Monday, April 11, 2011

Making a Distribution List in Outlook

A distribution list is a set of contacts that you create that makes it easy for you to send a broadcast email to that group of people. For example, if you have just been asked to chair a search committee for a new position at the college, you can set up a distribution list for that team- which you might name “New Position Team- to allow you to easily communicate with the members of the team but without the need to type in each individual name each time you wish to send the team a message. You can use this distribution list not just to send email messages, but also to set up meetings or tasks on Outlook. And setting up the list is relatively easy to do.

The distribution list will be stored in your Contacts folder. It is possible to make this a global account or a personal account, and we will do the later here (the former would make your list available to everyone in the college, which you probably don’t want to do). However, you can share your list with others by sending it to them, or having them copy if from a message you send out to others.

To create the list, first go to the File menu, point to New and then click on Distribution List. A box will open that asks you to give this list a name; name it so that you will recognize what that list is for. We might call it, again, “New Position Team.” On the Distribution List tab, please then click on Select Members. In the Address Book drop-down list, click on the address book that contains all the email addresses you want to include in your new distribution list; in this case, this will be the Global Address List. A Search Box will appear, and in it you should type the name of one of the people you wish to include. When that name finally appears, click it, and then click Members. Do this for each person you want to add to the list, and when done click OK.

The list is then saved in your Contacts folder under the name you gave it. When you wish to send an email to that list, all you need to do is to go to your Contacts folder, double click on the “card” for the distribution list, and when it opens, click on the tab on the ribbon on top that says Email. A blank email will open up already set to be sent to the members of the list. You can then type your message and just click to send.

You can add or delete members easily by opening the file as noted just above. You can delete a name by highlighting it and clicking Delete; you can add new names as you did before. This is an easy way to make sure you do not have to replicate or duplicate work.

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