Clearing Unwanted Email Addresses That Pop Up on the To, Cc, Bcc Lines

Last Thursday in Atlanta, I presented one of my popular seminars, Conquer Email Overload and Manage Your Time with Outlook. The conference was produced by the Georgia chapter of Meeting Professionals International. Great group of people who were eager to learn. Ding, Ding!

I demo’d the tip that has frustrated a lot of users. It’s those pesky email addresses that pop up once Outlook recognizes a few of the letters you type. Outlook maintains a nickname list that’s used by both the automatic name checking and the automatic completion features. Outlook has gathered these addresses as you’ve worked, but a lot of times, you don’t remember who the people are. Or perhaps they left the company a long time ago, and you’d never have a reason to email them.

Use Keyboard Arrow Keys to Clear Cache
When the unwanted email address pops up, use your keyboard’s down or up arrow to select it. Then hit the Delete key to erase the name from the cache (this doesn’t erase the name from your address book).

If That Doesn’t Work, Try This
Using the keyboard arrow keys and deleting won’t work if the cache has become corrupt. In that case, this might work for you. It will wipe out the cache so you can start fresh.

  1. Close Outlook, then click Start, Search.
  2. In the box under, All or part of the file name, type .NK2.
  3. In the Look In box, choose your local hard disk.
  4. Click More advanced options.
  5. In the resulting list, choose All files or folders, and tick Search hidden files and folders.
  6. Click Search. When the .NK2 file is located, right-click on it, click Rename.
  7. Rename the file to profilename.bak, and press Enter.
  8. Close Windows Explore and restart Outlook so a new nickname cache can be generated.

Don’t let technology frustrate you. Whatever problem you’re having can usually be solved by doing a little research. Or perhaps you’ll want to enroll in one of my training sessions either in person or on the Web. See my Website for details and dates.

Use Technology to Protect Your Small Business from Disaster

I’m a solopreneur and wouldn’t want it any other way. I love the flexibility I have and the fact that I can go hang out with my mom in DC anytime I want and not have to worry about what’s going on back in the office.

I had to think about safeguards I needed in place so I could recover from most any disaster, especially since I travel with my laptop (which is also my office). (According to government statistics, 93 percent of companies that had trouble restoring their data after a data disaster are out of business within 18 months. A solo or microenterprise could be out of business that day!)

I have peace of mind because I have taken precautions to protect my little enterprise in case of a disaster. What have you done?

  • I’m organized and you should stop and take time to do it too. If you can’t find something now, you definitely won’t be able to find it in an emergency. All files everywhere should be stored using a logical system that anyone can follow. Don’t just save files: organize everything and make the system make sense. And don’t store junk that should be deleted! To organize any files, start out with broad categories such as Accounting, Administrative, Marketing, and break them down into subcategories. Then break down the subcategories into the next broadest and so on…always keeping like subjects together. (For more help getting organized, visit my Website.)
  • All of my crucial files are automatically backed up to an online vault every day as they change. I’m using MozyPro.com to back up my laptop and external hard drive. I especially like that they haveĀ 24/7 support and they keep my files organized exactly as I have them.I’ve also developed a system that outlines which files to back up, when to do it, and where the files are stored. If I ever need to recover data, I want it to be as painless as possible. By having a logical system, I’ll be able to do it with a lot less stress. (See my post on exactly what I back up.)
  • An external hard drive in my office automatically backs up selected files several times a day (files from the My Documents folder and QuickBooks are most important).
  • My Website server is a repository for files meeting planners might need to download if they can’t get to me.
  • Crucial files are also stored on my 4GB flash drive that I always have with me.
  • Processes and procedures for running my solo enterprise are documented in a binder and also stored online.
  • All of my contacts and client files are stored in my computer (and also stored online). And everything is filed logically so anyone can find it in a hurry.
  • Computer-Internet-banking-related passwords are saved in a special file on my computer. For extra security, I listed just enough of the password for me to know which one I used…the rest of which I have memorized.
  • Precious files such as my passport, car title, copies of credit cards and driver’s license, etc., are stored in my office in a fireproof safe that’s small enough to grab and carry.
  • Business insurance covers all equipment at full replacement value. (Take digital pictures of everything, and save them on a CD, Flash Drive, etc. Keep the storage medium inside a fireproof safe that’s specifically designed for media contents. Explore your options from vendors such as Schwab Corporation.)

For more guidelines on preparing a disaster strategy for your business, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s disaster preparedness Website at Ready.gov. You should also visit the Red Cross disaster recovery page.

Now is a good time to get quiet and think about how your business would survive a catastrophe. Don’t procrastinate about setting something up any longer. You never know…

P.S. You can learn how to organize your files with my eBook, Get Organized So You Can Think! Word documents that I created that will make this easy and also a File Index to get you started are attached.

PEACE.

Save PowerPoint Slide as a High Resolution Picture

By default, PowerPoint will output a jpeg at 96dpi (click the File menu, Save As, and choose jpeg as the type). This is fine for the Web, but not for printing. In most cases, you’ll need at least 300dpi.

To create high resolution jpgs, you have two choices…fiddle with the registry and change it, or invest in some very inexpensive software that will do this for you. To complete a recent project, I chose the latter (I highly suggest you do the same).

The ImageExport on the PPTools Website is a fast, easy way to export graphics from PowerPoint as a GIF, JPG, PNG, or WMF at various resolutions. It’s $29.95, and you can try it for free.

For more tips in PowerPoint, buy my book, Just Show Me Which Button to Click! in PowerPoint 2007 and another one on PowerPoint 2003 or enroll in one of my PowerPoint workshops.

UPDATE: I’ve recorded three videos to show you how to use ImageExport.

 

PEACE.

Sending attachments when you mail merge in Outlook

In my Computer Magic! seminar at the Affordable Meetings conference, several attendees wanted to know how to send an attachment when they send a mail merge email.

The bad news is that you can’t with the native Outlook program.

But, the good news is that you can purchase an inexpensive add-in ($24.00) that will make this easy (if you’re on a company network, check with your IT administrator before you attempt to download anything to your work computer).

http://www.mapilab.com/outlook/mail_merge/

Somewhere along the way as you start the merge, you may get a message about a program trying to send email on your behalf…You can avoid this happening by downloading the “Express ClickYes” utility that is available as a free download from http://www.contextmagic.com/express-clickyes/

“Express ClickYes is a tiny program that sits in the taskbar and clicks the Yes button on behalf of you, when Outlook’s Security Guard opens a prompt dialog saying that a program is trying to send an email with Outlook or access its address book. You can suspend/resume it by double-clicking its taskbar icon.”

Creating and Editing a Movie Can Be Easy

Last summer, I was a speaker at the Phenomenal Women Speak conference in the US Virgin Islands. It was part of a PBS special for the island’s affiliate. They sent me a copy of the DVD. My plan is to pull 8-10 minutes from this and create a video for speaker bureaus.

(I know you’re thinking that I should be paying someone to do this for me, but I’m a computer nut, and instead of watching TV or going shopping, I learn stuff on my computer. I get caught up in it, and hours go by with friends and family having to remind me to eat.)

Unfortunately, the DVD was in the .vob format, and none of the software I used to convert it worked. I went to my favorite Website and looked for software that could do it (www.snapfiles.com). They test software, evaluate it, and put it on their site for you to download. Some of it’s free, some not. I’ve always found exactly what I needed.

I tried various software, but nothing was giving me the quality I needed. The free software converted it, but the quality was bad (it might be that the video is an hour long). Another software converted it, but my mouth movement wasn’t keeping up with the sound.

Finally, I found what I needed. The Movavi Video Converter converted the file and kept the quality.

To create the movie, I thought I’d be able to use Microsoft’s free Movie Maker. But every time I added my video, the software crashed. I tried different scenarios to fix the problem (checking codecs) but nothing worked.

I was wasting time, so I went back to Camtasia to pull segments from the full video, add graphics, photos, music, etc. It’s by www.techsmith.com, and is probably the best software in the world for this type of project (for regular people like us). The company uses its own technology to create tutorials that are free on their Website so you’ll have no problem learning how to use it.

When I finish the project, I’ll burn the DVDs and use my artwork I talked about in a previous post to create the finished product. I’ll create a link later so you can see it. Stay tuned…

I’ve done this before and have a video segment for a time management seminar I gave for small business owners. Click the link to view.

PEACE.

Create Interesting Art Projects with PowerPoint

I just finished an interesting project using PowerPoint. In an earlier post, I talked about how to save PowerPoint slides as pictures. I do this a lot when I create the photo gallery for my Website. And I’m finding other uses for this tip.

I’m creating a DVD using some great video footage from a PBS special I did for the US Virgin Islands affiliate. I edited the video using Camtasia and put a 6-minute video sample together (see SUITETV tab above).

The only thing left to do was to create the DVD jacket covers and disc label.

I could have gotten a designer here in Atlanta to do this and pay hundreds of dollars. Or I could have bid this out on Elance.com and gotten someone in China or somewhere to do it cheaper. But I wanted to give it a try…mainly because I’m a computer nut and love creating in PowerPoint (I teach PowerPoint and have written a book about it…see links below). And also because I knew I could do it as long as I kept everything simple and clean. So I turned off the TV and went to work.

Here’s what I did.

I created a disc cover and DVD jacket (front, back) in PowerPoint. I measured a DVD jacket from one I’d purchased and resized a PowerPoint slide to the same dimensions. In a separate file, I resized another slide to fit the back cover dimensions (that also included the spine). Then I went to work on the design.

Once I designed the jacket cover, I saved it as a high resolution jpeg right from PowerPoint.

By default, PowerPoint will output a jpeg at 96dpi. This is fine for the Web, but not for printing…you need at least 300dpi. I had two choices…fiddle with the registry and change it, or invest in some very inexpensive software that would do this for me. I chose the latter (I highly suggest you do the same). The ImageExport is a fast, easy way to export graphics from PowerPoint as a GIF, JPG, PNG, or WMF at various resolutions. It’s $29.95, and you can try it for free. Saving the file in the PNG format is giving me the best quality.

Then I went to work on the DVD label, using the same design (the picture above). I used a free Word template designed specifically to fit DVD/CD labels at NEATO. I had to tweak the PowerPoint design until I had a perfect fit, but this was quick. Next, I saved this slide as a high resolution jpg. Then in Word, I inserted my PowerPoint jpg as a fill effect/picture inside the drawing object on the NEATO template.

I saved both of these documents on a Flash Drive (I saved the DVD label as a PDF) so I can use a friend’s high resolution color laser printer for the best quality (or you could use Kinko’s, Office Depot, Staples, etc.). The disc cover will print directly on NEATO CD/DVD labels, 2up (two per page). I’ll print the jackets using high quality photo paper.

I’m very pleased with the results (click here to see the rest of it), and I learned some new things along the way. If you want to learn how to do projects like this, sign up for my class “Create Marketing Collateral with PowerPoint.” Or buy my book, Just Show Me Which Button to Click! in PowerPoint 2003 (Update: 2007 version now available).

Let me know what you think.

P.S. I need to add that the only stumbling block in all of this was removing the white box behind my photo when I inserted it into PowerPoint. I used the transparency tool on the PowerPoint Picture toolbar, and it was almost perfect. Almost isn’t good enough for me.

I had to go to PhotoShop Elements and learn how to get rid of the background. I’ve paid people in the past when I’ve needed this done, but I was determined to learn how to do it myself. I went to Help, and could have kicked myself once I saw how easy it was to do this…took me 2 minutes!, if that long. Now I know.

I use two monitors so after I finished in PhotoShop, I dragged the picture over to the slide in PowerPoint. This time when I used the transparency tool, I was more pleased with the finish.

PEACE.

Peggy Duncan, Personal Productivity Expert