Once you have used the acclaimed Word Mail Merge feature over the course of your mailing duties, whether on a daily basis or infrequently – there is no turning back. Literally no other out-of-the-box Microsoft Office tool offers you so many benefits for mass mailing with so little mouse-clicking involved and with such vast improvement of almost every aspect of the resulting letters. Its renowned personalization possibilities utilize the so-called “macros” (a placeholder word that exists only to be replaced with an actual recipient-specific value from a data-source). The product’s versatility and overall ease of use has secured it a firm place among the top-flight productivity tools for professionals in the field.
There is an astonishing number of ways one can use Microsoft Outlook for performing daily tasks, whether at home or at the office. From the developer’s side, great care must be taken to made sure that the tool is as convenient and user-friendly as possible, going far beyond improving user interface in a new major edition and adding, – for instance, automation scripts (known as configurable “Rules”) to broaden the scope of time-saving scenarios.
However, despite the considerable measures taken to enrich Office applications with such features, the increasing complexity of daily tasks makes it inevitable that a new scenario – not covered by Office automation features – turns up every once in a while.
Outlook Add-ins management – introduction
For an impressively long time, the Microsoft Office suit has been the benchmark in productivity software for its versatility, popularity, practicality, and sheer number of features – so many that its reign as the de-facto standard of about two decades does not seem to be under threat at all.
But even the broadest list of features can leave specialized users desiring for more.
Since the inception of its renowned suite, Microsoft has been working on addressing such niches – leading to the addition
of so-called “add-ins” (also known as “add-ons”, “plug-ins”, and other variations of the word).
How often do you print your messages from your Outlook e-mail client ? You certainly know, that Microsoft Office Outlook provides opportunities to print selected message, or several ones, and even attached files – but limitations are critical: first of all, attachments can be printed to the default printer only; and though you can select printer for your messages, merely manually selected mails will be sent to your printer. If you need to print messages received within specific dates, Outlook regular printing option is not enough for that.
When you send specific message, you may need to send a blind copy to a person, just to let him know the case. That is easy if you send a single message. But sometimes dozens of specific messages a day should be sent to such persons as well, without informing your main recipient about the blind copy. Or, we may need to send a copy to our secondary e-mail. And we can forget to add our hidden recipient to the message.
“I happened across your company and products by accident one day several years ago and they’ve proven invaluable on more occasions that I ever would have expected. I’m sort of a digital packrat, and have most (if not all) of my personal email going back to at least Y2K – delivered to about half a dozen different email addresses with broadcast announcement messages from my ISP etc.
For each person who utilizes Microsoft Office for much or even the majority of their time at the computer, there is some plugin, (or “add-in”, as Microsoft itself likes to call them), that was made just for them, that fits their activities in the most time-saving manner, and that provides significant gains in the various aspects of user experience.
One of such third-party add-in for Microsoft Outlook is Add Contacts by MAPILab. If you often make new contacts and have trouble with email addresses that don’t really offer an indication of the owner’s name, Add Contacts might be the add-in that suits you.
The mail flow of an organization is not just a never-ending sequence of messages dropping in and out of mailboxes to disappear in the void of archives where no one ever sees them again. In fact, it is a collection of unique sensitive documents containing information about your company, its members, partners, and transactions. In the event of an internal investigation of a potential or actual violation, a dispute with a partner, a legal action, or a newly-introduced compliance procedure, being able to access the entire scope of documents sent and received by email can be of vital importance to the management. Given that electronic messages are considered to be full-fledged documentary evidence, failure to present such evidence in a timely fashion can cost your company a substantial sum of money or a good reputation that wasn’t earned in a day. How to gain actual control over the content of a company’s business correspondence? Arguably the most important feature you need is a search engine – and it must be fast, efficient and universal for all the servers on the domain.
Mail Merge is one of the most efficient features in Microsoft Office: you can design your document in Word, with smart text formatting, fonts and images – and send your text in individual messages via Outlook. You can use Outlook Contacts, or an external data file (Excel, Access, .csv or a text file) as your recipient data source, and add fields from your data file into your message text to personalize your message. The regular Mail Merge feature in Word allows you selecting 3 formats: HTML-message, Plain Text, or attach your individual document to your messages.