Microsoft Outlook LinkedIn Connector – effectively manage your professional network

You can already send email, fax, call (VoIP), and SMS in Microsoft Outlook.  Microsoft Outlook Social Connectors even allows you to stay connected to your social and business networks, e.g. LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, Windows Live … etc.  Microsoft Outlook is now your central communication hub!

 I am only focus on Microsoft Outlook LinkedIn Connector in this article and come back to discuss other Microsoft Outlook Social Connectors later.

 Microsoft Outlook LinkedIn Connector allows you to:

  • Keep track of all your LinkedIn connections` latest activity for who e-mails you right at the bottom of that e-mail.  If they have a Profile Photo, you’ll see that too.

  • Get the latest contact information from your LinkedIn connections.  Outlook would add a new Contacts folder “LinkedIn” and automatically sync information from Linkedin.

  • E-mail your LinkedIn connections directly.  You can make use of all Outlook power features including mail merge to send personalized email to all your LinkedIn connections; and you are not restricted to only send to 50 connections in each email.
  • Click the green “Add” icon next to any email sender to easily invite them to join your professional network on LinkedIn.

Microsoft Outlook LinkedIn Connector is a FREE, easy to use but yet powerful tool to manage your professional network in a central place.  You can download it from; however, you must download and install Microsoft Outlook Social Connector first.

If you have any further question, you can reach me at


Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.


Use Categories to Manage Contacts in Microsoft Outlook 2007

Use Categories to Manage Contacts in Microsoft Outlook 2007
It is not difficult to harvest hundreds or even thousands contacts from social media, e.g. LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace.  How you can manage such vast amount of information would become a major challenge.  Microsoft Outlook 2007 provides color categories to easily group and identify contacts.
Before you assign categories to contacts, you may want to rename default categories or add new categories to match your business needs.

Rename Default Categories / Add New Categories
·         On the Actions menu, point to Categorize, and then click All Categories.
·         Select a category and click Rename button.

If you want to add a new category, click the New… button.


After you configure the Color Categories, you can now assign categories to contacts.

Assign Color Categories to Contact

  • From the Go menu, select Contacts

  • Select the contact that you want to add categories, right click on it

  • Select Categorize and pick the category you want, e.g. “Newsletter”.



    If you want to choose more than 1 category, select All Categories…

Select the categories and click the OK button.

View Contacts by Category
You can see the contacts by category.


From View menu, select Current View and then By Category.



1 record is listed under Categories “Newsletter” and “Vendors”.

Now you can do a mail merge and send personalized email to every contact under color categories.  You can also add color categories to other Outlook items e.g. email, task or appointment.

If you have any further question, you can reach me at


Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.


How do you create an Electronic Business Card (EBC) using Microsoft Outlook 2007?

Electronic business card allows your customers to add your contact information to their digital address book (even it is not Outlook) with a few mouse clicks.  All you have to do is to right click on it, and then choose to "Add to Outlook Contacts".

Quick and simple!  So how can you create one? alt

If you have a contact record in your Microsoft Outlook, then you already have one.  Microsoft Outlook automatically creates an ECB for each contact.  I am going to walk through with you how to tailor made one and share in your email or other documents.


Create Your Contact

  • If you don’t already have a contact for yourself, please create one now.


Edit your electronic business card

  • You can edit your electronic business card by clicking the Business Card button.


  • The Edit Business Card dialog would show up.
  • You can add more fields by clicking the Add… button.
  • Move the fields up and down by using the Move Field Up or Move Field Down button.


  • You can change the background color, add image, adjust image area and location using the Card Design options


  Include your e card in your email signature

  • When you are in Signatures and Stationery dialog box, click the Business Card button and select your card from the list.


Now, your electronic business card is attached with every email that you send out.  You can also put it on your website, include it in your newsletter….

Please contact me at if you have any further question about electronic business card.

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!

Automatically send personalized email using Microsoft Outlook 2007

Do you want to send personalized email to many people at once? It is a very simple feature that consists of 4 easy steps.

  1. Select your contacts in Outlook
  2. Start mail merge from Outlook
  3. Write your email in Microsoft Word and
  4. Preview and Send

I am going to show you step by step how it can be done in several minutes. Select your contracts

  • In Outlook, go to Contacts by pressing "Ctrl+3" or click on the "Contacts" tab


  • Select the contacts you want by holding the "Ctrl +" Click on multiple contacts or select your Mass Email / Newsletter category (if you already have one)


Start mail merge

  • In the menu bar, click "Tools", then "Mail Merge"


  • You would see the Mail Merge Contact Dialog


  • Under "Contacts", select "Only selected contacts"


  • Under "Merge options", select "Email" under "Merge to:"
  • Fill in the subject line


  • After you click the OK button in the Mail Merge Contact Dialog, Microsoft Word would start.

Write your email in Microsoft Word

  • Since you already select the email recipients, you can start writing your email in Word.
  • You can insert email specific fields using the "Write and Insert Fields" group in the Ribbon


  • Move your cursor to where you want to add a greeting line
  • Click on "Greeting Line"
  • You would see the "Insert Greeting Line" dialogue


  • You can change the "Greetingline format"


  • There are a lot of mail merge fields to select by click on "Insert Merge Field"


Preview and Send

  • You can preview your email by clicking the "Preview Results"


  • You can scroll through every record by using the "First Record", "Previous Record", "Next Record" and "Last Record" buttons 


  • After you preview the email and you are ready to send out email, click "Finish & Merge" and "Send E-mail messages…"


  • You would see the "Merge to E-mail" dialogue 


  • Click OK button and your email with personalized greeting line would be sent out to all selected email receipents.

If you already drafted your email, it would only take you couple minutes to do a mail merge in Outlook.  You can contact me at if you have any further question about mail merge or Outlook.


Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!

Use Outlook to Improve your Productivity

Do you receive hundreds of emails a day?  Have you got a few thousand emails in your Inbox?  Did you ever miss critical email or important meeting?  Do you spend too much time looking for an email?  This article would empower you to regain control of your Inbox.

The key to effective management of your email is to organize and prioritize them.  Microsoft Outlook 2007 has many simple but powerful features to let you re-gain control of your Inbox and productivity. 

4 Ds

Delete it – it is simple to delete email but you may want to consider why you receive it at the first place.  If it is from a distribution list that you are not longer interested, then unsubscribe from it.  If it is a junk mail, then add the sender to blocked senders list.

Delegate it – make sure you add a task to follow up.

Do it – but don’t spend too much time.  If it takes more than 2 minutes, then defer it.  Once you processed the email, then you can either delete it or file it to your folders.

Defer it – you can easily defer an email by flagging it.  Once an item is flagged, you would see it in your To-Do Bar.  You may also want to add appropriate categories. 


If you store all your email in a single folder, i.e. your Inbox, very soon it would have over a thousand or even ten thousand emails!  So much that you don’t even want to open your Inbox.  Outlook allows you to create extra folders to organize your email.  However, there is no universal guideline on how you should build your folders structure but I recommend a few folders to start with:

  • Distribution List (DL) / Social Media (SM) Folders – you have joined different social media or subscribed to multiple distribution lists which send you emails frequently.  These emails do not require immediate attention; you should move them away to the corresponding DL / SMs folder and read them later.
  • Reference Folders – store emails that you receive or article on web which contains information that can be used in future.
  • Favorite Folders – some folders are more important than others, e.g. Inbox, Boss, Clients, Current Projects….  You may want to put all your important folders under Favorite Folders.
  • Search Folders – Outlook give you a number of options to choose from, e.g. mail with attachments, mail from specified people and you can also create your customized search criteria.


Now you have all your folders ready.  But it would still consume a lot of time to move your emails from the Inbox to the necessary folders.  Rules help you manage your e-mail by performing actions on messages that match a specific set of conditions.  Rules fall into two general categories: notification and organization.  Notification rules alert you in some way when you receive a particular message.  Organization rules perform one or more actions on a message, e.g. moving to another folder.
*Rules can run automatically or manually.


I disable email notification so that I can focus on my works.  However, if I am expecting an important email from my clients, then I would use Rules to notify me automatically when such email arrives, e.g. from Mr. John Smith of XYZ company.

Color Categories

Color categories allow you to easily identify and group associated items, such as messages, contacts, and appointments so that you can quickly track and organize them.

You can also assign more than one color category to items. You can rename the color categories to something more meaningful to you or choose different colors for the categories. This flexibility enables you to design a color category system that fits your personal work style.

  • 1:1 Boss
  • @Tomorrow, @This Week, @Next Week, @This Month
  • @Email, @Go Train, @Home, @Team Meeting, @Offline
  • @May Be


A task is automatically created when you flag an email; you may like to change the name of the task or add more information to it.  You can also create a new task at the top of Tasks List or in the To-Do Bar.
You should always review your tasks for the day and week ahead and make any necessary adjustment;.  It is also a good practice to add appointment to your calendar to make time to get your tasks done.  Make sure you reserve time for unexpected tasks.
You should add categories to tasks so you can group similar tasks together and process them in a batch.
Learn how to say "NO"!

To-Do Bar

The To-Do Bar is new to Outlook 2007, and it enables you to track your time and tasks wherever you are in Outlook.  The To-Do Bar shows a small monthly calendar, upcoming appointments, and a list of tasks on the side of the screen. In the To-Do Bar, you can accept/decline meetings, quickly access the full Calendar, add new tasks, categorize, rearrange, and change the dates of your tasks all while responding to e-mail.


There is always more to do than the time to do it.  You must set aside time to deal with your e-mail, manage your appointments and tasks, and reflect on what you have to do on your calendar; then commit to it.

Searching Effectively

Below is a list of examples on how you can build more effective searching criteria.

  • From:Andrew
  • Bcc:Andrew
  • Hasattachments:yes
  • Andrew NOT Chan
  • received:>=10/1/06 AND received:<=10/5/06
  • received:lastweek

If you have any further questions on how to use Microsoft Outlook to increase your productivity or manage your Inbox, please email me at

Andrew Chan is the owner and founder of ALG Inc.

We help you to make better and faster decisions!