Today, managing your professional or personal network’s contact information has never been easier with the Contacts service all major email providers offer. Contact lists are a feature that makes it easy for you to communicate with multiple contacts at once. And if you’re using Microsoft Outlook on the Web, they’re fairly easy to create and administer by following these simple steps.
Formally called a distribution list, contact lists are a collection of the screen names or real names and contact information for the individuals in a group to which you plan to send emails. To create one, open Outlook on the Web, then select the People icon (which can be found on the far left of your screen).
In the left-hand pane, you’ll see an option for Contacts which, when you click it, expands into the following list of links:
By clicking on Your contacts, you’ll see the contact information you have stored in Outlook. But when you select Your contact lists, your screen will display your existing contact lists and provide you with the option to + Create a contact list.
You can create a new contact list by clicking that option. Or you can create a new contact list from the dropdown at the top of the left-hand pane titled New contact. When you use either option, you’ll be taken to a New contact list dialogue box that describes what a contact list is, as well as a field used to name your contact list.
Once you’ve named your list, you can type in the email addresses that belong in the list in the Add email addresses field. Keep in mind that adding a contact requires that you have a valid email address (not just their name and phone number) in their contact entry.
When you type the first letter of a contact’s name, the field will become a dropdown menu of your contacts whose name starts with that letter. Click on the contact, and you will see them added to your list. Each name will appear followed by an X to its right, so if you’ve added a name in error, simply click on that X to remove it.
The last field in the dialogue box, Description, allows you to go into further detail about the nature and purpose of the list. Completing this field can help keep you organized if you already have multiple or outdated lists with similar names. However, it is optional.
After completing these fields, click Create on the dialogue box, and your brand-new Contact List will appear! Also, you should know that when you create a contact list in Outlook on the Web, it will automatically appear in Outlook Desktop and vice versa.
To email your contact list, select Send email, which appears below the name of your list on your contact list page. An Outlook email will open up with your contact list prepopulated in the address field. All you need to do is compose your email and click Send.
Once you’ve created your contact list, you may need to make changes. On the contact list screen itself, you should see several options in the gray horizontal toolbar at the top:
To add or remove people, select the contact list you wish to revise and click Edit, which will take you back to an Edit contact list dialogue box. From there, you can add people by typing their email addresses in the Add email addresses field. Or you can remove others by clicking on the X to the right of their name and email address.
You can also add contacts to your list from the Your contacts screen. Simply select the contact you’d like to add to a particular list. Then, click on Add to list on the toolbar and select the + next to the list you’d like to add the contact to. And if seeing a contact inspires an idea for a new list, you can select the contact from here and choose New contact list, which will take you to the New contact list dialogue box. From there, you can build out your new contact list.
If you need to delete a list entirely, select the contact list in question and select Delete. Rest assured that deleting a list only deletes the list itself, not the individual contacts in it from your Contacts folder in Outlook.
What if you have a pre-existing list you’d like to move to or from Outlook? To the far right of the gray toolbar, you’ll see a Manage option with a dropdown. You’ll see links to Import contacts and Export contacts when you select it.
To import your contacts, you’ll need to convert your existing contact list into a comma-separated values (CSV) file, then select Import contacts from the Manage dropdown. From the resulting dialogue box, select Browse, then find and choose your CSV file. Once you have it, select Open, then Import. Your contacts should then appear in Your contacts, allowing you to add them to whichever contact list you choose.
To export your contacts, click Manage, then Export contacts. Select either the list you wish to export or All Contacts when prompted. Doing either will export the contacts you want into a CSV file that can then be uploaded to another email application or used as needed.
Microsoft Outlook on the Web offers many of the same powerful features as Microsoft Desktop does. And while Microsoft Outlook Desktop is the more robust of the two, many users don’t have the full command of the full array of productivity-enhancing and time-saving features found in either.
If you’re looking to help your staff unlock the full potential of Microsoft Outlook to save time (and money), 365 Technologies can help. Working 24/7 to provide Winnipeg firms with the managed services they need, we also help companies master Microsoft technologies to improve their efficiency and bottom lines. Contact us today if you’re looking to ensure your staff has the training and resources they need to be as productive as possible.