In Arrow-Tip #23 I talked about Outlook plug-ins that may help increase your efficiency. That post was so popular that I decided to expand on it in another post called More on Outlook plug-ins back in April of last year. Well a lot can and did happen in 8 months so I thought you might like to hear about some new plug-ins in addition to some more insight into the oldies. And, lets face it, what really made those two posts so good was all the great feedback I got from you guys so please don’t be shy this time either!
One of my favorite new tools for getting large files or even small files that the Outlook filter doesn’t like to clients is You Send It. You can use You Send It for free to send files up to 100 MB in size and for a small fee (9.99 / month) you can extend the file size up to 2 GB. The way it works is that you upload your file to YouSendIt’s site and then an email is forwarded to your designated recipients with a link to the YouSendIt site where the file can be downloaded. Another great benefit here is that you do not have a copy of the large document sitting in your Outlook Sent items folder taking up space.
You can pretty much do what you need to do directly from the You Send It web site, but they also have a great Outlook add-in that allows you to send files directly from Outlook. Benefits here are that you have all the normal Outlook email capability (not having to look up email addresses, etc.), but you also have the extended YouSendIt capability to send a large file. If you send a lot of large files – this option is a must!
Do you have clients or team members in remote locations? Ever find that a conference call just isn’t enough to communicate effectively? Ever wish you could just remote control someone’s computer on the spot when you are trying to explain to them how to do something? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions then GoToMeeting may be the answer to your prayers.
Last year I had an engagement with a client located across Houston where I was required to meet once a week with their sales team. The sales team is spread out all over the country so even if I did make the trek across town for our meeting, some of the participants would still have to call in. At first I would send the team members files to review during the call and we would all connect via a conference line. What we quickly discovered was that not everyone knew what I was referring to in a given document and we’d waste a lot of time trying to get on the same page. Enter GoToMeeting. GoToMeeting provides both a conference line and a medium for allowing users to click on an internet link, login and see your computer on their screen. The administrator also has the ability to allow a participant to show his screen and that participant can allow the administrator to assume control of their screen as well. I can’t begin to explain the increase in efficiency we saw after we started using GoToMeeting.
Even better, GoToMeeting has an Outlook plug-in that allows the administrator to schedule meetings using the Outlook calendar and manage those meetings directly from Outlook without ever going to their website. WIth the GoToMeeting plug-in you can schedule meetings in advance and send invitations to multiple users directly from Outlook. Or you can conduct a meeting on the fly as you are talking with someone on the phone. Nuff said – this thing rocks!
And now for a quick recap of the other plug-ins I mentioned previously and how I’m using them now: