When it comes to Microsoft Office applications, law firms have unique needs. This Outlook training course includes training specific to the practice of law. You will learn how to effectively manage legal contacts, tasks and digital security. In addition, you’ll receive our complete Outlook curriculum. Mastering Outlook for Lawyers Made Easy features 23 video lessons with expert instruction. Watch, listen and learn as your expert instructor guides you through each lesson step-by-step. During this media-rich learning experience, you will see each function performed just as if your instructor were there with you. Reinforce your learning with the text of our printable classroom instruction manual , additional images and practice exercises.
Many attorneys find that they receive a substantial amount of daily e-mail. In this chapter we will discuss many mail management techniques that have been found to be effective in categorizing, sorting, and clearing a cluttered mailbox. The first technique that we will discuss is the use of subfolders within an Inbox. While some feel that this is a deprecated technique that is not as efficient as using the newer Search folders within Outlook, it is still worth knowing how to perform. Many lawyers will create subfolders for their individual cases and then sort their incoming email into the desired folder manually or by using email rules that they create. Learn this and more during this lecture.
If you have subfolders within your Inbox, you can create mailbox rules that will move mail to the subfolders when it is received in your Inbox if it contains specific text in the message subject or body. This reduces the amount of time it takes to manually sort and organize your Inbox and its subfolders. Learn this and more during this lecture.
Many efficiency studies have pointed out that using the “Search” and “Search Folders” features within your Inbox is a much faster and more efficient way to sort and organize your email versus using subfolders. Using this technique, you do not create subfolders. All mail is collected within your Inbox. However, you then use the “Search” feature, as well as create specific “Search Folders,” to selectively filter the Inbox to display only the mail items you wish to see at that time. Let’s examine how the “Search Folders” feature works within Microsoft Outlook. Learn this and more during this lecture.
One of the quickest ways to search for email is by searching for text within the “Subject” line of the email. This allows Outlook to skip scanning the body text of the actual email, thereby allowing for faster and easier searching. In this lesson, we will examine changing the “Subject” line of email you receive so you can add text that will allow you to find the email more quickly in the future. Learn this and more during this lecture.
You can use the “Flag for follow up” feature along with reminders in Outlook to aid you in remembering the tasks and other activities you need to complete, as well as when you must complete them. To review setting message flags as well as reminders on Outlook emails, review lesson “3.3- Message Flags” in the “Introductory Outlook” manual included with this product. Learn this and more during this lecture.
In the new era of mobile technology, it can be frustrating to not have access to your email on your mobile devices. For example, sometimes you cannot read a PC-based Outlook email message that has been saved through a web-based service on your tablet in its native Outlook email format. In this situation, saving the relevant email as a PDF file that you can access through a web-based service on your mobile tablet device can be helpful to lawyers who need access to their files on the go. Learn this and more during this lecture.
You can easily turn an email you receive into a task, thereby preserving the text of the email and any phone numbers or other information it contains as an actionable task for which you can then set a reminder date, as well as other task information. Learn this and more during this lecture.
The AutoReply feature of Outlook can be indispensable for attorneys who must make many court appearances and travel to perform their jobs. Whenever you must leave the office for a day, it is a good habit to set an AutoReply to email- informing people that you are out of the office and when you can be expected to return. Learn this and more during this lecture.
If you do not have the ability to access your Outlook emails remotely, then another useful feature for lawyers is the ability to have Outlook automatically forward email you receive to another email account you can access from your mobile devices. This way, you can still check your email when traveling or when you have a free moment when in court. You can set up automatic forwarding on your Outlook email account. Learn this and more during this lecture.
Many lawyers use standard text, such as a confidentiality agreement, within their emails and then simply make minor editing changes to the text to suit the particular situation. Whenever you have text that you insert and use over and over again in your email, you can save it as a Quick Part in Outlook so that you can easily insert it into future emails without having to retype it in its entirety or copy and paste it from another email, and possibly risk exposing confidential client information in the process. Learn this and more during this lecture.
While not available in Outlook 2007, Quick Steps were introduced in Outlook 2010 to assist users in being more efficient with multi-step tasks that they often perform in Outlook. The default Quick Steps are shown in the middle of the “Home” tab within the Ribbon when you have the Inbox selected. These default Quick Steps are shown because they are used so commonly by many users. However, you can create your own custom Quick Steps for the actions that you perform most frequently in Outlook 2010 or later. Learn this and more during this lecture.
If you are not connected to an Exchange Server, then you probably use a PST folder for your Inbox and other Outlook folders. For many lawyers, the sheer volume of mail that they handle can cause the size of the PST file to grow very quickly. In this lecture, we will review some tips that you can use to ensure that your PST folder size will remain manageable and that Outlook will therefore respond more quickly when you are using it. Learn this and more during this lecture.
Next we will look at creating contact groups and using the Bcc feature to ensure contact confidentiality when sending emails using contact groups. Note that contact groups were called “distribution lists” in Outlook 2007, however they retain the same functionality in both versions. If you would like to review the process of creating a contact group, please read lecture “2.6- Creating Contact Groups” in the “Introductory Outlook” manual within this product. Learn this and more during this lecture.
In this section we will discuss some additional tips and tricks that you can use when scheduling meetings and appointments in a law firm. As many paralegals can attest to, scheduling meetings and appointments can be quite a tricky business. There are many blocks of time when the attendees are out of the office, or already booked for other meetings. Coordinating the calendars of many lawyers at once can be a stressful task in itself, not to mention having to reserve resources such as conference rooms and the like. However, if you are well versed in using Outlook for calendar scheduling, you can minimize the stress related to managing legal scheduling. Learn this and more during this lecture.
In this lecture we will look at writing a custom VBA script to accept or decline meetings and create a rule for our mailboxes that will run the script when a specified condition has been met. This is probably as tricky as meeting requests can get for the ordinary user. However, the benefit of using this technique is priceless. For example, let’s say that you want to accept meeting requests ONLY IF they are sent from a specific contact or group of contacts in a contact group, otherwise you want to decline all meeting requests. You can create a script to accept meeting requests in VBA for Outlook, and then create a rule that will run the script to accept the meeting request ONLY IF it comes from the contact or contacts that you specify! Learn this and more during this lecture.
Many times you may have the temptation to forward an email that needs follow-up to an assistant or colleague with some simple instructions to complete. While this is commonly done, you run the risk of forgetting to follow-up with the individual to whom you sent the email. A better idea is to quickly convert the email into a task and then use task assignment to manage the task. This way you will be able to see the email in your task list and also be less likely to forget to follow-up with the person to whom you assigned the task. Learn this and more during this lecture.
As you create tasks within Outlook, you will often see the “Due Date” of the task displayed by default. In this lecture, we will look at adding a few columns of information to this view to more easily manage your tasks as well as their associated reminders. If you find that you constantly have a barrage of reminders appearing within your Outlook application, showing the “Reminder Time” column within the “Tasks” view will allow you to easily view and change the time at which you will be reminded to complete the associated tasks, so that you won’t need to open and edit each item individually. Learn this and more during this lecture.
Once you have started assigning tasks, you can use the power of the categories feature within Outlook to create custom categories based on cases and then create custom task views to organize tasks based on case. This can be a great way to organize your case and matter workload within Outlook. Learn this and more during this lecture.
One way to ensure that your email is more secure is to purchase a digital ID. The digital ID, also often called a digital certificate, proves that you are who you claim to be in your email by proving your identity to the recipient and aids in reducing email tampering. It does this by adding a unique code to your mail message which can only come from the digital ID of the sender. Learn this and more during this lecture.
Once you have a digital ID, you can then send encrypted email. Note that before you can send encrypted email, you must first send the recipients of your encrypted email a digitally signed mail message so that they can add your digital signature to their contacts folder. This signature will then allow these recipients to read the unencrypted version of your email. People who do not have a copy of your digital ID will see encrypted, jumbled text instead of the content of your email. That way, only people who have a copy of your digital ID can see the content of your email- guaranteeing mail security. Learn this and more during this lecture.
Many lawyers add confidentiality agreements to their email. One way to add a confidentiality agreement is to create the agreement as a building block which you can then insert into your email as needed. If you wish to review creating building blocks, please read lecture “1.10- Using Quick Parts” in Chapter 1 of this manual. Alternately, you can add the confidentiality agreement to your email as part of your signature. You can then set all email that is sent from your account to use the selected signature, ensuring that you will not forget to add it to any outgoing emails. Learn this and more during this lecture.
You may consider setting up a rule to defer mail delivery. When you defer delivery, the email will sit in the Outbox for a specified number of minutes before it will be sent. This allows you time to ensure that your email contains all of the necessary information, and reduces the chances that you will send an email message by mistake to the incorrect recipients or with the incorrect content. Learn this and more during this lecture.
This lecture provides a brief summary of the topics covered throughout the course and offers suggestions for further reading and learning materials.
Outlook 2013 for Lawyers Manual. Plus practice exercises and keyboard shortcuts.
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You will listen and watch as our expert instructors walk you through each lesson step-by-step. Our tutorials also feature the same instruction manuals (in PDF) that our classroom students receive - and include practice exercises and keyboard shortcuts. You will see each function performed just as if the instructor were at your computer. After the lesson has finished, you then "toggle" into the application and practice what you've learned - making it the most effective interactive training solution to learn on your own.