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Tip: Create and Use Contact Groups in Outlook 2010

If you routinely send e-mail to the same group of people (or schedule meetings with a committee or club), you can avoid the tedium of picking each name individually and create a Contact Group item that includes those names.

Open the folder that contains the contacts you want to save as a group. Click New Contact Group on the Home tab.

contact1.jpg

Give the Contact Group a name and then click Add Members to begin picking from your Contacts folder or another address book.

contact2.jpg

The resulting group will appear among the rest of your contacts.

If you want to change a group’s name, add or remove members, or add notes about the group, simply double-click the group and then you can manage it.

Send Mail to a Contact Group:
To address a message or meeting invitation to a Contact Group, enter the group name in the To: field or BCC: field. When you click send, the group name will be replaced by all the addresses included in the group.

This brings up an important point. A Contact Group is not the same as a mailing list (or discussion list) managed by an e-mail server. With a mailing list, you use a group name (like coho-list@example.com) to send and receive e-mail messages, and the messages are passed on individually to list members who see only the group alias in the To: or From: field. But when you use a Contact Group to create a new e-mail message, the group name is replaced with the individual addresses in the group. If the Contact Group contains 37 e-mail addresses and is placed in the To: field, every recipient will see every one of those 37 addresses. If you don’t want your recipients to be identified, you need to place the Contact Group name in the BCC field.

Tip adapted from Microsoft Office 2010 Inside Out by Ed Bott and Carl Siechert

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