Using Your Outlook Contacts
By Janet Barclay, Organized Assistant
If you use Outlook for your email, chances are you have a number,
possibly a large number, of email addresses stored in the Contacts
section. You've probably discovered that you can address messages
to one or more of your contacts several different ways with just
a click of the mouse. But if this is the only way you use your
Contacts, you're not using the feature to its full capacity. Here
are a few other ways you can tap into the full power of Outlook.
* Create a contact from an email message
Drag and drop a message onto the Contacts folder, and a new
Contact will automatically be created, using the name and email
address from the message header. The message body will appear in
the Notes section, which can be a valuable reminder of why the
person contacted you in the first place. If the sender has
provided their website address, mailing address, telephone
number, or other important information, you can copy and paste
this information into the appropriate fields.
* Assign categories to your contacts
If you have a lot of contacts, it is very easy to lose track of
people, including prospective clients. By assigning one or more
categories to each contact, you can easily locate the names of
the people you need to contact for a specific reason.
Outlook comes with several standard categories, but you will
likely want to create some of your own, based on your individual
needs. Click on Edit - Categories - Master Category List, and
type in your new category. Any categories added to the Master
Category List will also be available in the Outlook Calendar and
* View a map of your contact's location
If you're going to visit a client for the first time, or you
don't remember how to get there, you'll love this feature! When a
contact record is open, click on the Display Map of Address
button and you will be connected to MSN Maps, and a map of the
contact's address will be displayed. Of course, this will only
work if you have entered a street address! Unfortunately,
mapping is only functional for addresses within the USA.
* Print an address book
Many people who use a paper planner or address book don't see a
need to enter any details in Outlook other than the name and
email address. Not only is it very easy to print out an address
book right from Outlook, it offers a number of options for print
layouts, including layouts for popular planners such as Day
Runner, Day Timer, and Franklin Covey products.
By using Outlook as your address book, you don't have to put up
with messy changes and corrections, or spend time copying out
information every year, or whenever you replace your address book.
Instead, you can just print new pages from Outlook. You can even
specify which contacts you want printed if you don't need them
* Add a picture
Outlook has a new feature which allows you to add a picture
to a contact record. To some this may seem like more of a toy
than a tool, but if remembering faces is not your strong point,
you'll appreciate being able to view a photo before you head off
to meet someone!
About the Author
Janet Barclay, Organized Assistant, is a Professional Organizer,
Virtual Assistant and Time Management Consultant. For more
resources to enhance your productivity, visit