CCAC logo 
Talkin' Tech: Outlook -Beyond Email!
Talkin' Tech page provides guidelines for:  
Using Outlook for more than just reading your emails
Click on any word in red to see more information on that topic!


The Rules Wizard will walk you through the steps to create a rule that will automatically perform actions on incoming or outgoing emails.  See the table below to see all your choices for the various steps.

Rule Templates can be used to get you started if you aren't very proficient at creating rules.  You can choose one of the Rules templates listed below.   To begin to create a rule, click on Tools/ Rules and Alerts.  Click on New Rule button.
Rule Templates

Stay Organized

Move messages from someone to a folder

Move messages with specific words in the subject to a folder

Move messages sent to a distribution list to a folder

Delete a conversation

Flag messages from someone with a colored flag

Stay Up to Date

Display mail from someone in a New Item Alert window

Play a sound when I get messages from someone

Send an alert to my mobile device when I get a message from someone

Or... you can start from a blank rule.  The Rules Wizard will walk you through these steps to build your rule.
Step 1

Do you want to:

Check messages when they arrive?

Check messages after sending?

Choose one and click Next>

Step 2

What condition(s) do you want the Rule to check for?

from/ sent to people or distribution list

with specific words in the subject

through the specified account

sent only to me

where my name is/ is not in the To box/ Cc box/ To or Cc box

marked as importance

marked as sensitivity

flagged for action

with specific words in the body/ subject or body/ message header/ recipient's address/ sender's address

assigned to category category

and quite a few more choices!!

Choose as many conditions as you wish.  For any condition which includes underlined topic, you must click on that underlined phrase under the Rule description, and add the words, or persons, distribution lists, importance, etc.

Click Next> when the Rule description window accurately states what you wish it to do.

Step 3

What do you want to do with the message?

move it to a specified folder

assign it to the category category

notify me using a specific message

delete it

permanently delete it

move a copy to the specified folder

forward it/ redirect it to people or distribution list

have server reply using a specific message

reply using a specific template

flag message for action in a number of days

mark it as importance

print it

play a sound

and several more choices!!

Choose as many actions as you wish.  For any condition which includes underlined topic, you must click on that underlined phrase under the Rule description, and add the words, or persons, distribution lists, importance, etc.

Click Next> when the Rule description window accurately states what you wish it to do.


Step 4

Do you want to create any exceptions for this rule?  (The rule will not be performed if any of the selected conditions exist.

except if from people or distribution list

except if the subject contains specific words

Etc... this list looks just like the one for Step 2.

Choose all the exceptions you wish to use. For any exception which includes underlined topic, you must click on that underlined phrase under the Rule description, and add the words, or persons, distribution lists, importance, etc.

Click Next> when the Rule description window accurately states what you wish it to do.


Step 5

Give your rule a name and Finish.

Specify whether you want to run this rule on messages that are already in your Inbox.

Check the box before Turn on this rule, if you wish it to be set to ON.

Remember that you can easily turn rules on and off on the Rules Wizard screen.  The most common example of this would be for managing your email when you are on vacation.  Check the rule to turn it on when you leave for vacation.  Uncheck the Rule when you come back to work.


Also, the easy shortcut to creating a new rule, is to right click on an email which portrays the criteria you wish to check for (sender, subject, etc) and choose Create Rule.  Then Outlook does most of the rule setup for you.


Want to develop rules for managing mail while you're out of the office?  See the Talkin' Tech page "While You're Away".



Use templates when you frequently or regularly send out the same email to different individuals.  For example, you might send out a set of instructions to all team members each term.  You can create an email, save it as a template and have it available for use over and over again.  To create a template, create a new email message.  Type your message and format it (fonts, colors, etc).  Then click File/ Save As and give it a name; in the Save As window, after Save as Type:, choose Outlook Template.  Notice when you save as a Template, it will be stored in your Outlook Template folder rather than My Documents


To access your Template, click on File/ New/ Choose Form.  In the Choose Form window, under Look In:, select User Templates in File System.  Choose the template you need from the list that you have created.


Advanced option: If you want to access your templates more easily, you can add them to Shortcuts (see below).  You will find your templates at this path:  C:\Documents and Settings\your user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates.


Use Signatures

To set up your signatures, open a new message.  Click on the down arrow under Signature.  Click on the Signatures.  To create a new signature, click on New.  A dialogue box titled New Signature will appear.  Provide the a type. Click OK.  In the Edit Signature window, type the signature exactly as you wish it to appear at the bottom of your email messages.   Feel free to format with different fonts, colors, size and formatting by highlighting part or all of the signature and clicking on the Font button.  Click OK when complete.


You can continue to add different signatures which can be used for different purposes.


When you return to the Options/ Mail Format tab, you can specify which signature to be used automatically with all new messages, and which one to use for replies and forwards (this one may be a simpler, shorter signature).


Manage your Calendar

Keeping your calendar in Outlook provides you with quick and easy scheduling of your time.  Not sure whether you want to give up your handy date book?  You can easily print your weekly calendar for carrying with you to meetings.  Or if you have an iPAQ or Palm Pilot, many PDA manufacturers supply software that you can connect to your computer to "sync" your two calendars.  See Peripherals page for information on handheld devices which are supported by the ITS Department.


Need your secretary to keep or read your schedule?

There are two ways to give rights to your calendar or other folders in Outlook:

  1. Setting up Delegates: Use this method when you need to provide permissions to "Send-on-behalf-of" yourself.   To assign Delegate rights, the person who is GIVING PERMISSION needs to log in to Outlook.  From the File tab, Click on Account Settings, then select Delegate Access..  To add a Delegate, click on Add.  If you've already set up a delegate and need to change their permissions, click on the delegate and click the Permissions button.


Look up the user whom you wish to give delegate rights.  Choose the appropriate permissions for this person as it relates to your calendar, tasks, Inbox, Contacts, Notes and Journal.


  1. Giving Permissions to the Calendar: This is the easier way to provide access to your calendar if you do not wish the person to "Send on behalf of" yourself.  In the Calendar view in Outlook, click on the Share My Calendar link on the left-hand navigation pane.  The Calendar Properties window will appear; on the Permissions tab, add a user and check the appropriate permissions buttons at the bottom.



Need to see your boss's appointments? 

To view another person's calendar, that person has to first give you permissions to view or edit their calendar.  Refer to the above instructions for either setting you up as a delegate or giving permissions to the calendar folder.


To view that  person's calendar, go to the Calendar view in Outlook.  Click on the Open a Shared Calendar... link on the left-hand navigation pane.  Their calendar will display to the right of your own calendar.  You can open as many shared calendars as you wish; you can check and uncheck their calendar to display or hide each calendar.


See the ITS Desktop Skills Outlook web page to download the "Sharing your Calendar" document.


Plan a Meeting

Sometimes getting several people at the same time at the same place can be a challenge.  Let Outlook do most of the work for you.  While you are in your calendar view, click Actions/ Plan a Meeting.  Under All Attendees add the names of all the people you wish to invite to the meeting.  The quickest way to do this is to type their last name and press the Tab key.  If the person exists in our Global Address List, or your Contacts list, the full name will display.  If the full name does not display, there may be more than one person by that last name in the Outlook list; right click and choose the correct person. (Note that if you add someone from your contacts list, who is not in the CCAC Outlook list, you will not see their availability. You may get a window which offers you the Microsoft Office Internet Free/Busy Service; you can click Cancel to ignore this, and also check "Don't show this again" box.  If Outlook cannot find the person, click on Add Others to manually find and choose the person.


You can also add a Distribution List to your list of Attendees. Type the name of the distribution list and click the Tab key.  The name will appear in bold type, with a plus (+) to the left.  Click on the + sign and the list will be automatically replaced with all the list members and their schedules. (Note: once you expand the list to its members you will not be able to collapse it again.)


Set the date and time of the meeting by clicking and dragging in the calendar grid, or by entering date and time in Meeting start time and Meeting end time.  Click on Make Meeting.  An email window will display.  Enter the subject of the meeting and you may type a message to all invitees as well if you have additional information to share about the meeting.   You can also type a location for the meeting. Keep in mind that this does not book the room in any software program; it is just informational.  Click Send to invite your attendees.


When your invitees get the message, they will have choices to Accept, Decline, or Propose New Time.  As they respond, Outlook keeps track of who has accepted, declined or made alternate proposals for this meeting.  Each email response will include this information above the To: box.  The appointment on your calendar will also display this.



If you keep information about your colleagues, friends and family, their addresses, phone numbers and email addresses will be at your fingers.  You can easily add addresses, phones, emails, etc into Word documents, etc.  The new Smart Tags feature in Office XP will recognize when you have typed a person's name and display a Smart Tag; when you click on the tag, you can send the person an email, schedule a meeting, or insert their address. 


Distribution Lists also make your communications more productive.  To create a Distribution List, click on File/ New/ Distribution List.  Under the Members tab, give your list a name after Name:


To add members, click on the Select Members button.  Use the Global Address List or your Contacts list to select all the list members.  Click OK.  When you return to the Distribution List, the list members will appear in the window.  To send an email to the Distribution list, just type the name of the Distribution List after the To: box, and press the Tab key.  If you need to look up a Distribution list, remember that it will be located in your Contacts folder, rather than the Global Address List.


You can use Word's mail merge functionality with your addresses in your Contact list.  Keep all your contact information in one place (Outlook) and use it for multiple purposes.  (At home, you'll never have to write out addresses on Christmas cards again!)



To create a new task, click on the drop-down arrow after New, and choose New Task.   Assign a description, due date and start date.


You can create a recurring task also.  Open the task, and click the Recurrence button.  Choose the pattern by which this task will recur.  You may also choose to have the task regenerate itself each month or every several months after the current task is completed.


You can also assign a task to someone else.  If the task is already created, click on the Assign Task button and choose the person to whom this task will be assigned.  Or you can create a Task Request by clicking the drop-down arrow next to the New button and choose New Task Request.  Complete all the information for the task, including due dates and select the person to which you will assign the task in the To: field.


If you set reminders in your tasks, then Outlook will remind you when you need to start work on the task.  You can choose to Dismiss the task, or Snooze for a time period that you determine.  NOTE:  Dismissing a reminder does NOT mark the task complete; you will need to open the item and mark complete.  If you have a recurring task that regenerates itself after one is completed, then you have to mark the task complete for the task regeneration to take effect.




To add a shortcut which resides within Outlook, click the Add New Shortcut link on the left-hand navigation pane.  Choose the folder you wish to add.


Adding a shortcut for a document, template or webpage is a little more difficult.  You need to have Outlook Shortcut view open as well as Windows Explorer open.  Click the "Restore Down" button for each window (middle button in top right corner of each window), so that the two windows appear on your desktop.  Click on the document or web page icon and drag to the Shortcut group.


Web Access

Access your email and calendar from any PC outside the CCAC system, by using Web Access.  You will have similar functionality as you do from your office, however there will be some differences in the way email is displayed and how you interact with the web interface. 



You can view and modify your calendar to stay on top of your schedule, and you can access your contact records.  You will also be able to see Reminders for your appointments and get notification whenever you receive new mail.


Under Options, you can set up how you want to view email and calendar items.  You can even access the Out-of-Office Assistant, in case you forgot to set this up before you left the office for vacation. 



Back to Talkin' Tech topics

Back to ITS Website

CCAC Home page