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Integrated Business Apps -

Microsoft Outlook:
 Introduction

Microsoft Office:
 MS Office Document Integration

 

  MS Outlook Introduction
Introduces the experienced Windows user to Outlook.

Topics include:

  • exploring the Outlook working screen
  • creating formatting
  • sending, receiving and managing messages
  • attaching, receiving, opening, and saving attachments
  • managing time with the calendar by using the date navigator
  • arranging meetings and setting reminders
  • entering, updating, and viewing tasks
  • making journal entries.

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  MS Office Document Integration
Students learn how to integrate documents created in Microsoft Office
standard applications.

Topics include:

  • using the Microsoft Office Shortcut bar
  • using the Getting Results book
  • using templates
  • coping and linking data
  • embedding objects
  • studying shared office tools
  • special PowerPoint integration features
  • using the Office binder.

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Guest Article:

Outlook Tips to Boost Your Productivity
By Steve Singleton

Most full-time office workers have an employer-provided e-mail account, and chances are, it's with Microsoft Outlook. Many of us send and receive dozens of e-mails per day. Here are some tips about making the most of Outlook's substantial capabilities when you are the sender. Not taking advantage of what is available is like keeping your brand new Ferrari continually in first gear.

If you think you are already on the Outlook fast track, at least slow down long enough to check out the points lower in the list (arranged roughly from most to least important). Since nearly all of us are self-taught in our Outlook expertise, we are all at different levels. Now, let's rev 'er up and see what she'll do!


1. Know when to call and when to e-mail.

The rule of thumb is, the less intrusive you are the better, which is definitely e-mail. If you need to transmit and/or receive information in a hurry, however, a phone call is better. But what if you know the recipient is tied up in a conference call though still in their office? You might be able to reach them by e-mail without interrupting their call. E-mail also works better if your target is away from the office, especially if you know they have a Blackberry. If a dialogue between you is necessary, a phone call is probably more efficient.


2. Carefully craft your subject line

Unfortunately, too few people give their subject line the attention it deserves. How many times do you get an e-mail with a blank subject line or one that is unhelpful, like "message for you"? Since many of us scan our inbox without the reading pane turned on, the subject line and name of the recipient is how we determine whether to open the message. Make your subject line convey the most vital information in about six to eight words. If that number of words is the entire content of your message, consider letting the subject line carry the entire message. If you choose this option, end the subject line with "", which stands for "End of Message."


3. Carefully word your e-mail

Remember Rudyard Kipling's famous poem, which begins:

I keep six honest serving-men
They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

These six features should be prominent in your e-mail messages. If at all possible, put them all in the opening paragraph, because, unfortunately, many people read the first paragraph of an e-mail and then scan the rest of the message. If the highly pertinent material is not in the opening paragraph, they will probably miss it.


4. Make a habit of reading over the e-mail before you send.

Just a few seconds of proofreading could save you the embarrassment of misspelled words or tangled grammar. Sometimes the mistake materially changes the message, as in leaving out the "not" in the sentence, "I will not be able to work overtime on Thursday evening." Give yourself some reassurance, and save yourself a lot of grief.


5. Learn how to recall a message.

Have you ever discovered, three seconds after you hit "Send", that your outgoing message has a serious error? You can recall your message, and, if you do it immediately, you stand a good chance of retrieving your mangled message without your recipient's knowledge of your mistake. Here's how to recall a message:

  • Go to the "Sent" folder and open the message from there. NOTE: You have to actually open the message. You will not be able to access "Recall" from the Inbox's reading pane.
  • With the cursor in the "Message" field, select "Recall this message" from the Actions menu.


6. Set the levels of importance and sensitivity.

Outlook provides three options to identify the relative importance of your message: high importance, signified by a red exclamation point; low importance, indicated by a blue downward arrow; and normal, the default setting. Just use the high-importance icon sparingly; no one listens when you cry "Wolf!" too often.

The same holds true for the sensitivity levels (confidential, private, personal, and normal). Both of these bundles of options are available in a dialogue box that pops up when you select the "Options..." menu (it only appears when you are Composing a message). If you select one of the levels other than "Normal," a pre-set message will appear above the "To/From" rows with the preset messages. Because it appears there, however, and not in the message window itself, an inattentive recipient can easily overlook it. You might desire, therefore, to repeat the sensitivity or importance message within the message window.


7. Flag your message for follow-up.

While composing your message, if you click on the menu icon that looks like a pennant on a stick, a dialogue box will appear that permits you to select from a variety of options to identify what kind of response you are expecting. Your options include: Call, Do not forward, Follow up, For your information, Forward, No response needed, Read, Reply, Reply to all, and Review. You also have the option of setting the day and time (in 30-minute increments) for the response deadline.

Once more, when the recipient gets your e-mail, all of this information will appear as a column within the Inbox if that column is turned on and above the "To/From" rows of the message itself. Keep in mind that your recipient might easily overlook this information unless you repeat it in the message window. In e-mail communications, a little redundancy is a good thing.

8. Use read receipt requested when your message requires an immediate response.

That same "Options..." dialogue box permits you to check "Delivery receipt" (almost never needed for internal e-mailing) and "Read receipt requested." Requesting a read receipt accomplishes two purposes: it lets you know that the recipient opened your message, and it conveys to them a sense of importance and urgency. If these two purposes do not pertain to your message, uncheck read receipt requested.

Remember that the recipient can by-pass your request either by reading your message from the reading pane or by choosing not to return the receipt. Requesting a read receipt, however, can be useful if you are unsure whether the recipient is available. If no receipt from your urgent messages gets back to you, you'd better try making a phone call.

9. Turn off receipt requested and read receipt requested, especially when e-mailing to large group.

Turning on receipt requests unnecessarily is a good way to flood your Inbox with meaningless messages, especially if you e-mail goes out to a large group. Do yourself and them a favor: uncheck it in the "Options..." dialogue box.

By learning how to use Outlook--or whatever e-mail application you have--more effectively, you can boost your productivity with little or no cost. Happy e-mails to you!

Copyright © 2005 Steve Singleton, All rights reserved.

About the Author:
Steve Singleton has been a business consultant, news editor, reporter, professional speaker and trainer, and college instructor. He is currently coordinates midwestern and southwestern internal communications for a major financial printer. He has written and edited several books and numerous articles on subjects of interest to Bible students. He has taught seminars and workshops in 11 states and the Caribbean.

Go to his DeeperStudy.com for Bible study resources, no matter what your level of expertise. Explore "The Shallows," plumb "The Depths," or use the well-organized "Study Links" for original sources in English translation. Sign up for Steve's free "DeeperStudy Newsletter."


 


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