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This article is Part 1 in a series on how to communicate with e-mail. Part 1 explains how to use the InBox. To view any article in the series, click one of the following links:
Part 2: Composing MessagesThe information covered in this article is provided by: Microsoft Press
Part 3: Addressing Messages Quickly
Part 4: Attaching Files to Messages
Part 5: Sending and Retrieving Messages
Part 6: Replying to Messages
Part 7: Forwarding Messages
Part 8: Deleting Messages
Part 9: Organizing Messages
Part 10: Applying Custom Filters
Part 11: Using Folders
Part 12: Moving Messages
Part 13: Organizing Messages with the Rules Wizard
This information is an excerpt from the Quick Course in Microsoft Outlook 2000 book, Chapter 3: "Communicating with E-Mail".
Whether you're working on a stand-alone computer or on a network, this article shows you how to use Outlook's e-mail component to send, read, and respond to e-mail messages. Then you learn ways to organize messages for maximum efficiency.
Tasks performed and concepts coveredThis series of articles covers the following tasks and concepts:
Outlook's Contacts component helps you organize information about people without actually communicating with them. But communication with colleagues is an integral part of daily work, and in recent years, electronic mail (or e-mail) has become the primary method of communication for many people. Some people have internal e-mail (company-wide or institution-wide), some have Internet e-mail, and some have both. Regardless of what type of e-mail you have, it can all be handled by Outlook's e-mail component. In this article, we discuss how to use this component to create, send, receive, and manage e-mail messages.
There's nothing difficult about the concept of e-mail. It's simply a way of sending messages that bypasses the traditional post office. The beauty of e-mail is that it doesn't use paper resources, it's fast, and it costs nothing (at least, nothing more than you may already be paying for Internet access). Sometimes it is even better than using the telephone because you can deal with important business right away rather than running the risk of playing phone tag. Add to these advantages the fact that you can include files, programs, and other attachments with the messages you send, and also that you can send the same message to several people without any additional effort. It's not surprising that even people with abysmal letter-writing habits become staunch advocates of e-mail as a means of communication.
Setting up Internet e-mail If you work for a large organization or you access the Internet through a school computer, e-mail has probably already been set up on your computer. But if you are working on a stand-alone computer, you can't send or receive Internet e-mail in Outlook until you set it up. First you will need to obtain the domain names of your outgoing and incoming e-mail servers from your ISP. Then start the Internet Connection Wizard by choosing Settings and then Control Panel from the Start menu, double-clicking the Internet Options icon, and then clicking the Connections tab of the Internet Properties dialog box. Click the Connect button to start the wizard. As you work through the dialog boxes, you will need to enter information such as your e-mail address, account name, and password. If you need help with this setup, contact your ISP. If you already have a Dial-Up Networking connection to your ISP, you may need to add the Internet E-Mail service to your Outlook profile. Choose Services from the Tools menu and then complete all the tabs of the dialog box to set up this service.
Sometimes people confuse internal e-mail and Internet e-mail. It's easy to understand why because, in many ways, they are similar. However, having internal e-mail doesn't necessarily mean you have Internet e-mail, and vice versa. To be able to send e-mail to a colleague down the hall via internal e-mail, both your computer and your colleague's computer need to be connected to your organization's network. To be able to send e-mail to a client in another state via the Internet, both your computer and your client's computer need to be able to access the Internet. This access may be invisibly provided by a server on your network, further blurring the distinction between internal and Internet e-mail. Or access may be more visibly provided via a modem connection to an Internet service provider (or ISP). Either way, you can use Outlook. (See the tip on the facing page for more information about Internet e-mail.) Outlook can be configured to work with many of the more popular e-mail programs, but to take full advantage of some of Outlook's capabilities, you need to be working on a network that runs Microsoft Exchange Server.
Using the InboxBy default the Inbox is the component displayed in the workspace when you start Outlook. The Inbox is Outlook's main e-mail folder and the place where you will spend most of your time when working with e-mail. (Icons for the other e-mail folders--Drafts, Outbox, and Sent Items--are available in the Outlook bar's My Shortcuts group.) Well, let's jump right in and start sending and receiving messages:
Start Outlook by double-clicking its icon on the desktop. One of two things happens: