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Adding a New Name to the Outlook Contacts Folder

An Outlook Contacts folder is only as good and as thorough as the information about contacts that you put into it. To place someone on the Contacts list, open the Contacts folder and start by doing one of the following:

  • Click the New button.
  • Press Ctrl+N (in the Contacts Folder window) or Ctrl+Shift+C.
  • Choose File --> New --> Contact.

You see the Contact form. On this form, you can find places for entering just about everything you could ever need to know about a person (except his or her love life and secret vices). Enter all the information that you care to record, keeping these rules of the road in mind as you go along:

  • Full names, addresses, and so on: Although you may be tempted to simply enter addresses, phone numbers, names, and so on in the text boxes, don't do it! Click the Full Name button on the General tab, for example, to enter a name. Click the Business or Home button to enter an address in the Check Address dialog box. By clicking the buttons and entering data in dialog boxes, you permit Outlook to separate out the component parts of names, addresses, and phone numbers. As such, Outlook can use names and addresses as a source for mass mailings and mass emailings.
    When entering information about a company, not a person, leave the Full Name field blank and enter the company's name in the Company field.
  • Information that matters to you: If the form doesn't appear to have a place for entering a certain kind of information, try clicking a triangle button and choosing a new information category from the pop-up menu. Click the triangle button next to the Business button and choose Home, for example, if you want to enter a home address rather than a business address.
  • File As: Open the File As drop-down menu and choose an option for filing the contact in the Contacts folder. Outlook can file contacts alphabetically by last name, first name, company name, or combinations of the three. Choose the option that best describes how you expect to find the contact in the Contacts folder.
  • Mailing addresses: If you keep more than one address for a contact, display the address to which you want to send mail and select the This Is the Mailing Address check box. This way, in a mass mailing, you get letters sent to the correct addresses.
  • Email addresses: You can enter three email addresses for each contact. (Click the triangle button and choose Email 2 or Email 3 to enter a second or third address.)
    In the Display As text box, Outlook shows you what the To: line of email messages will look like when you send email to a contact. By default, the To: line shows the contact's name followed by his or her email address in parentheses. However, you can enter whatever you want in the Display As text box, and if entering something different can help you distinguish between email addresses, enter something different. For example, enter Lydia — Personal so that you can tell when you send email to Lydia's personal address, as opposed to her business address.
  • Photos: To put a digital photo on a Contact form, click the Add Contact Photo button and, in the Add Contact Picture dialog box, select a picture and click OK.

Be sure to write a few words on the General tab to describe how and where you met the contact. When the time comes to weed out contacts in the Contacts folder list, reading the descriptions can help you decide who gets weeded and who doesn't.

When you're done entering information, click the Save and Close button. If you're in a hurry to enter contact information, click the Save and New button. Clicking this button opens an empty form so that you can record information about another contact.

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