I’ve unofficially been the guy at my past companies that has shown my colleagues some useful IT tips – almost always revolving around productivity. One of my favorite interactions was when I showed my colleagues at SVB how to eliminate an annoying network message that kept coming up on everyone’s computers. The directions went something like
1. Click the “Start Button”;
2. Click “Run”;
3. Type in a command;
4. Click “OK”.
One of my partners thanked me for the tech tip and then asked “Where’s the Start Button?” You can’t make stuff up like that… too funny.
Here are my latest tips:
LinkedIn Outlook Toolbar and “Grab”: If you download the LinkedIn Outlook Toolbar, a very useful utility called “Grab” is added to Outlook. When you see someone’s contact information at the bottom of an email, you just highlight the contact details and click “Grab”. It will open up an Outlook contact with all of the fields populated with the right data. This avoids the awkward step of typing in all of the contact details…very useful for people who add lots of contacts. LinkedIn makes it difficult to find the Outlook Toolbar.
- Just scroll all the way down on the Home Page and click on “Tools.”
- Click on the download link for the Outlook Toolbar and follow the instructions.
- After installation, open an email that has someone’s contact information at the bottom of an email.
- Highlight the contact details and click “Grab”. That button will now be part of your toolbar in Outlook. “Grab” will create an Outlook Contact for the person.
- Just click “Save and Close” and you’re done.
You’ll see the download link there. This “Grab” feature will make adding Outlook contacts a lot easier.
Xobni: This is “Inbox” spelled backward. The premium version of the tool enables you to send emails more easily. When sending an email, Outlook tries to guess (badly) who you are trying to reach. Xobni gives you a much more extensive and targeted list of suggestions by constantly indexing your emails and recording contact details from everyone that you have received or sent an email to. (I know I’m not supposed to end a sentence with a preposition but this is my blog and it sounds better to me that way). The free version is helpful at indexing emails and showing you people’s LinkedIn profiles as you are looking at their email. The real valuable part of Xobni is in the premium version which helps make it easier to send emails. Next month, I’ll try to find a solution so that Outlook stops asking you if you want to send an email or a fax each time you compose an email. Has anyone ever used Outlook to initiate a fax?
ZoomInfo Powersell: Everyone knows that you can look at people’s profiles on ZoomInfo. It’s really helpful to get background information on your contacts. ZoomInfo also has a premium version that will give you contact information for all of the people you could possibly want to meet. The premium version costs….gulp… $1,500 per year. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m cheap. ZoomInfo gives you the option of getting access to their contact database for free for 60 days if you upload all of your contacts. They use your Outlook data to make their information more accurate – Not to spam all of your contacts. For me, that’s a very good deal. I can now search for people by Name, Title, Geography, Company, etc. and get targeted lists with email addresses and phone numbers. It’s very useful. I can also track almost anyone down…until my free trial period ends. Be careful with this one because it’s addictive.
Feel free to email me with questions or comments…