t the risk of seeming like Charles Dickens’s Ebenezer Scrooge, I must say
that software can be expensive when you don’t know how to get results
with it. Likewise, it can be a real bargain regardless of cost if it solves an impor-
tant problem. In the past, I wasn’t getting the most of Microsoft Outlook
because the software instructions and the available literature taught me how
to use the product rather than how to solve my problems with it.
When I analyzed my business procedures and other people’s behavior, I had
one question: “How can I use Outlook to solve my business and productivity
problems?” To ensure that weekly reports were always delivered on time, I
asked each salesperson to open a recurrent task with a reminder set for the
day before the reports were due. The reports started to arrive on time. After
creating a workshop checklist, the procedures — using Outlook Contacts —
became fast and easy. The receptionist started creating invitations during
downtime. This book is the result of my practical experience while building
hundreds of applications and training and developing procedures. You paid
for Outlook; you can now increase your productivity by using Outlook more
About This Book
In this book, I show you how to organize yourself, your team, and your busi-
ness by creating procedures for goals control, communication through e-mail,
sales control, marketing activities, tasks, and information sharing. You dis-
cover how to use Outlook to help you change attitudes and achieve balance
in your life.
How can software solve attitude problems, you ask? Well, using the Reminder
feature can help employees remember to deliver a task on time. Sharing a
task folder with your boss paves the way to negotiating the tasks you should
do first. Using e-mail rules to filter out and expose behaviors helps to elimi-
nate unnecessary messages before they’re even written. All these actions can
reduce your anxiety and improve your attitude toward your goals.
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During the course of this book, I assume that you know how to turn your
computer on, get around in Windows, create a simple a letter with Word, and
use Outlook Express to send and receive e-mail. I also assume that you want
to increase your personal productivity by using Outlook features you may
not have used or seen, in order to improve your daily work or life. If you need
an Outlook book only, I suggest reading Outlook 2003 For Dummies (Wiley
Publishing, Inc.) by Bill Dyszel.
How This Book Is Organized
This book is organized into six parts. The chapters within each part cover
specific topics in detail. You can read each chapter without having to read
the chapters before it, which is helpful if you have better things to do with
your time. You can even just read sections within a chapter without reading
the entire chapter. I may occasionally refer you to somewhere else in the
book for more detail or background information on a particular subject.
Each part covers a major area of managing your business by using Outlook.
The following sections summarize what you find in each part:
Part I: Managing Any Business
Managing a business includes simple things that make it successful, not includ-
ing the sales and financial aspects. Businesses of all kinds share common
issues revolving around employee relations, planning, and training. But before
you organize your business, you have to organize yourself. Remembering to
accomplish your tasks by their deadlines, arriving at meetings on time, super-
vising your team, and defining and achieving your goals are all areas in which
Outlook can help you get organized.
Part II: Managing Contact Information
Some people think that all you need to know about a customer is a name,
phone number, and e-mail address. The Outlook Contacts list allows you to
fill in the most complete contact record ever imagined. These records can
become your customer profiles. You can easily customize Outlook forms and
contacts according to your business needs.
In addition, the Business Contact Manager (BCM) is a free add-in that comes
with the Office Small Business and Professional edition. BCM includes Account
Managing Your Business with Outlook 2003 For Dummies
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and Business Contact forms designed to control your sales and marketing
activities. You can use BCM without any customization. Version 2.0 allows
you to share the same customer base among your team members and custom
create reports and lists.
Part III: Handling Communication
Are you tired of receiving so many joke messages? The Zen of Inbox
Management shows you how to change your Inbox parking lot into a tollgate.
The e-nanny helps you organize your Inbox fast, and the e-office cleaner helps
you automate a daily deep-cleaning routine. Avoiding fraud and junk mail is not
only a matter of building a firewall, but also involves becoming wise.
Collaborative work becomes smooth when everybody uses the Calendar’s
invitation feature and task requests. Sharing the Calendar and Tasks list helps
the team work with fewer interruptions. You can also easily shorten meeting
setup time, without additional e-mail and phone calls, when your team uses
the Calendar and you check the Next Available Time in the team’s schedule.
Other tips in this part can change your concept of meeting planning and trav-
eling and working externally.
Part IV: Controlling Business Processes
In this part, you find out how to create a telemarketing campaign, including
how to configure the Contacts list for automatic dialing. You also discover
how to refine your customer list by using filters and create direct-mail cam-
paigns with a handy direct-mail checklist. In addition, you use Outlook’s map-
ping and Journal features.
Part V: The Part of Tens
Here, you find tips for increasing your free time and managing your sales and
marketing activities. You also find ways to streamline and safeguard your data.
Part VI: Appendixes
Because this book explains how to configure Outlook specifically for business
purposes, it includes instructions for using the Calendar, Tasks list, Contacts
list, and the Journal. Appendix E even shows you how to move from Outlook
Express to Outlook 2003.
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Conventions Used in This Book
This book is intended for Windows and Office users. Whenever I want you to
choose a sequence of commands from the pull-down menus at the top of a
program, I use the phrasing, “Choose File➪Save.”
Icons Used in This Book
Throughout the margins of this book, you see little pictures that highlight
text you’ll want to pay special attention to:
This icon flags helpful information to make things easier for you.
This icon draws your attention to common problems and common mistakes
that may require technical support.
This icon highlights important details you won’t want to forget.
This icon marks advanced information that you may want to skip or ask a
techie guru to help you with.
Where to Go from Here
If you’re an experienced Outlook user, you can just jump straight into the
application you need. If you’re a newcomer to Outlook, you can start reading
the basics in the Appendixes. If you work in sales or marketing, try Chapter 4
before going to Chapters 14, 15, and 16. Enjoy the book in whatever order you
need it and increase your productivity!
Managing Your Business with Outlook 2003 For Dummies
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