Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: About This Book
Microsoft Outlook 97 At a Glance is for anyone who wants to exploit the power of Microsoft's new personal information manager and electronic mail client, Outlook 97. You'll find this book to be a straightforward, easy-to-read reference tool. Based on the premise that personal information managers and electronic mail are tools that everyone can use, this book's purpose is to help you use your computer as a tool to work smarter (not just harder) and to better plan or organize your life (especially your work).
Let's face it-when there's a task you don't know how to do but you need to get it done in a hurry, or when you're stuck in the middle of a task and can't figure out what to do next, there's nothing more frustrating than having to read page after page of technical background material. You want the information you need-nothing more, nothing less-and you want it now! And it should be easy to find and understand.
That's what this book is all about. It's written in plain English-no technical jargon and no computerese. No single task in the book takes more than two pages. (And most take a page or less.) Just look up the task in the index or the table of contents, turn to the page, and there's the information, laid out step by step and accompanied by a graphic image or two to add visual clarity. You don't get bogged down by the whys and wherefores: just follow the steps, look at the illustrations, and get your work done with a minimum of hassle.
Occasionally you might have to turn to another page if the procedure you're working on has a "See Also" in the left column. That's because there's a lot of overlap among tasks, and I didn't want to keep repeating myself. I've also scattered some useful tips here and there and thrown in a "Try This" once in a while, but by and large I've tried to remain true to the heart and soul of the book, which is that the information you need should be available to you at a glance.
Whether you use Outlook as a full-blown personal information manager or simply as a way to send and receive electronic mail, you'll find this book packed with procedures for everything that you might want to do, from the simplest tasks to some of the more esoteric ones.
... And the Easiest Way To Do Them Another thing I've tried to do in Microsoft Outlook 97 At a Glance is to find and document the easiest way to accomplish a task. Like most software programs, Outlook often provides a multitude of methods to accomplish a single end result, which can be daunting or delightful, depending on the way you like to work. If you tend to stick with one favorite and familiar approach, the methods described in this book are the way to go. If you like trying out alternative techniques, go ahead! The intuitiveness of Outlook invites exploration, and you're likely to discover ways of doing things that you think are easier or that you like better than mine. If you do, that's great! It's exactly what the creators of Outlook had in mind when they provided so many alternatives.
A Quick Overview
This book isn't meant to be read in any particular order. It's designed so that you can jump in, get the information you need, and then close the book and keep it near your computer until the next time you need to know how to get something done. But that doesn't mean I scattered the information about with wild abandon. If you were to read the book from front to back, you'd find a logical progression from simple tasks to more complex ones. Here's a quick overview.
You'll probably turn first to Section 2. It introduces Outlook, explains how you can integrate Outlook into your work, and describes some Outlook basics that you'll want to know as you begin exploring this useful tool.
If You're connected to the Internet Or a local area network, you'll want to review Sections 9 and 4. Section 3 describes how you use Outlook for sending and receiving electronic mail, or e-mail. Section 4 describes how you can create an electronic Address Book which you can use for, among other things, corresponding by e-mail.
Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 describe how Outlook's personal information management tools work. Section 5 describes how you can keep an electronic Contacts list and log using Outlook. Section 6 explains Outlook's appointment Calendar. Section 7 shows how you use Outlook's To Do lists to plan your work. Section 8 describes how Outlook's journal lets you integrate task and appointment information. Finally, Section 9 explains how Outlook's Notes work.
The remaining two sections of this book delve into more advanced topics: Section 10, for example, explains how you can use Outlook as a desktop manager. (Once you begin using Outlook to organize your work and life, why not also use it as a tool for organizing your computer's resources?) Section 11 explains how you can customize the way Outlook looks and works.
Some Final Words
Let me close this introductory section with some final comments-comments, I hope, that you'll find helpful and encouraging as you use this book and learn Outlook: Whatever you want to do, this book helps you get
This book helps you discover how to do things you didn't know you wanted to do. And, finally, this book helps you enjoy using Outlook. I hope you'll have as much fun using Microsoft Outlook 97 At a Glance as I did writing it. The best way to learn is by doing, and that's what you'll get from this book. jump right in!