7 Ways to Maximize (and Fall in Love With) Outlook 2013’s ‘People’ Feature

Problematic.

Clunky.

Heavy.

If that’s how you think of Microsoft Outlook, no one is going to blame you. But the new Office Outlook 2013 — with its new set of features — could get you to change your mind.

One of these features is called People (formerly known as Contacts).

What People Does

People centralizes all your contacts in one place, making them easy to manage. And each contact has a single card that lists all of their contact information and your own notes about the person, such as details of your last contact and the things you need to follow-up with him or her.

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People is Outlook’s contacts, extreme-makeover edition. Here’s how to get the most out it:

  • Link contacts to merge duplicate entries.
  • Save favorites.
  • Keep contacts current.
  • Automatically add names to distribution lists.
  • Pick a photo.
  • See what your contacts are up to.
  • Do more from the People pane.

1. Link contacts to merge duplicate entries.

If you are using Outlook 2013 you can have it detect duplicate contact entries and link them together to form an aggregated overview of all the information for that contact.

For example, if you have a People card for John Smith in Outlook, you can link it to John Smith in Facebook and LinkedIn via the Social Connector. This way, you can view the information you need in a single view.

Using this linking feature, you are also able to see suggested links. For example, Outlook 2013 is going to suggest that maybe “Jon Smith” or “John Smit” is a duplicate contact for “John Smith”.

The linking feature also has a search function. So if you are pretty sure that you have a duplicate entry for John Smith and that you have filed it under another names such as “J.S.” or “CEO for ABC Corp.” then you can just easily search for these and link it to John Smith.

In the event that you do know two different John Smiths, and they were mistakenly linked together, you can easily unlink them.

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Although Outlook now creates an aggregated view of duplicate contacts, it does not actually remove the duplicates. It only virtually merges them in to a single view. Scrubly does a great job of permanently removing duplicates and merging matching contacts. More here: https://www.scrubly.com/info/features.

2. Save favorites.

Once you hover over People on your main navigation bar, you’ll have the option to add that person to your Favorites — useful for people you e-mail regularly, or for contacts on a project.

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3. Keep contacts current.

Hit the Edit button (see below) and it will display the editing interface and allow you to make changes to the contact information.

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Keeping your contacts’ information current – the Scrubly way

Just like Outlook 2013, Scrubly can keep all your contacts’ information updated. The app can automatically pull in your friends’ latest data from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter including their photos, birthdays, current company and location. To know more about this Scrubly feature, please click this link: https://www.scrubly.com/info/features/updateFromYourSocialNetwork

4. Automatically add names to distribution lists.

You can create a contact group so you don’t have to manually enter these e-mail addresses every time you want to send an e-mail. Here’s how:

  • Click on the People icon on the navigation bar.
  • Choose where you want to create the contact group under My Contacts.
  • Click on the Home icon.
  • Click on the New Contact Group tab and choose a name for your contact group.

From here, you can click on “Add Members” and add the e-mail address straight from your Outlook contact list.

If you need to add somebody who is not listed in your contacts, you must first add him or her as a contact.

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5. Pick a photo.

To add a photo to a contact, click the People icon on the Navigation Bar.

Click on “People View” under the View ribbon.

Choose the contact you want to add a photo to and click “View Source.”

Click on Outlook (Contacts) to bring up that contact’s Outlook information.

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Click on the photo icon on the contact card.

Look for the “Add Contact Picture” box where you can specify and upload a photo for that contact. Use only .bmp, .tif, .png, .jpg and .gif photo file formats.

If there is already a photo included but you want to change it, you can right-click on the photo itself and choose Change Picture from the dialog box that appears.

6. See what your contacts are up to.

You can choose to see information and status updates from social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn via the People pane.

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7. Do more from the People pane.

Give your contacts a call, schedule a meeting, or send an instant message right from that person’s People card.

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Scrubly sign-up.