How to Effectively Use Outlook (for more than just emailing your friends in class)

Outlook is one of the most used resources for organization and time management on campus. Last week’s issue contained an article from Dr. Art Sunleaf, Dean of Students, that gave many helpful tips and hints about time management. Dr. Sunleaf’s tips and explanation of time management were phenomenal, and caused us to want to follow up with a quick “how-to” on using Outlook. Here are a few features of Outlook you might not know exist:

1. “Invite Attendees”- In the calendar portion of Outlook you can make appointments, right? True. Well, you can also use this “Invite Attendees” option to send the appointment/meeting details to the members of your group, your professor, or anyone who might need to be in attendance at your meeting or event. This option allows for you to send the details (ex. date, time, location, others in attendance, brief message) to those who you wish to attend, and the appointment will ask them to respond their attendance or lack of attendance to you, as well as place it on their personal Outlook calendar for them.

2. “Scheduling Assistant”- When inviting attendees to meetings and events, it is often best to plan a time that works for everyone involved, right? Well that got a lot easier with the use of the scheduling assistant. Instead of sending 30+ invitations until everyone has accepted the time of the meeting, you are able to use the scheduling assistant to see when people are free or busy. Their calendar and yours will line up by date and time to show when both of you are busy, and when possible meeting times are.

3. “Sharing Calendars”- Now that you know about the scheduling assistant, you can take your relationship with those closest to you even further. You are able to share your calendar with other people completely. They will be able to access your calendar in depth, whenever they want, and you can even change permission settings so that they can add, edit or delete events off your calendar. This is a great option for clingy girlfriends, or obsessive mothers.
1. “Contact Group”- Did you know that you can make a group of contacts so that instead of typing in the names of all 46 people on your club committee every time you send a reminder email, you can simply create a group once and type in the group name each subsequent time to send it to those people. Nifty, huh?

2. “Blind Carbon Copy”- Need to send an email and have a third party read it, but not let the person you are sending it to know that the third party is in on the loop? Instead of sending the email, then forwarding what you send to the third party, you can do it in one fell swoop. Put the third party in the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) line. They will receive the email but it will not show on the original recipient’s email that anyone was copied. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS A CC (carbon copy). Recipients can view who is CC-ed on emails.

3. “Folders”- Tired of your email piling up? You can organize emails into folders! Similar to organizing your papers into folders by class, you can create folders for emails to sort them by classwork, fun, or organizations. Taking the time to sort emails is helpful when you need to look back and find things you sent or received but haven’t had a chance to deal with yet, or needed to save for a later date.

Hope these features help you with time management and keeping your life together as mid-terms get closer.

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