Outlook.com Rolls Out Enhancements

I have recommended Outlook.com many times as my “personal email service” of choice. The interface has always been easy to use while maintaining a professional – clean environment to work in. This service continues to get better.

Outlook is rolling out a bunch of new features in a new beta version that was recently announced. If you’re interested in test driving them now, it’s a simple as using a different URL to log in.

https://outlook.live.com/mail/

This will give you immediate access to the beta, without having to wait for it to show up as an option in your account.

When you first load the beta version, Outlook will give you a rundown of the new features you can use. If you change your mind about using the beta version, you should be able to go back to the pre-beta version by toggling the beta button.

According to The Verge, however, if Outlook hasn’t already rolled out the new beta to your account, this workaround will no longer work if you toggle the beta off.

So what do you get with the beta?

New Interface and Robust Search

The beta interface is sleeker, with shortcuts to your inbox, calendar, contacts, photos, and tasks. Search has also been improved with the ability to now preview files and photos in your conversation lists.

See All Your Photos in One Place

A key feature that Outlook highlights when you make the switch over to the beta version is the ability to view all your photos in one place. Click the photo icon in the menu on the left to see all photos you have sent or received. This is also searchable, but only by file name.

Quick Suggestions

As you type, Outlook will offer suggestions based on your email. For example, if you suggest a coffee shop when arranging to meet a friend, Outlook will create a link that you can click and insert more info about that location or event right in your email.

If you prefer to turn this feature off, go to Settings > View Full Settings > Mail > Composeand uncheck the Quick Suggestions box. (Although it is worth mentioning that with the beta features toggled on, we never saw any quick suggestions no matter what we typed.)

New Personalization Features

The sleek interface brings with it so much more robust personalization features for how your inbox is set up. You can put your favorite contacts or folders front and center, making it easier to find the messages that matter to you.

You can also search for emojis and GIFs by clicking the smiley face button in your compose window, to add even more personality to your messages.

Microsoft has also said to be on the lookout for more changes to Calendar and People over the next few months.

Share This:

Organizing Your Folders in Outlook 2016

Would you rather spend less time searching and scrolling in Outlook and more time composing and replying? Then you need to learn about the benefits of folders and subfolders.

Image result for outlook tip

Read on to get started with folders.

Folder management

By default an Outlook account will present the following folders:

  • Inbox — The inbox is the primary location for incoming messages.
  • Drafts — Drafts are messages that have been either completely or partially composed but have not been sent yet. Drafted messages are still able to be opened and edited before sending.
  • Sent Items — A copy of each message you send will be saved in the Sent Items folder. They are not visible in the inbox folder.
  • Deleted Items — As a message is chosen to be deleted, it’s moved to the Deleted Items folder. These messages will be automatically purged after 30 days unless the Retention Policy is changed. Users can also choose to empty the folder of its contents at any time.
  • Clutter — Messages that are considered low priority will be redirected to the Clutter folder. Outlook recognizes which messages are read and determines the unread messages to be of little importance.
  • Junk Email — Messages that seem to exude the appearance of junk mail will be redirected to this folder.
  • Archive — Archiving older messages moves them from the main .pst file into a separate archive.pst file.

Depending on your organization, you may see additional folders created by an administrator or by other services, such as Skype or Yammer. Now understanding the folders that are first presented to you, you should know that you cannot delete these folders. You can, however, create folders of your own and delete them, as well.

How to create a folder:
  1. Locate where the new folder should live on the left pane.
  2. Right-click on the location.
  3. Select New Folder.
  4. Input a name in the resulting Name box.
  5. Press Enter to create.
How to delete a folder:
  1. Right-click on the folder to be deleted.
  2. Select Delete from the command menu.
  3. Select Yes to confirm.

Folder creation and deletion are parts of the overall folder management options found when you right-click on the left pane of the Outlook interface. Keep in mind that many of the actions are grayed out for default folders. Here are the options that are presented:

  • Open in New Window — This opens another Outlook 2016 window with the selected folder opened.
  • New Folder — Creates a folder or sub-folder.
  • Rename Folder — This allows you to rename any folder or subfolder that you created.
  • Copy Folder — This copies the selected folder as a subfolder. You can then choose the destination folder in the resulting Copy Folder pop up box.
  • Move Folder — You can move the folder into any existing folder from inside the popup box.
  • Delete Folder — This option moves the folder and its contents to the Deleted Items folder.
  • Mark all as Read — All messages and other items in the folder will be marked as read.
  • Clean up Folder — Duplicate or redundant messages will be automatically moved to the Deleted Items folder.
  • Delete All — All items in the folder will be deleted. If you choose this action with a folder that contains subfolders, the sub-folders will be removed as well.
  • Show in Favorites — Choose to add this folder to the Favorites section, which is located near the top of the left panel.
  • Remove from Favorites — This option appears when right-clicking in the Favorites section. It removes the folder from Favorites but does not delete it.
  • Sort Subfolders A to Z — All sub folders within a folder will be listed alphabetically.
  • Move Up/Down — Folders and subfolders can be moved up or down the list, one entry at a time.
  • Properties — This action takes you the properties menu of the folder. A series of settings are presented such as selecting the folder policy, permissions and viewing the folder size.
Search folders

searching folders

Those who need Outlook to retain a large volume of messages could potentially have difficulty retrieving information. A Search Folder aims to eliminate the needle-in-a-haystack scenario. It presents messages that match search criteria determined by the user. It doesn’t matter if the messages are stored in various folders. As long as they are contained within the same .pst file, they will be found.

How to create a customized search folder:
  1. Select the Folder tab from the ribbon.
  2. Select New Search Folder.
  3. Select Create a custom Search Folder from the Select a Search Folder list.
  4. Click Choose.
  5. Enter the name of the folder in the name box.
  6. Click Criteria to pick your options from the following sections:
    • Messages – Choose to search for specific words from the subject or body, specific contacts or recipients.
    • More Choices – This offers more criteria such as specifying read or unread items, attachments and level of importance.
    • Advanced – This gives the user the option to create finely tuned criteria to narrow down result. This provides a list of criterion and allows you to choose conditions and values.
  7. Click Browse to select a specific folder to include in the search.
  8. Click Ok on each dialog box to confirm your selections.
How to create a pre-defined search folder:
  1. Select Folder from the ribbon.
  2. Choose New Search folder.
  3. Select a folder type from the Select a Search Folder list.
  4. Select Criteria under the Customize Search Folder section.
  5. Select Ok to save the search folder.
Folder sharing and delegation

sharing folders

Your Outlook folders can also be a place for collaboration. Depending on the necessary tasks, you can either choose to share a folder or delegate one. To delegate is to allow someone to act on your behalf, such as responding to emails or managing items in your folders. Sharing folders is commonly used to promote collaboration.

How to delegate a folder:
  1. Click on File.
  2. Click on Account Settings under Account Information.
  3. Click on Delegate Access.
  4. Click on Add.
  5. Search and select the individual.
  6. Click Add
  7. Select the permission level for the individual under the Permissions box.
  8. Right-click on the account.
  9. Select Folder Permissions.
    • Reviewer – Users can read items but cannot delete them.
    • Author – Users can read and create items.
    • Editor – Users can read, create and modify items.10.Click on the name of the person.11. Select the Permission Level. (then select OK)
How to remove a delegate:
  1. Click on File.
  2. Click on Account Information.
  3. Click on Delegate Access.
  4. Select the name of the current delegate.
  5. Click Remove.
  6. Click Ok.
How to share a folder
  1. Click on the Folder Tab in the ribbon.
  2. Click on Folder Permission in the Properties section
  3. Click on the Permissions tab in the Inbox Properties box.
  4. Click Add to add a user.
  5. Locate the person in the address list.
  6. Click Add
  7. Click Ok.
  8. Select an option from the Permission Level list.
    • Owner – Change permission levels for others who have access. Create, read, modify and delete contents of a folder.
    • Publishing Editor – All contents that the owner has created can be read and deleted. Content and subfolders can be created as well.
    • Editor – All items can be created read and modified.
    • Publishing Author – Items can be modified, deleted, created and read. Sub-folders can be created as well.
    • Author – Allows users to read and create items that the owner has created.
    • Nonediting Author – Owner created items can be deleted. Can create and read items.
    • Reviewer – Can read items but cannot delete them.
    • Contributor – Users can only create items.
  9. Select specific permission in the provided fields.
  10. Click Apply.
  11. Click Ok.
How to stop sharing a folder:
  1. Access the Folder tab from the ribbon.
  2. Select Folder permissions.
  3. Click on the name of the individual.
  4. Select None to suspend sharing.
  5. Select Remove to stop sharing.
Wrapping up

Being able to effectively manage folders enables you to be more productive in your communication. It also allows you to make Outlook both personal and comfortable.

Share This:

A Look @ Microsoft’s Outlook App

I have been recommending the Outlook mail app for iOS and Android for almost 2 years now. I have also written about it several times. During the past several months Microsoft has updated their mail app and has made it even better.

Image result for outlook app ios

Why Outlook?

Outlook’s design is very clean & unique.

Outlook has 5 icons across the bottom: Mail, Calendars, Files, People, and Settings. The way it’s laid out makes it feel like a complete communications – file management ecosystem. You are only one tap away from getting what you need. It uses a light theme with black and blue text throughout. Usually I prefer darker themes, but I feel like the design is here is very easy on the eyes. I don’t ever feel like the UI user interface) is distracting; it melts away and allows me to focus on what I need to see.

From a usability perspective, Outlook really shines. It provides me with just enough options to make it my own, but not so many that I am overwhelmed or spend time tinkering.

Outlook calendar

I love the built-in calendar function. I like being able to see email and my schedule in one app. The compose screen is simple to use as well. It allows me to change which account I am sending from, add files, photos, send calendar invites, or see my calendar availability.

One important aspect of all third-party email apps is which types of email services it supports. Outlook supports Office 365, Outlook.com, Exchange, Yahoo, iCloud, Google, and IMAP. (POP3 isn’t supported, so if you require it, you need to look elsewhere.)

Outlook supported email accounts

Outlook has support for iPhones with 3D Touch features. From the 3D Touch menu, you can hop right to your calendar, create a new event, or start a new email. I find myself using the View Calendar function frequently. A Notification Center widget and watchOS app are included as well.

Outlook supports push notifications for new emails, or just “important ones” with a feature Outlook calls Focused Inbox.

Focused Inbox sorts your email so you see the important ones first. It does this by considering past emails from a particular sender and your address book. You can also reclassify emails as you go in order to help train it. The calendar feature can also notify you of upcoming appointments as well as send short emails letting the people in your meeting know you are running late.

The snooze/delay function of email was made popular by Mailbox, but has since become adopted by a handful of other apps. Outlook offers a feature that allows you to control which folder your snoozed emails are stored. Your options for snoozing are in a few hours, this evening, tomorrow morning, or a custom time. Outlook doesn’t offer the ability to customize these times, and I’d like to see that added in the future.

Like I mentioned earlier, I like the fact that Outlook has a built-in calendar. It also has native support for a number of file systems. It includes OneDrive, Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive. While this isn’t as important for attaching files (due to document providers), it does offer some advantages. There is a file screen that shows your most recent files for cloud document apps, as well as making saving attachments faster.

A recent update added third-party app integration through “add-ins.” Add-ins let you turn any email into a Trello card, save a message to Evernote, insert a GIF, translate messages, and more. These are currently only available to users with Office 365 email addresses, however.

You do not need to settle for the built-in mail apps on your iOS or Android smartphone. If you decide to take the time to explore other options, I definitely recommend starting with Microsoft’s Outlook app,

 

Share This:

App Spotlight – Outlook for iOS

Although I gave up on Microsoft’s Windows Phone a couple of years ago I still have plenty of good memories of me and my nifty Windows Phone. In fact if you are in a nostalgic mood you can browse my Windows Phone articles here.

All is not lost for Microsoft in the smartphone world. Even though I gave into Apple empire for both myself personally and my organization all is not lost. That’s because Microsoft has been publishing apps at an amazing rate during the past two years and many of them are simply top notch.

One of my favorite Microsoft Apps is “Outlook”. Why do I recommend trashing Apple’s default mail app and installing Outlook?

Phones with Outlook app.

Innovation and Consolidation 

The Microsoft Outlook app is a mobile productivity powerhouse, bringing your email, attachments, contacts and calendars into easy reach. Outlook’s built-in analytic engine automatically surfaces important email (across multiple accounts) based on your communications, and quick swipe controls allow you to easily triage your email. It’s a great mobile email app, and works with Exchange, Office 365, Outlook.com, Gmail, Yahoo Mail and iCloud email accounts.

Also included with Outlook is your calendar, files (OneDrive, Box, Dropbox & Google Drive) and contacts. If you are using Apple’s default apps you have separate programs for each of these. With Outlook – you have one app to control them all.

Of course if you rely on Microsoft Outlook on your desktop this is the perfect companion app on your smartphone or mobile device.

You can learn more about Microsoft’s Outlook app here.

Share This:

Technology Training Day @ West Chester

Today much of our staff got together for our quarterly technology training. Although you may have not been there – you can check out much of what we talked about right here.

We covered Microsoft Excel, Outlook, Word, OneNote, Skype for Business and the very scary situation that is Ransomware.

 

Share This:

Outlook.com Premium at a Bargain Price

My favorite personal email service just got better… for $19.99 a year, for a limited time after which the annual cost grows.

Image result for outlook.com premium

As with the consumer-oriented “Ad-free Outlook.com,” a $20 per year deal that scrubs advertisements from the service, Outlook.com Premium also erases ads from the five inboxes.

According to the small print on the Premium website, 12 months of the service will cost $20 until the end of March, at which time it will climb to $50, its regular price.

Renewals for those who get in under the discount wire will run up to $30 — $20 for the Outlook.com service, $10 for the domain name, if there is one — apparently until Microsoft decides to raise the price. “You will be notified if the price changes,” the website said.

Microsoft has aggressively promoted subscriptions for several years, but with the launch of Windows 10 — and that operating system’s “software-as-a-service” model — the company accelerated efforts with new enterprise-grade subscriptions to Windows as well as programs targeting consumers, such as the Groove music streaming service and now Outlook.com Premium.

Microsoft today officially launched a premium-grade Outlook.com email service in the U.S. that omits ads, provides five inboxes and supports personalized addresses.

If you are looking for a inexpensive email service that is professional, easy to use and modern in it’s offerings you cannot go wrong with Outlook.com.

Share This:

Outlook Mobile Gets 2 Year Anniversary Improvements

Outlook on my iPhone is awesome and may be my most used mobile app, and it just got better. That’s because today Microsoft today announced their two-year anniversary of Outlook Mobile for Android and iOS.

Starting today, the iOS version is gaining extensibility thanks to a new add-ins capability.

Outlook Mobile Hits Two Year Anniversary, Gets Extensible

Android will pick up this feature soon, Microsoft adds.

“Two years ago, we launched Outlook mobile with the goal of helping you accomplish more while on the go,” Microsoft’s Javier Soltero writes in a new post to the Office Blogs. “More means an inbox that helps you focus on the emails that matter most. More means a calendar that can manage your entire day, not just show you your schedule. And today, we are excited to continue that mission by bringing apps to your inbox with add-ins for Outlook on iOS.”

For this initial launch, Outlook for iOS will support several add-ins, including:

Dynamics 365. This add-in provides “real time insights about your business contacts and their organization, right in your inbox, so you can focus on the selling and have more meaningful interactions,” Microsoft says.

Translator. Helps you read messages in your preferred language, across devices, with support for 60 languages.

Nimble. Helps you get prepared for meetings and engage effectively with business intelligence about your email contacts and their organizations, right in email.

Trello. Turns your email into actionable items, keep track of projects, and make sure emails don’t go unseen.

Evernote. Capture what’s on your mind and stay organized by clipping emails from Outlook to a project notebook in Evernote.

Smartsheet. Helps you manage and automate work so you can get work assigned, updated, and completed more quickly.

GIPHY. This one helps you add GIFs to your emails. Why? Why ask why?

Microsoft is also providing developers with the information they need to write their own add-ins, so we should see these capabilities improve nicely over time.

Currently, add-ins are only available when reading email. But Microsoft says it will be adding more add-in actions for composing or replying to email in the future too.

Share This:

Technology Training for November 10, 2016

Today’s Technology Training shared for all of our dedicated readers.

Share This:

Microsoft Begins to Introduce “Outlook Premium”

Recently, Microsoft very quietly started testing a Premium subscription for Outlook.com. I love this free email service & interface. It is easy to use and compatible with every service that I can find.

Now, Microsoft seems to have updated the official registration page for Outlook.com Premium, which now states that the service will cost $3.99 per month. However, users will be able to try out the feature free for a year, which is quite impressive. It is worth noting that Microsoft could possibly allow Office 365 users to use Outlook.com Premium for free, which will be a good offer, too. For those unfamiliar, here are just some of the features of Outlook.com Premium:

The upcoming Outlook.com Premium features:

  • Five personalized email addresses: Get personalized email addresseslikemichael@smithcrew.com* for up to five people. Your new email syncs with your existing Outlook.com mailbox, so there’s no additional setup.
  • Staying connected has never been so easy: Share calendars, contacts, and documents with ease. Sharing relationships are set up automatically between the people who have email addresses on your domain.
  • An ad-free inbox: Outlook.com Premium has no banner ads, so you can enjoy a distraction-free view of your email, photos and documents.
  • Powered by the new Outlook.com: Gain access to a new, modern inbox that includes enhanced security, privacy, and reliability features. Outlook.com gives you new ways to collaborate, manage your time, and get things done.

 

Outlook.com Premium is currently in the Pilot stage, and Microsoft is allowing users to sign-up for the service. I hope to be included in this pilot program soon and will of course report here if it is worth the $3.99 a month.

Share This:

Email Issues with Outlook 2016 for POP3 Arise

Having any issues with deleted or duplicated emails lately?

A recent Microsoft Support Knowledge Base article has been posted that describes a problem with POP3 accounts.

POP3 accounts are what providers such as Verizon and Comcast rely on for their email service.

outlook

The article, KB3145116, describes the following as the symptoms that are indicative of this issue:

  • After Outlook downloads your email, all the email messages on the server are deleted from the Inbox.
  • Email messages are downloaded multiple times in Outlook, causing duplicate items.

The issues described above occur if you are using Outlook 2016 version 16.0.6568.2025 and have setup any email accounts that are accessed using the POP3 protocol.

There are three settings that may cause the inadvertent and unexpected removal or duplication of emails if you have the Leave a copy of messages on the Server enabled along with these options:

  • If Remove from server after X days is enabled it may cause emails to be deleted from your account on the server.
  • If Remove from server after X days is disabled it may cause emails to be duplicated in your local account.
Outloook 2016 POP3 Account Settings

Microsoft is currently looking into this problem and will update the knowledge base article once they have more information. I am sure an appropriate update will also be shipped once they know what needs to be updated/modified.

In the interim they have published two workaround options for this which include using IMAP instead of POP3, if your service provider supports it of course, while the second method is to revert back to a previous version of Outlook/Office 2016.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to use either of those options so hopefully this gets resolved sooner rather than later.

If you can take advantage of either workaround you can get the full step by step process on the KB3145116 page at Microsoft’s Support site.

Share This:

1 2 3