Outlook Best Practices

Outlook Best Practices

Welcome to another “Tips and Tricks” for using our NKSD Outlook / Exchange email system.

This time, I'd like to summarize several “best practices” to keep your email running smoothly. Some of these may be repeats from earlier messages I've sent.

  1. Never store email in your “deleted items” folder - Our system will delete it after 60 days anyway, and it still counts toward your size limit until it's gone. Empty your deleted items periodically.
  1. Don't keep mail just for the sake of the attachments – This takes a huge amount of your storage space. Instead, open the attachment, and then save it into your “my documents”. Don't forget to delete the original email!
  1. Avoid putting staff members in your “contacts” – Information in your contacts isn't updated automatically. Information in the Global Address List (GAL) is always up to date, because it's created nightly from the HR database. Use the Global Address List whenever possible.
  1. Avoid making your own staff distribution lists if we've already made them for you – Our lists (found in the Global Address List) are always up to date, using data from Human Resources (HR). Each school has pre-made lists (for example, Breidablik has BESTAFF, BESTAFFCLASS, and BESTAFFCERT). Anyone at that school can use those lists. Just pick them off the GAL, and you're always up to date. If we don't provide it, though, you should make your own. If you do make your own lists, choose your members off the GAL, not from your contacts. That way, their email addresses will stay up-to-date.
  1. Don't choose email recipients by typing on the “To:” line – When you do, Outlook will auto-complete the information for you, but it will pull that information from two unreliable places, (1) Your contacts, which may be out of date, and (2) Anything you may have mistyped before. Use the Global Address List instead. (Click on the word “To:” or the little address book icon)
  1. Double-check the parent addresses in your homework email lists – We have MANY emails that go to our “dead letter” pile because of typing errors. For example, right now, we have emails addressed to 6 misspellings of “hotmail” on today's pile: hotmai, hotmiail, htomail, hatmail, hutmail, htmail. We also have frequent problems with spellings of comcast.com, yahoo.com, and embarqmail.com. (Note that embarq is spelled with a “Q”, not a “G”).
  1. If you receive messages from our system about your mailbox getting full – Remember items 1 and 2 (above). If you have a “Personal Folders” area below your mailbox, move older items into corresponding folders down there. See your computer tech for assistance.
  1. Minimize sending very large or non-official emails – If there is a shared folder you can put your huge PowerPoint file in, put it there and send your recipient an email telling them where to find it. Please don't forward chain emails, such as “Oh this is so cute, you have to see this”, fluffy bunnies, angels, and anything intended to be re-sent to 100 of your dearest friends. These types of email spread and multiply, causing slow mail delivery for all users,
  1. And finally… Be VERY careful with attachments from senders you don't know. Many attachments can contain code that can do ugly things to your computer and our whole network. This can cause many hours of down-time for everyone. Virus scanners are great, but we can't catch everything.
  1. (and did I say “Finally” in #9 above?) – Never use an “nksd.wednet.edu” address anywhere, on anything, at any time.
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