Thursday, December 20, 2012

Outlook Out of Office Assistant

Every now and then it’s healthy to step away from emails, especially over vacations and breaks, etc. Here’s how to tell folks that, while their messages may be important, you won’t be responding to them for a while.

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. If you use Outlook 2007, simply click Tools and select Out of Office Assistant
  3. OOA1
  4. If you use Outlook 2010, click the File tab. In most cases, the Info tab will be selected by default for you. Click the Automatic Replies (Out of Office) button.
  5. OOA2
  6. Click the button next to Send automatic replies.
  7. Check the box next to Only send during this time range: and set your start and end dates & times.
  8. You’ll need to designate the message you want to send back to people Inside My Organization as well as Outside My Organization. These can be the same, or you can customize either to your heart’s content. There are even some special Rules you can set up, but for most of us, this will be enough. Click OK or Save, depending on which version you are using.
  9. OOA3

Now your customized message will be sent automatically to anyone who sends you an email while you’re taking a break. All of your messages will still accumulate in your Inbox during this time, and you can look in on them and reply as you’d like.

Note: If your boss sends you something while you’re away, you are still responsible for checking and replying as usually expected during your vacation or break, depending on your school’s or organization’s usual expectations, etc. Using the Out of Office Assistant feature does not relieve you from whatever normal responsibilities you would otherwise be expected to maintain.

Outlook Contact Groups & Distribution Lists

It’s fairly easy to send a message to one or two persons, but what if you want to send a message to an entire team, grade level, or all the parents of students in your class? That’s when you need to make a Contact Group or a Distribution List, depending on which version of Microsoft Outlook you use…

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. If you use Outlook 2007, click the little down-triangle next to New and select Distribution List.                                                             
  3. DList1
  4. If you use Outlook 2010, click New Items, point to More Items and select Contact Group.              
  5.                                  Groups1
  6. First, give your group a name, like “Math 2nd Period” or “Parents 2012,” etc. Think a little about how you name it, so that typing it in later will be easier.
  7. Click the Add Members button.
  8. If you are adding parent email addresses for the first time, you can type them in one-by-one by selecting the New Email Contact option.
  9. If you already have the email addresses entered as Contacts in Outlook, select the From Outlook Contacts option.
  10. If you are creating a list of employees within our District, select the From Address Book option. Make sure you are looking at the Global Address List. Groups2
  11. Save the group when you’re done.
Keep in mind, you’ll have to update this list when kids are added or dropped from your class rosters. To utilize this new list, compose a New E-mail. Type in the name you just gave it in the To: field, and create & send the message just like you normally would!

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