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There is a simple rule when it comes to adding contact information into Outlook, and that is that there are no rules. You can add as much or as little information as you need, knowing that you can always go back and add additional contact information again later, if you need it. We're going to start by accessing the contact area by clicking the Contacts icon in the Navigation Bar. To add a new contact, I simply go up to New Contact, and click the button. Outlook rewards us with a blank form, and the object of the game is to fill in as much information as you have.
It seems pretty self-explanatory, but I want to point out a couple of cool things that you can do along the way; for example, we'll start by adding in the person's name. So, in this case, I'm going to type in Mary Smith. It seems pretty easy. When I hit my tab key, you notice that Outlook automatically filed the name as Smith, Mary, which means I will find Mary alphabetically among the Ss. Now, you notice that there is a Full Name button to the left of her name.
If I click that, you could see that Outlook divided her name into a First Name and a Last Name, which is pretty cool. Let's look at some of the variations of her name. Let's say her folks named her Mary Sue and I want to make sure that I remember that her first name is Mary Sue. If I click that Full Name button, I can actually go back in here and correct this. So, when I do letters to Mary Sue, it will appear as Mary Sue, and not just simply Mary. Mary Sue might get married, and choose to change her name to something along these lines.
I might determine that I want her to be alphabetized with the Gs rather than the Ss. Not a problem. I take a trip back to that Full Name box and simply change her Last Name to Garcia Smith. Outlook catches on right away, and yes , she will be alphabetized with the Gs. Now, Outlook is a very smart program. Mary Smith might go on to medical school, and they add two letters to the end of her name.
Once again, Outlook understands that MD is not a last name, but a suffix. Now, any of the fields that have dropdown arrows mean that you can add multiple entities to them; for example, Mary Sue's e-mail address might be firstname.lastname@example.org, but maybe I also want to keep track of her personal e-mail address. In that case, I can hit the dropdown button, choose the second e-mail and type down in, as well.
The same holds true for phone numbers and addresses. For example, I might not have Mary Sue's home address or her home phone number. So, I can type in her business number up here and determine that I really don't need her home address, but I could hit the dropdown next to Home, and change this to Business, and type in a second phone number. When I type in her address, I can also put in a second address by hitting the dropdown, changing it to Home, and filling in a second address.
One of the nice things about Outlook is that as I type in this information, a business card will be created up in the top giving me a synopsis of all the different options. Now, if I'd like to have a picture of Mary show, I can simply double-click the Picture icon, navigate to the location where I might have a picture of Mary, and click OK. I'll now see a picture of Mary, or a picture that represents Mary. If I have additional notes to put in about Mary, I can type them here.
If there is additional information that I need to track on Mary, I might find it by going up to the Show section of the Ribbon and clicking on Details. Here I can put in more information, including her spouse's name, her birthday and her anniversary. One of the other things I often do is to categorize my contacts. So, in this case, I might categorize her as blue, knowing that blue are kind of my personal contacts. If I decide I want to communicate with Mary, I can go to the Communication part of the Ribbon and, for example, I might want to schedule a meeting with Mary.
I could do so by simply clicking on the Meeting icon, filling in the subject and the location of our meeting, and clicking Save to save the meeting. If I decide that I want to save this contact, I can simply click on Save & Close. If I have other contacts to add, I can click on Save & New, and I'll get another blank form, which I can proceed to fill in with the new contact information. In this case, I'm going to click on Save & Close.
Sometimes I'm adding new contacts, and I don't really want to stop and put in all the details, or maybe I don't have the details. What sometimes I do in that case is switch my views by clicking on the View tab, go into Change View and go into the List View. You notice at the top of the List View, I have a prompt to click here if I want to add a new contact. So, I'm going to do as the directions tell me. I'm going to click here. I'm going to add in a new contact, and I can fill in as much or as little as I need.
Adding your contacts to Outlook is a great way to ensure that you'll have all the contact information you need at your fingertips. I, for one, love the ability to access someone's Web site with the click of a button, or to be able to shoot off an e-mail without having to look up someone's e-mail address.
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