Microsoft Outlook Travellers Secret Advantage

Microsoft Outlook: Traveller's Secret Advantage

If you​ want to​ become a​ better traveller,​ you​ can skip some of​ those how-to books penned by armchair road warriors .​

Instead,​ fire up your laptop computer and open Microsoft Outlook .​
Yes,​ I'm talking about that ever-present application that handles e-mail,​ scheduling and some word processing tasks .​

Make the​ Most of​ Your Laptop
Odds are pretty good that you've got a​ copy of​ it​ installed on​ your laptop,​ and that you​ take your portable with you​ when you​ travel .​
(Regarding the​ latter point,​ a​ recent survey by Harris Interactive found that more than one in​ four laptop PC owners say their machine is​ one of​ their most prized possessions,​ and nearly a​ third said they've regretted leaving it​ at​ home on​ trips and have turned around to​ retrieve it​ on​ at​ least one occasion.)

Outlook is​ to​ travellers what a​ paper clip is​ to​ MacGyver .​
It does a​ lot more than you​ think .​
(My apologies to​ those who aren't familiar with television show which had its heyday in​ the​ 1980s and '90s.)

Using Scheduling Features for a​ Trip
Marielle Barnes,​ a​ consultant in​ Bangalore,​ India,​ counts on​ Outlook's scheduling features to​ make her trip fall into place .​
I​ use the​ task manager to​ keep my 'to-do' list in​ order,​ she says .​
I​ organise the​ tasks by city,​ and type of​ function,​ so that items get grouped and can be easily completed in​ a​ stretch .​
An alternative is​ keeping her itinerary on​ a​ calendar or​ a​ personal digital assistant .​
But if​ the​ laptop is​ coming along for the​ trip anyway,​ why not use what you've got (especially when it​ has a​ bigger screen than a​ PDA)?

Robert Hanson relies on​ Outlook and a​ third-party application called Xpressions to​ access his e-mails from a​ phone - a​ nifty feature if​ you​ happen to​ leave your laptop at​ the​ hotel .​
Outlook saved me from wasting money on​ a​ plane ticket by finding out the​ same day that I​ booked a​ non-refundable ticket that the​ meeting was supposed to​ attend was cancelled,​ says Hanson,​ from Wilmington,​ Del .​
So I​ was able to​ cancel the​ flight without penalty .​

Outlook has bailed me out a​ few times,​ too .​

My favourite feature is​ the​ contacts manager,​ which has rescued me more often than I'd care to​ admit .​
How's that? I​ usually print a​ full itinerary with phone numbers before I​ leave on​ a​ trip .​
(Call me old-fashioned,​ but with a​ piece of​ paper you​ never have to​ worry about a​ low battery.) Being hopelessly absent-minded,​ that schedule has gone missing numerous times .​
Fortunately,​ I​ was able to​ retrieve the​ key addresses and phone numbers from Outlook rather than completely unpack my luggage in​ the​ middle of​ the​ terminal .​

A Traveler-Friendly Upgrade
to​ say that Outlook has been underappreciated by the​ jet set in​ the​ past might be an​ understatement .​
But that is​ changing .​
Microsoft Outlook 2003 is​ designed even more with travellers in​ mind .​

Here are a​ few of​ its handy features:

Find it​ faster .​
Outlook helps you​ make sense of​ all the​ e-mail you​ receive on​ the​ road .​
Its new Search Folders — virtual folders that contain views of​ all e-mail items matching specific search criteria — let you​ quickly separate the​ important messages from the​ ones you​ want to​ ignore .​
Search Folders also flag priority messages first,​ so you​ don't waste time reading spam .​

Keep junk mail out .​
Speaking of​ spam,​ the​ new Junk E-mail folder separates out most of​ your junk mail into a​ separate folder,​ helping to​ un-clutter your inbox .​

Work without a​ Net .​
If you​ use an​ e-mail account through Microsoft Exchange Server,​ you​ can work offline while you're out of​ the​ office or​ if​ your connection is​ too slow .​
Outlook only tries to​ connect to​ the​ server when you​ ask it​ to​ or​ when you​ choose to​ do so in​ the​ Send/Receive groups .​

Mine your business contacts .​
the​ new Business Contact Manager feature,​ which integrates with Outlook,​ turns your address book into a​ powerful tool that can create,​ track,​ and manage your business contacts,​ sales leads and opportunities .​
Perhaps the​ best thing about Business Contact Manager is​ that it's as​ intuitive as​ the​ old Outlook,​ so you​ don't have to​ spend hours reading a​ manual before you​ can use it .​

Cool Feel to​ Outlook 2003
Think of​ the​ latest version of​ Outlook as​ MacGyver trading in​ his screwdriver for a​ power tool .​
Both gizmos worked fine,​ but somehow that drill just looks cooler .​
(Indeed,​ the​ new icons and feel of​ Outlook have my friends who use older versions or​ other e-mail systems drooling.)

But best of​ all,​ the​ Outlook 2003 with Business Contact Manager promises to​ make me more productive on​ the​ road .​

as​ the​ publisher of​ a​ travel e-mail newsletter,​ I​ was particularly impressed with integrated features that allowed me to​ send personalised messages to​ designated contacts,​ with the​ help of​ List Builder .​
In an​ age when clients are less likely to​ accept I​ was travelling as​ an​ excuse for missing deadlines,​ that's something that will probably help me keep the​ customers I​ have .​
And maybe find some new ones .​

With Outlook 2003,​ the​ learning curve is​ steep on​ a​ few functions - I'm still trying to​ figure out how to​ get my navigation pane to​ do what I​ want it​ to,​ for example - and users of​ the​ old Outlook will have some adjusting to​ do .​

But it​ won't take long to​ get the​ hang of​ it .​
And once you​ do,​ the​ new Outlook will become an​ even bigger reason (if you​ need one) to​ bring your laptop on​ a​ trip .​

Microsoft Outlook Travellers Secret Advantage Microsoft Outlook Travellers Secret Advantage Reviewed by Henda Yesti on August 07, 2018 Rating: 5

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