How to create templates for common replies in Outlook

Very simple. Reply as usual. But do not click SEND button. Look at the mail and remove things which will change every time you respond. For example, the recipient address should be removed. But if every reply needs a CC to your boss, keep that email id.

Once the response is generic enough, choose
File – Save As – Outlook Template (.OFT). Specify a name and save it. Reusable attachments can also be kept as a part of the template. For example, FAQ documents, Product Brochures, User Manuals, etc.

Now next time you need to use similar response – there is no need to retype the message. Choose File – New Items – More Items – Choose Form

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From the drop down in the Forms Dialog choose User Templates in File System and select the template you saved earlier. Fill in the additional information and Send. Simple and Effective.

If you realize that the forms which you are using are beneficial to more people in the organization, contact your IT team. They can put the forms in the central forms library for everyone to use.

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Office 365 prevents confidential data leakage: Are you using it?

This is a brief article. I will cover it in more detail later. But this is just to inform all the readers that such a sophisticated facility exists within Office 365 and they should take advantage of it.

I have observed that although Office 365 is a popular product, all customers do not really notice, appreciate and utilize this powerful platform to the fullest extent.

One such feature is called Data Loss Prevention. It helps you control, monitor and prevent leakage of confidential data, customer privacy related information, financial data, etc. by any employee through Email. This feature is also being extended to SharePoint.

Exactly how to activate the feature and configure it is beyond the scope of this article. It is not even the intention of writing the article. Just understand what it does and if you find it useful and relevant to your business – make sure your IT team implements it.

What does DLP do?

In simple terms, it monitors every outgoing mail message and checks if any pre-defined restricted information is being sent outside your organization.

If it does find such a mail, it can either warn the user, capture the reason for sending it, prevent the user from sending it, forward it to a compliance officer, delete the mail, follow an approval process and so on.

You choose what is objectionable, sensitive, confidential or privacy related data. You create the rules and DLP follows it faithfully.

To make your life simpler, many ready-made rules are available. These rules are created as per stringent government and banking guidelines. You can start with a ready-to-use template and then refine it as needed.

In short, Try it, Assess it and Use it.

How does Outlook help prevent silly mistakes?

Yes it does. Provides you use Outlook 2010 and Exchange 2010 or above. Not one or two, it helps you prevent many more mistakes. This feature is so smart, you don’t have to do anything to activate it. It just understands! You just have to notice and see what it is telling you and take corrective action. This amazingly talented feature is called Mail Tips

Continue reading

Managing large mailboxes on small capacity tablets

There is a paradoxical situation. If you use Office 365, you get a 50 GB mailbox. At the same time, we are using portable and mobile laptops and tablets (Windows tablets like Surface Pro). These have very little storage – typically 0.5 to 1 TB. We are used to storing the entire mailbox on PC for offline usage convenience for decades. What is the solution?

Just store the recent  mails on the tablets. Outlook offers a nice and simple configuration option in File – Account Settings – Offline Settings. Reduce the offline storage of mail to ONE month (or whatever is convenient). That’s it.

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For mail which is not stored locally, you can always use Outlook Web Access. It is more powerful than ever before now. Amazing feature set!