E-Mail Secrets Revealed – Technology Information – Tutorial

Helen Bradley

Ten tips for more efficient messaging

WHETHER YOU SPEND MOST OF YOUR TIME in your home office or on the road, e-mail is a lifeline–a critical connection to clients, coworkers, and customers. Though most of us know how to use the basic features of our e-mail packages, few of us take advantage of their full potential. This month, we find some hot ideas for getting more out of your e-mail solution.

1. E-mail to Go Using any Web browser, you can sign up for and use free e-mail accounts from a variety of Web-based messaging and e-mail services, such as the free version of HotOffice (www.hotoffice.com) or Excite Mail (mail.excite.com) while on the road. Many of these services will check all of your POP e-mail accounts automatically, and move all of your e-mail messages into a single inbox. All you need is your POP server name, username, and password.

2. AOL on the Road If you’re an America Online user and can’t get access to AOL software while traveling, don’t despair: You can send and receive AOL e-mail over the Web. Surf to www. aol.com, enter your screen name and password, and all your AOL mail will be at your fingertips. You’ll even hear the familiar clue-in, “You’ve Got Mail.”

3. Respecting People’s Privacy Whenever you send an e-mail message to more than one person, you can use the BCC: field to hide your distribution list. Put all the e-mail addresses from your distribution list in the BCC: field, placing your own e-mail address in the To: area. This hides each recipient’s contact information from the others’, making even mass e-mail messages appear more personal.

4. Receive Faxes Without a Fax Machine Save the expense of a dedicated fax machine by signing up for eFax.com, MessageASAP (www.messageasap.com), or a similar online service. These sites give you your own fax phone number and can receive and forward faxes to your e-mail account for you. Using a simple viewing program, you can click on the e-mail attachments to view your faxes. Receiving faxes is often free, simple to use, and–because faxes arrive as e-mail attachments–you can receive them wherever you can receive e-mail.

5. Where Is Your Office? When you need directions to a contact’s office, find them using Microsoft Outlook 2000’s map option. Open your contact’s address card inside Outlook and select the address to locate. Choose Actions, Display Map of Address, and your Web browser will automatically load and display the relevant street map. To print a copy, click the “Print this map” link and then select File, Print.

6. Here’s My vCard The digital equivalent of business cards, vCards use a common format understood by many e-mail programs and contact managers. To create your own Outlook vCard, add yourself as a contact in your contacts folder. Add the card to your outgoing e-mail by choosing Tools, Options, Mail Format, Signature Picker. Choose your signature and click Edit. From the vCard Options dropdown list, choose New vCard from Contact, then click your name, Add, and OK. Select your vCard from the dropdown list and click OK twice.

7. Message Templates Use message templates for frequently sent messages, and you won’t have to retype a lot of boilerplate text each time. In Outlook 2000, simply fill in the subject and message fields in a new message and choose File, Save As. From the Save dialog box, choose Outlook Template (*.OFT), type a filename, and click Save. To use your template again, hit File, New, Choose Form. From the Look dropdown menu, choose User Templates in File System, select your template, and click Open.

8. Sharing E-mail You can set up Outlook 2000 so that your coworkers or employees have their own inboxes, even if you’re all using the same PC. In Windows 98, choose Start, Settings, Control Panel, Users. Fill in the blanks to create a profile for each user. When the other members of your team log on to Windows using their own profile, they can set up their e-mail account rules and preferences individually.

9. Managing Multiple Accounts If you have multiple e-mail accounts in Outlook 2000, you can have the application organize incoming mail automatically. Create folders for each account using File, New, Folder. Create a rule for each account to file the incoming e-mail by choosing Tools, then Rules Wizard. Click New, choose “Check messages when they arrive,” and Next. Then select the account name and the folder to move the mail into.

10. A Quick Contact List for Your Outlook Toolbar Create this handy dropdown e-mail menu and save time on sending e-mail to your regular contacts. Right-click the toolbar and choose Customize, Commands tab. From the Categories list, drag New Menu onto the toolbar, right-click, and name it, “&Quick e-mail.”

From the Categories list, click File, then drag and drop Mail Message from the Commands list onto the new “Quick e-mail” menu. Right-click this new menu option; under Name, type the person’s name and choose Assign Hyperlink, Open, E-mail Address. Type his or her e-mail address and click OK. Add everyone you regularly e-mail to the menu.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Freedom Technology Media Group

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

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