Tips and Tricks: Outlook Web Access

Most UCI Exchange email and calendar users now have their accounts in Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud service.  You can always use the full-featured Outlook application (part of Microsoft Office), but you can also use the Web interface, Outlook Web Access (OWA) if Outlook isn’t available on your computer, or doesn’t meet your needs.

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There are many methods for sorting and filing from your inbox.  You can delete a single message by simply clicking on the trash can icon that appears when you hover over or select the message.  You can use the check-boxes that appear on the left when mousing over a message to create a group for refiling or deletion. You can also drag-and-drop messages one at a time or (by shift-clicking or control-clicking) in groups.

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Because OWA is part of an online suite of Microsoft tools, you can quickly jump to another (such as your calendar) using the grid in the upper left of the window.  There is also a flexible search box in that corner.

owa-sortThe Filter drop-down menu above your message list offers a number of features, including the ability to choose how the message list is sorted (say, by date or sender.)

 

 

 

 

owa-settingsFrom the black-and-white gear at the upper right, you can configure your out-of-office message, as well as make some layout choices (Display Settings).

 

 

 

 

outlook-displayThe Reading Pane is where you see the contents of a message.  You can choose where in your browser window you want it to appear, or suppress it and use all the screen space for your folder and message list.   From the Conversations tab you can display related messages with the newest message first or last.

 

 

This is only a sample of the features in OWA.  The OIT Help Desk is ready to assist you with any other needs in managing your Exchange email or calendar.

Group Email – Hints and Tips

mailinglistEmail has become an integral tool for business communications.  However, using email to communicate among a group can be challenging.  Here are some ideas for more effective communication and collaboration within a team or other UCI community.

For small groups and short-term issues, a simple cc: list and “reply all” can get the job done, but when the number of recipients grows, communication becomes disjointed as people reply to different messages in a chain, respond to different drafts of a document, accidentally share comments intended for one recipient to the whole list, and other inefficiencies.

Mailing lists (provided at UCI by the Mailman software) are a convenient method for communication among a large group or interest community.  Lists can be configured to be for announcements only (list members see official postings but cannot reply), moderated (anyone can reply but the list administrator has to approve a reply before it is distributed), or open discussion.  You can request a new mailman list on the OIT Web site.  Administrators can build a list of recipients, or potential subscribers can add and remove themselves from a list as interests change.  Recipients are spared a chain of “Please remove me from this list” email messages which can result from using cc: addressing.

Beyond simple group communications, there are collaboration tools such as UCI Google Groups.  With collaboration software, you don’t have to send email attachments around – teams can work on a single on-line copy of a document together, discussing ideas in email, or attaching comments directly to the document.  Access to the document is tied to membership in the group, so as people join and leave the team, the ability to participate in discussions or change team documents follows in parallel.

If you have questions or wish assistance in using group communication tools, please contact the OIT Help Desk.

 

New Zotmail System

ZotmailAdministrative Policies and Records, working with OIT, has developed and released a new edition of Zotmail, the campus system for sending email announcements to faculty and staff.

Features

Among the many features of the new Zotmail system are an easy-to-use interface (senders can more easily create and customize messages; everyone else can more easily control which Zotmail messages they receive) and a searchable archive for looking up past Zotmail releases.

Zotmail Lists

All employees are added to the Zotmail system as soon as their payroll records are created and the employee has selected an email service (“delivery point”).  Employees are automatically enrolled in a core set of official communications channels related to their affiliation (e.g., faculty, staff, main campus, School of Medicine), lists for Schools and other campus units, and certain other informative lists including:

  • Staff Assembly
  • UCI Brief
  • UCI in the News
  • UC Irvine Magazine

Employees can then use the Zotmail system to modify the lists they receive messages from.  There are certain lists (emergency communications and mandatory information relating to employment at the university) from which you cannot unsubscribe.

Mailman Lists

Many of the lists that were part of the old Zotmail system are now supported by the Mailman service, which is better suited to special-interest forums such as:

For more information on Zotmail and campus mailing lists, contact oit@uci.edu or call x42222.