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Outlook training: Using the Address Book

What are the parts of the Address Book? How many ways can you find a recipient? Can you create a personal distribution list? Know the features of the Address Book before class begins!

Aren’t you glad you don’t have to tote around a tattered address book containing your coworkers’ and friends’ e-mail addresses? If you’re not careful, your Outlook students may still be following that outdated tradition. Make sure your students get the most out of Outlook by thoroughly exploring the ins and outs of its Address Book.

Are you prepared to teach your students the differences between the Address Book lists? Do you know several ways to find a recipient? Do you know what to do with those red and green lines that appear under recipients’ names? Can you create a personal distribution list? If you answered no to any of these questions, read on to give your students the low-down on Outlook’s Address Book.
This article is the third in a series about teaching Outlook. Get the big picture by reading the first two: "Joys and Pitfalls: Teaching beginning Outlook" and "Folders keep the Inbox clutter free." Watch for next week’s installment on Outlook’s e-mail formats and signatures.
What is the Address Book?
The Address Book holds the e-mail addresses you need to send e-mail messages. When explaining the Address Book to students, it’s important to help them understand the different areas within the Address Book. It’s also important to show them that the Contacts they create become part of the Address Book. While only the system administrator can set up and add to the Global Address list, students may add their own addresses to the Contacts list or the Personal Address book.

Students keep addresses in either the Microsoft Exchange Personal Address Book or the Contacts folder. (Some system administrators set up Outlook with Personal Address Books already in place.) Contacts are fully integrated into Outlook; meaning you may add multiple phone numbers and addresses, assign categories, and add other customized information. So, to get the most out of Outlook, it’s usually better to store your new addresses in the Contacts list. Using the Contacts list also allows you to sort, filter, view, and print your contacts in customized ways. If students have already created addresses in the Personal Address book, no problem! Click here for Microsoft’s directions for converting a Personal Address book to Outlook Contacts.

You may view the Address Book by clicking on the Tools menu and choosing Address Book.


Can’t find an address? Try these methods
There are several ways to find a recipient in the Address Book, but it’s easier to let Outlook find it for you. If you type a person’s name in the To, cc or bcc field, Outlook will search through the Address Book and try to find a match. You will know Outlook has found your Contact when the recipient’s name appears underlined (like a hyperlink). If a wavy red line appears, it means Outlook has found multiple names that may match. Right-click the name to see the options, and choose the one you want. If you have previously used one of the addresses, a green dashed line appears to remind you that there are other choices. Again, simply right-click the name to see the other choices.

If you prefer to find an address manually, open a new message and click on the To, cc, or bcc boxes. This opens the Address Book where you may double-click on an address, or click once to select it and hit the arrows on the right to place it in the To, cc, or bcc areas. After choosing your recipients’ addresses, click OK, and their names will be added to the proper field within the new message. To look in a different list within the address book, click the down-pointing arrow to the right of Global Address Book. You may then choose Contacts or another list.

The Address Book allows easy addressing of messages to multiple recipients.


Another way to find a recipient from the Address Book is to use the menus. Click the Tools menu and choose Address Book. In the “Show Names from the:” box, click the proper list. Then click the Address Book Tools Menu and choose Find. When the recipient’s name appears in the window, students can double-click it to open a new message window with the recipient’s address in the To field.

Wading through addresses: Tell Outlook where to look first
If the majority of your e-mail is sent to people in your Contacts list, you can tailor Outlook to show and search it first. This will cut down the time students spend looking for addresses.

The first step is to choose Address Book from the Tools menu. Then, in the Address Book window, choose Options from the Tools menu. You will have an Address window, as shown below. Click the down-pointing arrow and choose Contacts under “Show this address list first:.” After you click OK and close the dialog boxes, create a new message and click the To button. You will see that the Address Book opens with your own Contact list showing first.

It’s easy to change the list that shows first in the Address Book.


You may also add Contacts from the Global Address List to your Contacts list or Personal Address Book so that they are easier to find. With the Global Address Book open, simply right-click any recipient and choose Add To Personal Address Book. If your system is set up to save your personal contacts in your Personal Address Book, the contact will be added to that list. If it's set up to save your personal contact information in Outlook’s Contacts, a new Contact window will open with the recipient’s information. Click the Save And Close button. The recipient is now a part of your Contacts list.

NOTE: To change where your personal addresses are stored, click on the Address Book’s Tools menu and choose Options. In the second drop-down window under “Keep personal addresses in,” choose the area you’d like to use.

Timesaving tip: Add new contacts from received messages
Once you’ve received e-mail, it’s easy to add the sender’s address to your Contacts folder. Simply open the message, right-click the sender’s address and choose Add To Contacts. A new Contact is immediately created, and is available for recall from the Address Book. You may also open the Contact and add further information such as street address and telephone number, as needed.

Saving a sender’s Contact information is as easy as right-clicking.


Create personal distribution lists for efficient messaging
In their “real lives,” many students must send messages to multiple recipients on a regular basis. From company newsletters to making lunch plans, sending messages to these special groups can be time-consuming if students compile the list of recipients every time. You’ll save them lots of energy if you teach them to create Personal Distribution Lists.

To begin creating this list, click the File menu, choose New, and click Distribution List. (From the Address Book, click the File menu, choose New Entry, click Distribution List, and then click OK.)

From this Untitled Distribution List window, type a name for the list in the Name box. This name is what will appear in your Contacts list when it is saved. Click Select Members. In the “Show Names from the:” list, click the address book that holds the recipients you wish to add to your Distribution List. Find the contacts you wish to add to this list and double-click the recipients' addresses to add them to the list. You may add recipients from the Global address list as well as from your Contacts list. When you’ve added all your recipients, click OK. Then click the Save And Close button on the Distribution List screen.

A sample Distribution List


You may now find your Distribution List as you would any other contact in the Address Book. A special icon to its left indicates it is a Distribution List and contains more than one contact.

For fun, in-class practice, create a group including every student called Lunch Bunch. You can then send messages to this Distribution List about where the class will break for lunch. This list lends itself especially well to an exercise using voting buttons, a tool that lets users select from several choices and "vote” via e-mail.

Distribution Lists appear in the Address Book with special icons.


Remember the rules: Keep it simple and have fun
I gave you some basic rules to follow in"Joys and Pitfalls: Teaching beginning Outlook", and one of the most important of those rules is allowing your students plenty of time to practice and play with their new skills. In no time at all, they’ll be zinging messages all over the world using Outlook’s Address Book features. For extra fun, have races to see how quickly students can find contacts and address an e-mail message.

If you’re looking to add even more to your Address Book lesson, allow your students to create multiple Contacts folders as we did with the Inbox in "Folders keep the Inbox clutter free." That will provide another way for students to stay organized and get the most of Outlook’s features.
What would you like to see an Outlook article address? What has your experience teaching Outlook been like? What tips and tricks do you offer for other trainers or for your students? Tell us all about it, or post your comments below.
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