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One of the things I love about software, in Outlook specifically, is that there are often numerous ways to get to the same outcome. The case in point are the various views you can use to view your Outlook contacts. We are going to start by going to the Contacts area Outlook, and we get there by clicking the Contacts icon in the Navigation Bar. Out of the box, Outlook is going to sort your contacts alphabetically according to the last name. And if I scroll down the list here, you will see that these contacts indeed appear alphabetically by last name.
But I would rather have them sorted alphabetically by company name. So what I am going to do is click on the View tab, and this is where I will find the various settings that will change my views. So I am going to click on View Settings. You'll notice some of these are grayed out because they are not all available when I am looking at my contacts in the Business Card view. So I am going to click on Sort, and sure enough, you will see that these items are currently sorted by the File As view, which shows the last name first.
But I want to have that company name shown. So I am going to hit my dropdown, scroll up here to Company and give it a click. I am going to click OK to close my View Settings window, and now when I scroll through my contacts, you will notice that they are now alphabetically according to the company name. Sometimes what I like to do is to see more information about any individual contact that I am currently viewing, and I can do that by clicking on my Reading Pane.
I am going to turn the Reading Pane on to the right side of the screen, and now you notice that I am seeing full information about this contact. Now you notice that To Do Bar runs along the right-hand of the screen, and I can turn that on or off simply by clicking this little minimize button, or turning it back on again. When I turn it off, you see that I have more room to see all the contact information. Now I am also seeing that I have some information on the bottom of my Reading Pane, and this is my LinkedIn information, and I can actually minimize that or keep it in the half screen, whatever my preference.
So what I am going to do is actually flip over to my LinkedIn contacts, turn on my Reading Pane there, and now you notice that I am seeing all my LinkedIn information about my contacts that appear on that bottom portion of the screen. All those changes are pretty nice, and I am just going to turn off that Reading Pane, but I will actually like to use a List view because I find I have even more flexibility in that format.
So what I am going to do this time is click on the Change Views and you notice that in addition to the Business Card, we have a regular Card, and we have a Phone list. My two favorite options are the List view, which is an expanded view of the Phone view and the Business Card, which is an expanded view of the regular Card view. So I am going to go over here to the List view. There is a couple of nice things that I can do in the List view; for example, if I want to sort, I can simply click one time on a field, and it will sort it alphabetically by Company, or I can click on any other field to sort it as well.
Now, if there are certain fields that appear on my List view that I don't want, I can simply hold on my mouse, drag the field up until see an X, and let it go again. If I want to change the order of a field, I can simply hold down my left-mouse button, drag it to the left or right, and let it go, so I can sort this, and I can delete columns. Another cool thing that I can do is to add columns, and I add columns simply by doing a right-click on any one of the column headings and going to my Field Chooser.
My Field Choose will show me all the fields that are available to me. So, for example, if I would like to include a second business phone number, I simply take that field, drag to the appropriate spot and let it go, and then close my Field Chooser. Now, the other nice thing that I like about my List view is that I can group my fields in any way that I want. So, for example, I might decide that I would like to have these records grouped according to company name. And I can do that by clicking one of these buttons up here.
So if I want to group these by categories, I can simply click on Categories, and I am now grouped by the Green categories, and if I scroll down a little bit, I can see all my red categories together, as well. Finally, one of the things I very often do in the List view is to change the fonts. So if you have got those over-40 eyes that are having a little bit of trouble seeing some of these fields, you can go back to your View Settings, click on Other Settings, and change the Font Size.
With so many views to choose from, the only problem rests in deciding which one you want to use, and of course, once you decide on a view, you can always go back and tweak it so that, as in the case with Goldilocks, your view is not too big and not too small, but just exactly the right fit.
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