Video: Shortcut to Increase-Decrease Font Size in Word, PowerPoint, Outlook

I’m pretty sure I use this shortcut every day. When I want to increase or decrease text to a certain size that I’m not sure of, I don’t go back and forth to the ribbon or use any command that requires me to choose a size.

Here’s my favorite shortcut that I use in Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook. It’s not the one you may have been using.


Hope this helps. Feel free to comment and share. #SuiteTuesday



Define Your Own View in Outlook (e.g., Click to See Only Contacts in a Particular City) (video)

Outlook has many time-saving features that allow you to get to what you need quickly. One of those is the ability to define your own views.

In this video, I’ll show you how I can filter all my Outlook contacts and only see the people in Charlotte, NC, for example. This comes in handy when I’m traveling to a particular city and want to determine if there’s someone there I can connect with.


After you learn how to define your own views, you’ll want to explore all the other possibilities. For example, I’ve defined a view of my Outlook Calendar that shows me everything from this date forward that I’ve categorized as SPEAK. I travel internationally as a trainer and love being able to see only those dates on the calendar at a glance.


About SUITE TUESDAY: How-to video series produced by Peggy Duncan. Real quick video tutorials of tech tips that will help you finish work quicker so you can go home. Click to FOLLOW me here on LinkedIn Pulse. Explained in plain English without any fluff. Free to share.


“It will cost you $0.00 to share this video on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube, etc. It’s also free to give it a thumbs-up on YouTube. Thank you.” – Peggy Duncan

More tips from Peggy Duncan on LinkedIn. Click here.

About the Author: Peggy Duncan is an award-winning, international personal productivity expert. She uses her skills as a professional organizer, project manager, and computer trainer to help busy professionals spend less time working but get more done.

Need help for your team: seminar, workshop, Webinar, coaching, consulting? Click here

Find full, pre-recorded lessons on my membership Website

New Webinar–12 Fast Ways to Answer Email in Outlook (with Peggy Duncan)

The best way to handle an overflowing Inbox is to get into a meeting with it and handle it one message at a time. For the ones that deserve an answer, you’ll finish quicker once you discover little-known Outlook commands and a few workarounds.

I just scheduled a new Webinar, 12 FAST WAYS TO ANSWER EMAIL IN OUTLOOK. “Well, just smack my head” was a comment I got from a coaching client. This gave me the idea to start a mini series of Webinars that focus on one thing…training that won’t overwhelm and that you can use immediately. Check it out and sign up. Tell some people too.

Please share with your network.


Use Outlook Contacts for More Than Just Names and Addresses, etc.

You can use Outlook Contacts for more than just contact information of people you know or meet. I use them for all kinds of things because it’s so convenient to get to (I live in Outlook). I use the notes block on the contact page to store information. I give each “contact” a logical name and locate it quickly by typing in the Find a Contact box.

Here are some examples.

Blog This. As I think of things to write about (or run across ideas on the Net, magazines, etc.), I add information on various topics in the notes block of this contact. I use two monitors so when I see something on the Net to blog about, I copy and paste the URL to the text area. If it’s something I need to remind myself of, Ctrl+Shift+G to flag the contact. I assigned this contact to my Outlook “Reminder” category.

Airlines. I have the major airlines that I fly listed, along with their phone numbers, URLs, my frequent flyer numbers, and airport codes in this contact. I assigned this contact to the “Vendor” category.
Affiliates. I’ve signed up for various affiliate programs on the Web, and all the information on each one is kept in one place in this contact. Everything is in alphabetical order. I assigned this contact to the “Vendor” category.
Personal. This is a running list of all my passwords/IDs I use on various Websites. I’ve written enough of each password so I know immediately which one I used. Everything is in alphabetical order (I can also press F4 to Find). I assigned this contact to the “Personal” category.
Laptop. This contact lists all kinds of things associated with my laptop. I have the order number/date of purchase, service code/tag (because HP will ask me this if I call them); the date my warranty expires, and case number with notes anytime I have to call them. I assigned this contact to the “Vendor” category.

These are just a few examples. If you have miscellaneous information you have to keep track of, consider making it one of your contacts and it’ll always be at your fingertips (and synched to your PDA).

Note: Outlook Notes work well too. They can be organized and categorized for easy access.


Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert

Use Copy2Contact to Turn Text on a Page to an Outlook Contact

One of the tips I demo in my Outlook class is how I turn text on a Web page, inside an email message, or a document into a contact with all the information popping into the right place. If I can select the text, I can grab it.

The first time I selected text on a page and hit my hotkey, I couldn’t believe what Copy2Contact™ (formerly anagram) did. I had been cutting and pasting or dragging information onto an Outlook contact page and always dreaded it.

If you prefer working smart and don’t hesitate to invest in affordable technologies that work and will save you time, you’ll love it. You’ll use this technology every day to turn text on an electronic page into a digital contact (or calendar item, task, or note).

It’s easy.
Download a free trial today! and stop dragging, copying, pasting, typing.
You will love this software.
Peggy Duncan Personal Productivity Expert

Cure Email Addiction: 15 Things to Try

Addiction in the case for email can be defined as a compulsive behavior engaged in in spite of its harmful effects. If you’re hooked on email and find yourself checking it even when you’re working on something important and need to stay focused (including sleep), you’ll have to commit to breaking the habit.

For those of you who get lost in email to the detriment of important work and a life, here are 15 things you can try to get back in control. Specific computer steps are for Outlook, but you can apply the same techniques to your email client. If you can’t, now is a good time to switch.

  • Clean out all that mess! An Inbox with hundreds or thousands of messages represents missed deadlines, unfinished work, or broken promises. Stop keeping junk you will never need again. Get into a meeting with your Inbox and start purging, creating a filing system for the keepers, and learning tips and strategies for handling each message as you open it. If you stop using your Inbox as a database, calendar, to do list, tickler file, or filing system, you’ll be able to keep it to one screen, and you’ll feel more in control.
  • Shut your computer down. Before you start working on something important, have dinner with someone special, or turn in to get some much needed rest, shut your computer down. The less convenient it is to check email, the better.
  • Don’t start your email client when your computer starts. In Windows, right-click on the Start menu, click Explore, find your Startup folder, and move your email client out of it.
  • Make the default view in Outlook the Calendar (or Tasks). Click the Tools menu, Options,Other tab, Advanced Options, Browse, click Calendar (or Tasks), OK.
  • Turn off the option of automatically checking for incoming messages. Click the Tools menu, Options, Mail Setup tab, Send/Receive, untick Schedule an automatic send/receive, OK.
  • Deactivate the new message alert (the ding). Click the Tools menu, Options, Preferences tab, Email Options, Advanced Email Options. In the When new items arrive in my Inbox section, untick Play a sound.
  • Cancel the New Mail Desktop Alert. In the Windows notification area (where your computer shows the time), right-click on the Outlook icon. To clear the checkmark, click Show New Mail Desktop Alert.
  • Make it inconvenient to open Outlook. Remove Outlook from the System Tray (to the right of the Start button). Right-click on the Outlook icon, and click Delete (this does not delete the software). Then remove Outlook from the Start menu. Click Start. If the Outlook icon is there, right-click on it, and click Remove from this list. To open Outlook later, you’ll have to find it. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Office, click Outlook.
  • Work on one computer and use another one for email. This will be an inconvenience, but try it until you kick the email addiction.
  • Stop using a BlackBerry or PDA around the clock. People have lost their minds thumbing when they should be thinking. No matter how much I love email, I don’t want to be tied to it 24/7/365. I don’t want it finding me wherever I am, constantly interrupting me from something that is most likely more important. Box up your BlackBerry or PDA and ship it to yourself with 3-5 day ground delivery. You’ll find that life goes on. If this isn’t feasible, turn it off and leave it in your car when you get home (if you have a personal cell phone, leave the work BlackBerry in your desk at night…don’t take it home).
  • Find something else to do. Make a list of all the things you’ve always wanted to do…focusing on things that are realistic and affordable. Create a step-by-step action plan to get some of this done, whether it’s learning something new, expanding a hobby, doing some volunteer work, and so on. Get away from the computer and replace it with something that will make you feel good.
  • Concentrate on breaking the habit. Wear a rubberband around your wrist. Going forward, every time you realize you’ve stopped working on a project and jumped back to email, stop. Pop yourself. Then remove your hands from the keyboard, take a deep breath, then retrace your steps. Back up to what you were doing before you checked email. Do this each time, and you’ll start to change. (It’ll take you approximately 21 days to break the habit, so don’t give up.)
  • Establish a routine for checking. Once you ease the addiction, establish a routine that works for you. Bear in mind that your boss, co-workers, and clients want answers fast, but don’t be foolish in thinking you should be available the instant a message arrives. You are not 9-1-1. Include in your routine a day of no email and pick up the phone instead…Fridays is a popular choice.
  • Don’t let them visit after they send the email. If someone knocks on your door with the dreaded “Did you get my email? I need to see you for a minute,” mention how you work, and get back to that important thing you were doing. You don’t want to replace something that can be handled quickly (email) with something that could suck up too much time (visits, phone calls). But you’re going to have to pace yourself so you can get everything done.
  • Work smarter. Organize everything around you (desk, computer files, Inbox, clothes closet), streamline how you work, and learn the technology you touch every day. If you do all these things, you’ll end up with extra hours in your day. Now you can get more things done and stay on top of email too.

Start now and do everything you need to to break the hold email has on you. If you do nothing else, clean out all that mess in your Inbox. You’ll begin to feel more in control, more on top of things, and the urge to constantly check email will begin to subside. If it doesn’t, call Dr. Phil.

Update 11/29/2008: I just read an article at titled “What BlackBerry Addiction says About Obama’s Brain.” Princeton University neuroscientist Sam Wang, co-author of Welcome to Your Brain, suggested a very interesting way to curb an email addiction. He suggested using email as a reward, such as an indulgence of chocolate that we reward ourselves with for doing something good (perhaps finishing a report you’ve procrastinated about). Email is the chocolate. So hold off checking email until you’ve done something to deserve the treat of it.


Peggy Duncan, personal productivity expert

Don't Let Spam Slow You Down

I’m still getting too many nods “Yes” when I ask seminar and workshop attendees if they’re still getting a lot of spam. If you are too, take these steps to end it.

Use a good provider. If you’re using Joe’s Internet Service with servers in his basement, he’s probably not using the best technologies to block spam on the server side…before it gets to you. Use one of the big boys such as AT&T for Internet access and make sure your Webhost meets the same requirements (e.g., Network Solutions).

Keep your clickable email address off the Web. There is no valid reason for putting your live, clickable email address on the Web. Spambots scour the Internet looking for the @ symbol and all that comes with it. Spell it out with “at” instead of the symbol…people will know what to do. It’s a good idea to Google all of your email addresses to see where they show up. Get them removed! Then sign up for Google Alerts so you’ll be notified if they show up anywhere later. And remember that Google can index any documents, PDFs, and Flash files so keep your full email address out of there.

Get a powerful spam blocker. Technology is available to stop spam in its tracks. I highly recommend Cloudmark Desktop because it works in the background and doesn’t challenge people who want to reach me (a potential client or journalist shouldn’t have to get permission to send me a message).

Turn up the security volume in your email software. I use Outlook 2007 and have my security set at High. To check yours, click the Actions tab, point to Junk E-Mail, click Junk Email Options. On the resulting Options tab, choose High.

Get a new set of email addresses. If after all this you’re still getting a lot of spam (not likely), change your email addresses and start over. I know it’s a hassle, but you can’t afford to spend another minute deleting spam. Or at the very least, get rid of info@, sales@ email addresses…you’re making it too easy for the spammer because all they’ll need is your domain.

Deal with the few that will still trickle in. After you’ve made these changes, you’ll probably still get one or two spam messages a day. It doesn’t do any good to add them to your blocked senders list because they’re coming from a one-use email address. Instead (in Outlook), hold down the Shift key and Delete (it’ll bypass your Deleted Items folder).

Stop using autoresponders. If you decide not to do any of this and you continue to use autoresponders (e.g., out of office replies), you’re autoresponding to the spammers. You’re letting them know that yours is a legitimate email address and the floods will keep rising.

Email is too important and something can easily fall through the cracks if you don’t stay on top of it. In my book, Conquer Email Overload with Better Habits, Etiquette, and Outlook 2007, I include lots of tips, tricks, and strategies for managing your life. And for hands-on training at your place or mine, check out my workshop (also available online).

Peggy Duncan, Time Management Expert

The Google Calendar integrates with Outlook so sharing is easy

The question about sharing the Outlook calendar with others comes up a lot in my workshops I conduct on managing time with Outlook. If you’re on an Exchange Server it’s no problem. But what if you’re working with a virtual assistant or you’d like a family member to always know where you are? There are various solutions, but Google has taken all the pain away.

I use Outlook to its fullest. If you knew it the way I do, you wouldn’t use anything else. It never crossed my mind to use the Google Calendar until now. Google integrates with Outlook and you can easily share your calendar with the public or only with certain people that you designate. And it’s free! (Is this old news? I’m just now finding out.)

Keeping the two in sync is easy…as easy as with your PDA. Any change I make in Outlook is synched to the Google Calendar as soon as I connect to the Internet. This is just too good.

Cannot Remember John's Name? Four Ways to Find Him in Outlook

If you need to contact John right away but you can’t remember his name, here are four ways Outlook can help.

  • Search the Notes Area. If you made notes in the text area of John’s contact page, you can conduct a quick search to find any of the words. (Click Advanced Find (should be on your Outlook Standard toolbar. If it’s not, click the Tools menu, Find, Advanced Find. Or Ctrl+Shift+F), Advanced, Field, All Notes field, Content, Condition contains, Value=words you’re looking for.)
  • Search Various Fields. If you remember something about John such as his company name, you can search for it. Repeat the steps above, but instead of clicking More Choices, stay on the Contacts tab and explore those search options.

If these two methods turned up John’s contact, going forward do the following with your contacts.

  • Associate Contacts. You met John at Mary’s Website launch. Remembering Mary is no problem so you associate the two. On John’s contact page in Outlook, look at the bottom, left corner. Type Mary’s name where it reads Contacts. Outlook will associate the two and you’ll be able to hyperlink from one to the other (I shouldn’t have to say that Mary should also be in your Contacts).
  • Assign Categories. Now look at the bottom, right of John’s contact page. Type a Category (you’ll need to understand this feature) that John fits such as a business type, networking group, etc. Later, you can filter your contacts using that category as the criteria (from Contacts, right-click the header row (where Full Name, etc., are…separating fields the way Excel does), Customize Current View (if you don’t see Customize Current View, click Custom), Filter, More Choices, Categories=John’s category). Then it might help to see his name in a smaller sampling.


Are the ribbons in Office 2007 slowing you down? Get the menus back

I haven’t upgraded to the 2007 version of the Microsoft(R) Office Suite and don’t plan to anytime soon. (I will when I start getting training requests for it…hasn’t happened yet, and I’m glad.)

If you’re using the 2007 version, the new design could be slowing you down. It’s a brand new look and will take some getting used to. Change is hard and we usually adapt. But in this case, you might prefer the organized order of the menus and will want to go back to them.

You Can Bring the Menus Back

You can bring back traditional menus with some very inexpensive software (that Microsoft also recommends). You’ll still have to learn where the commands moved to, but at least it’s a more organized visual.