Your Outlook Tip For the Day: Making Contacts Easier

Keeping track of contact information is a vital part of most businesses, however typing multiple details about a client, coworker or business partner can be a tedious process. I’d like to share with all of you a simple way to share your contact information with those you correspond via e-mail. If used universally, this method would not only ensure accurate information, but also save time searching for that e-mail address from month ago. We’re more than eager to give anyone and everyone our business card in person, so why not make it easy for them to have your business card electronically?

I’m referring to an application built directly into Microsoft Outlook called “vCard”. A vCard is basically a virtual business card, and a utility that is vastly underused. It’s quite simple to use, and if everyone can start using it, sharing contact information would be as simple as double-clicking on an attached icon in someone’s e-mail. This action will automatically add that person’s contact information to your contact list. And making it easier for everyone to get in touch with you should be very important for anyone in business.

The first thing you will need to do is create a contact with your information. This may seem odd to create a contact for yourself, but it will make sense, I promise. Enter as much information that you feel comfortable with (whatever is on your business card), and save the contact.

After creating your own contact, adding a vCard to your signature is quite simple. If you are unfamiliar with setting up your e-mail signature, simply follow these steps:

1) Under the Tools menu in Outlook, click on “Options”. This will bring up a pop-up window where you will want to find the tab labeled “Mail Format”.
2) After clicking on the tab, you will see a section labeled “Signatures”, and you will want to click on the button labeled “Signatures”.
3) This will bring up another menu. If you don’t already have a signature, you will want to create one by clicking on “New”, otherwise select your signature and then click on “Edit”.
4) Once your edit screen is up, you will see a section called “vCard Options” and a button that says “New vCard from Contact…” Click on this button, and find your name in the list that shows up. Double-click on your name, then keep clicking “OK” until you have the option to click “Apply” and do so. You’re all set!

So you may be asking yourself, “What did I just do?” To answer this, compose a new e-mail. Your normal signature should show up just like before, but you’ll notice an attachment that is automatically attached to your new message. This is your vCard, and it will be sent automatically when you compose a new e-mail. When your recipient receives your e-mail, they simply need to double click on this attachment to add your contact information to their contact list. Pretty slick, huh?

The only tricky part is to get more people to use this feature. So let’s spread the word about this feature and get more people utilizing Outlook to its fullest potential. After all, proper communication is key for any young professional to strive in the business world.

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~ by Scott L. Clark on February 28, 2011.

One Response to “Your Outlook Tip For the Day: Making Contacts Easier”

  1. Hey Scott! Thanks for the tip. Just did it!

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