Book Review: The Outlook Answer Book

Microsoft Outlook is a powerful program that can do much more than merely send and receive emails. Even without a user manual, Outlook is pretty easy to set up and use. Its basic features are rather intuitive. But to go deeper, you may want to pick up a copy of The Outlook Answer Book: Useful Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Microsoft Outlook(R) 2003. This book will help you tap into the full potential of the program.

The authors divide their content into 16 chapters: setup and configuration, categories, address book/contacts, email, calendar, notes, journals, tasks, searches, custom forms, macros, outlook express, exchange server, web access, security, and archive/backup.

“The Outlook Answer Book” is generous with pictures and contains easy to follow instructions. As the title would suggest, the format is all Q&A. Every single heading is in the form of a question. Though helpful for a new user, I found this format annoying at times and even redundant. For example, was it really necessary for the authors to take 6 pages to tell us how to add shortcuts for new email, a new note, a new task, a new appointment, a new journal entry, and a new contact? (pp. 9-15).

All in all, though, “The Outlook Answer Book” is a fine book that will allow you to get the most out of a great program.

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