd like to associate with another contact?  Simply click the contacts like button and it's done! What? You don't see the Contacts link field in your Outlook 2007? Not to fear. Simply activate it by going up to 

Step: Tools menu > Options > Contact options > check the check box for "Contact Linking"
Now it will always show up in all your contacts.

6. Activities Tab

If you click the Activities tab on the record for any contact, it automatically looks for items in your default folders that are related.  Customize settings for this tab and it'll look in other Outlook folders, too.  You can choose to see only email items - both email received and email sent.

7. Mail Merging

Categories are a useful way to find contacts you need to use a mail merge on.  Use the mail merge process in word to see what letters will look like.  This gives each contact their own email with their own email address in the  "To" field, rather than a long list of CC and BCC addresses.  Use the activities tab to track the letter record associated with each contact you've performed a mail merge on.  That's how to use mail merge to make bulk letters to many individual contacts while still linking the item to the right contact record.

You can follow same steps on Windows 7 and Windows XP


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