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Chapter 17: Telecommuting with Outlook. com and Outlook Web Access

Chapter 17: Telecommuting with Outlook. com and Outlook Web Access

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Part V: Outlook at Work

You can get an Outlook.com account by going to www.Outlook.com and

clicking the Sign-up Now link at the bottom of the page. You’ll need to

enter the appropriate personal information, create an e-mail address and

password, and you’re done. If you have a current Hotmail or Windows Live

account, or a Messenger, SkyDrive, Windows Phone or Xbox LIVE account,

you can log in directly.

By the way, Microsoft is converting all existing Hotmail and Windows Live

accounts to Outlook.com, but they won’t change your e-mail address. You get the

best of both worlds — the latest technology with an unchanged e-mail address.

Outlook.com is similar to the desktop version of Outlook in function, so you

won’t need to figure out a whole new bunch of tricks and techniques, but it

does look slightly different. You’ll probably notice that the two programs feature some of the same icons, designs, and screen parts, including the following:

The Folder list is the area along the left side of the screen that has

the default Mail Folder list of Inbox, Junk, Drafts, Sent, and Deleted.

Because Outlook.com is a web application, the screens may change,

but Figure 17-1 gives you an idea what you’ll see after you log in.

Click here.

Figure 17-1:

The Outlook.

com screen

offers toolbars and

buttons to

help you get



Chapter 17: Telecommuting with Outlook.com and Outlook Web Access

The Ribbon in Outlook.com has many of the links that you can find

in the Navigation pane of the desktop version. By default, Outlook.

com shows your mail Inbox, but you can get features such as People,

Calendar, and SkyDrive by clicking the arrow to the right of Outlook in

the Ribbon (pointed out in Figure 17-1). Figure 17-2 shows the screen

that opens.

Figure 17-2:

The Outlook.

com feature in the


When you’re using Outlook.com, you won’t see many of the buttons and

screens you’re familiar with from the regular version of Outlook; the same

features are available. Just open an e-mail or appointment; a new set of commands will appear in the Ribbon. Do remember that because you’re still using

a web browser, the menus at the top of the screen are part of the browser

program, not Outlook.com. If you click a menu, you’ll get different results than

you might expect. For example, if you’re reading e-mail and choose File➪New,

you won’t see a New Message form; instead, you automatically open a new

window in Internet Explorer.




Part V: Outlook at Work

Getting Caught Up on

Web E-Mail Basics

Whether you’re catching up on juicy office gossip or deleting spam from

Nigerian oil tycoons, you can log on to Outlook.com from any browser to

keep yourself in the loop.

Reading messages

Because Outlook.com is web mail, you can get to it anywhere you have web

access. All of your Hotmail, Messenger, and (of course) Outlook.com mail is

available. Lots of people use the Inbox as a kind of to-do list; Outlook.com

makes that possible from any computer connected to the Internet.

To read your messages, follow these steps:

1. Click the Inbox.

Your list of messages appears.

2. Click the message you want to read.

The message text appears in the Reading pane on the right side, or

bottom, of the screen. As you click each message in the Message list, the

contents show up in the Reading pane.

Use the arrow keys to move from one e-mail message to the next. Click the

icon that looks like a gear (in the far-right side of the Ribbon) to adjust your

mail settings, see a list of Reading pane options and Ribbon color options,

and get online help. You can have the Reading pane open on the right or on

the bottom, or closed entirely. If you close the Reading pane, you’ll need to

double-click any message to see it in a separate window.

Sending a message

When you feel the urge to dash off a quick e-mail from your favorite Internet

café, you can do that with Outlook.com in a jiffy. You’ll probably have your

message finished before your barista finishes mixing that High-Octane Mocha

Latte Supremo. After your caffeine jitters die down, just follow these steps:

1. Click the Inbox in the Folder list.

Your list of messages appears.


Chapter 17: Telecommuting with Outlook.com and Outlook Web Access

2. Click the New button in the Ribbon.

The New Message screen opens (see Figure 17-3).

3. Fill out the New Message screen.

Put your recipient’s address in the To box, a subject in the Subject box,

and the message in the main box.

4. Click the Send button in the Ribbon.

Your message is on its way.

Figure 17-3:

The New



If you’re not ready to send your message right away, click Save Draft in the

Ribbon. Start working on your message later by clicking the Drafts folder and

then clicking the message.

Flagging messages

You can flag a message in Outlook.com, but you have just the one flag option.

You can’t choose levels and you can’t add dated reminders (like you can in

the desktop version). To flag a message in your Inbox, click the ellipsis in the

Ribbon and select Flag from the drop-down menu (see Figure 17-4).




Part V: Outlook at Work

Figure 17-4:

You only

have one

choice for

flags in



After you flag a message, it moves to the top of your e-mail list for greater

attention. By the way, right-clicking the message displays a separate menu

with a different set of options (including Reply, Delete, and Move).

Setting individual message options

You can’t set as many options for an individual message in Outlook.com

as you can in the regular version of Outlook: only message priority and file

format. Just follow these steps:

1. Click the Inbox in the Folder list.

2. Click the New button in the Ribbon.

3. Fill out the New Message screen.

Put your recipient’s address in the To box, a subject in the Subject box,

and the message in the main box.

4. Click Options in the Ribbon.

The Message Options dialog box opens, showing the options (see

Figure 17-5).


Chapter 17: Telecommuting with Outlook.com and Outlook Web Access

Figure 17-5:

Set your

message to

high priority in the


Options dialog box.

5. Choose the options you want.

6. Click the Send button.

It’s a good idea not to overuse the message options. Setting all your messages

to High, for example, eventually leads people to ignore your priority markings.

(“Oh, she thinks everything is urgent; just ignore her.”). In fact, sometimes it’s

wise to mark a message as low priority. That tells the person you’re contacting that you respect her time, but that you also want to keep her informed. A

little courtesy goes a long way. For a full explanation of message options, see

Chapter 4.

Organizing Contacts

The whole point of Outlook.com is to let you see your collection of information from anywhere — and what’s more important than keeping track of the

people in your Contacts list? Practically nothing, so I show you the basics in

the following sections.




Part V: Outlook at Work

Viewing your contacts

Some people see their Contacts list as pure gold. They ogle and admire it

whenever they’re not busy playing Solitaire. To see your Contacts list, click

the arrow beside the Outlook name at the top of the screen and choose People

in the Ribbon. If you’d like to sort the contents of your Contacts list, click the

gear icon in the far right of the Ribbon.

That icon reveals a list of ways that you can view your contacts and their

source; see Figure 17-6. For your viewing pleasure, you see these options:

Filter All Contacts




Display Order

First Last

Last Name

Sort By

First Name

Last, First

You can do much more powerful things with your contacts in the desktop

version of Outlook, but seeing your contacts when you’re away from your

desk is mighty convenient.

Adding contacts

A good Contacts list is precious; it’s even more valuable than that snazzy

office chair you covet or even that enviable cubicle near the coffee pot.

Outlook.com can help you keep your Contacts list up to date from wherever

you are. For example, if you go to a conference or convention and exchange

business cards with lots of people, you probably want to get those names

into your Contacts list as soon as possible. Whether you’re using a laptop,

tablet, or your smartphone (or the nearest public library or Internet café),

you can log on to your account remotely, and enter all those new addresses

before you go home.


Chapter 17: Telecommuting with Outlook.com and Outlook Web Access

Figure 17-6:

You can

choose a

way to view



To add a new contact through Outlook.com, follow these steps:

1. Click the arrow beside Outlook in the Ribbon and choose People.

The People (Contacts) application screen appears with your Contacts


2. Click the New icon in the Ribbon.

The Add New Contact dialog box opens.

3. Fill in the blanks in the Add New Contact form.

The information you type appears in the Add New Contact form (as

shown in Figure 17-7).

4. Click Save.

The Add New Contact form closes, and the name you entered appears in

your list of contacts.

If you want to edit a contact you’ve entered, just open a contact record, click

Edit in the Ribbon, and follow the same steps. (For a fuller explanation of

Outlook contact entries, see Chapter 7.)




Part V: Outlook at Work

Figure 17-7:



about the

people you

know on

the New



Using Your Calendar

As I write this, Microsoft has yet to complete the design for the Outlook.com

calendar (but has linked the current Hotmail, Windows Live, or Messenger

calendars to the new Outlook.com accounts). So what you see today may not

be what you see in a few weeks, though the features will likely remain. That’s

the wonder, and the bane, of web-based applications.

A word to the wise: Check your calendar regularly just to be sure that you’re

in the right place at the right time. And remember that your desktop Outlook

calendar links to your Outlook.com calendar.

Entering an appointment

If you’re a heavy-duty road warrior, you probably keep your calendar on a

smartphone for your own reference — but for everyone else, those appointments and meetings are very likely on an Outlook Calendar. The appointments and meetings that you post in Outlook are linked to Outlook.com, so

from any web-enabled device you can see where you should be and with

whom. Now you’ll know when you’re available for meetings, lunches, and

random tongue lashings.


Chapter 17: Telecommuting with Outlook.com and Outlook Web Access

Do I have to say it? (Probably . . .) If you want your Outlook 2013 data and your

Outlook.com data to sync automatically, you must be using the same e-mail

address on both systems. Your calendar data won’t be the same if you sign up

for an Outlook.com e-mail account but use a POP account from another service on Outlook 2013. You can have multiple e-mail accounts on Outlook.com;

just create a new one and link it to the preferred account you’re using on the

desktop version of Outlook.

To enter an appointment, follow these steps:

1. Click Calendar in the Ribbon.

The calendar shows your appointments (see Figure 17-8).

2. Click the New button on the toolbar at the top of the screen.

The Add an Event form appears.

3. Click the What box and enter a name for your appointment.

Enter something that describes your appointment, such as Meeting with

Bambi and Godzilla.

4. Click the Where box and enter a location for your appointment.

Hmmm, perhaps central Tokyo?

5. Click the arrow next to the Calendar box and choose the right calendar.

You can link multiple calendars to Outlook.com.

Figure 17-8:

Your calendar displays






Part V: Outlook at Work

6. Click the Start date of your appointment.

If the pop-up calendar doesn’t have the date, click the arrows next to the

name of the month in the small calendar until the date appears.

7. Click the Time box and choose the time of your appointment.

Select the start time for your appointment.

While you’re entering appointment information, you can enter the location, end date, and end time. Click Add More Details to enter other information such as meeting recurrence details.

8. Click Save.

By default, your Outlook.com calendar will send you e-mail notifications

about upcoming appointments for the day. Click the link in the e-mail

message to see appointment details.

An even quicker way to enter an appointment is to click the Day or Week

button, and then double-click the line that corresponds to the day and hour of

your appointment. The Add an Event form appears, already with the date and

time you chose.

Moving an appointment

You can change an appointment time by simply dragging the appointment to

the date and time you desire. If you need to change anything other than the

date and time of your appointment, do this:

1. Double-click the appointment.

2. Select the information you want to change.

3. Enter the updated information.

4. Click Save on the toolbar.

To delete an appointment, click the appointment to select it and then

click Delete on the toolbar to zap it. (You can find out more about the

power of the Outlook Calendar in Chapter 8.)

Viewing the calendar

Time-management gurus insist that you manage your schedule for the long term,

medium term, and short term. The Outlook.com Calendar lets you view your

appointments in different ways depending on what you want to see (or avoid

seeing). The tabs at the top of the Calendar screen are for changing your view:

Day shows today’s appointments.

Week shows a week.


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