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As you begin to rely more and more on Outlook to manage your day-to-day life you'll probably find that you are adding more and more contacts. You might start by adding your business contacts and then continue on by adding a few personal contacts. Over a period of time, you might want to distinguish between your vendors, and your customers, and your prospects, so you'll need to add more folders. As usual, Outlook has a great way to help you tame the chaos by allowing you to add additional contact folders. We are going to start by going to the Contacts area in Outlook. So we are going to click on the Contacts icon in the Navigation Bar.
Now out of the box, Outlook gives us three contact folders. We have our main contact folder, which is where you've probably been adding your new contacts. You might have a Suggested Contacts folder, which is where Outlook will put certain contacts as you have been e- mailing, that they think you might want to add as your contacts. If you've linked in to the LinkedIn social network, it will also have a LinkedIn contact folder with all your LinkedIn contacts.
So, I am going to start up here in the Contacts folder, and I need to make two folders: one for my business contacts and one for my personal contacts. I am going to do that by doing a right-click on the Contacts folder and clicking on New Folder. I am going to type in "Business," and because there was so much fun, I am going to create that second personal folder, and again, I am going to make another trip up here to Contacts, do a right-click and make another new folder, which I am going to call Personal, and I click the OK button.
Now, you see my two folders here on my folder list. What I am going to do is start populating those folders with some of my existing contacts. There are a number of ways that I can do that. Now, I look over to my Contacts I know that six of these contacts are also business contacts. So I want to move them over to that new Business folder. So what I am going to do is highlight the first of the contacts, hold down my Shift key, and click on to the last of the six, and drag them over, in one fell swoop, to the Business folder.
So now you see that they have disappeared from the Contacts area, but if I click on the Business folder, there they are. This time I am going to go to my Contacts, and I am going to select the specific contacts that I know are personal contacts. So, what I am going to do is hold down my Ctrl key this time and click just the contacts that I want to carry over to my Personal folder. So again I hold down my Shift key and drag those three contacts over Personal.
Now sometimes I might decide that a contact belongs in both folders. So what I can do in that case, like with my friend Ross Atkins, I am going to hold down my right-mouse button this time and drag him over to the Business folder. When I let go of the button, Outlook is going to prompt me and ask if I would like to move this contact or to copy it. I'd like to copy it, so I click Copy. We notice that Ross Atkins remains in my main Contact folder, but he is also in my Business folder.
Now, as time goes on, I might want to create more folders. So, again I can continue to go back to my main Contact folder, right-click, and make as many new folders as I want. This time I am going to make one for Clients. I am going to make a second one for Vendors. But wait a minute. These business contacts are all vendors. So it might be a little bit easier for me just to simply rename that folder. Not a problem! I am going to do a right-click on that folder, and I am going to click on Rename.
I am going to change those to Vendors. Finally, I might be looking at my folder list and decide, you know, I'd like they have my Personal and my LinkedIn contacts towards the bottom of this list, and I really like to see those Clients up a little higher. So, what I can do is simply drag any one of my folders and let go where I see the black line. So now I have my Clients up at the top and my Personal down in the bottom.
Should I decide to delete a folder, I am going to be deleting all my contacts right along with that folder. So what I am going to do, instead, is to drag all the contacts that are in the folder back to the main folder. So I can do that by holding down my Ctrl key and hitting the letter A. That will select all the contacts in a folder, and I can drag them back to that main Contacts folder. Now when I'm sure that there is nobody in that Personal folder, I can right-click on that folder and choose to delete the folder.
Of course, Outlook is going to ask me if I am really sure and if I am, I click Yes, and the folder has now been removed to the Recycle Bin. I am going to do the same thing for my Vendors. Again, I am going to hold down my Ctrl key on my keyboard and hit the letter A and drag all those contacts over to my Contacts folder. But this time I get a prompt because our friend Ross Atkins was still in my Contacts folder.
Outlook has my back and wants to make sure that I don't end up with two contact records for Ross Atkins. At this point I have the option of either updating the existing contact with the new one and clicking Skip and not copying their contact record back over to my Contact folder. So in this case I am going to choose to skip it, and you notice Ross remains in the Vendors' folder. Now, I am going to delete that folder by doing a right-click. I am deleting that folder, and although I still have Ross in my main Contact folder, I don't have to worry about the duplicate.
If you already have a system of paper folders that you use to store things like insurance information and tax and warranty deeds, you know how important it is to set up folders. With Outlook, you can create as many folders as you want, without even having to run to the office store for supplies.
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