How to set a default country code when dialing Microsoft Outlook contacts from Skylook     

The steps below show you how to set a default country code when dialing Microsoft Outlook contacts from Skylook.

Here are the steps:

(These steps assume you have Outlook, Skype and Skylook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details)

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

2. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

3. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to set up Skylook the way you want.

4. On the Skylook toolbar, select “Tools > Options”.

5. Select the “General” tab. Your Options > General window should look something like this:
Phone Call Journal Options

6. Click on the “Select your local Country Code:” drop down box and select the Country which you would like to set as a default country code when dialing Microsoft Outlook contacts from Skylook.

7. Set the other options the way you would like them, then click OK to apply these settings.

8. Start making phone calls using Skype and Skylook and try dialing your Microsoft Outlook contacts from the Skylook menu.

If you have problems with any of the above, please refer to our troubleshooting pages, or email us: skylook@skylook.biz for assistance.

How to keep a record of your phone calls in the Outlook Journal     

Here is how to keep a permanent record of all your phone calls in the Outlook Journal.

Following the steps below will allow you to:

  • Make and receive phone calls using just your PC and a broadband internet connection.
  • Automatically create a journal entry for each call you make or receive.
  • Record all calls in the journal or only calls to and from certain contacts.
  • Group important contacts’ calls together with their emails, text chat messages, voice mail messages and more.
  • Easily enter notes about each call, during or after the call, and search for calls based on these notes later on
  • Keep a recording of each call as an MP3 attachment, accessible from the journal entry for the call.

Here are the steps:

(These steps assume you have Outlook, Skype and Skylook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details)

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

2. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

3. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to set up Skylook the way you want.

4. On the Skylook toolbar, select “Tools > Options”.

5. Select the “Journal” tab. Your options window should look something like this:
Phone Call Journal Options

6. Check the box “Automatically create Outlook journal items…”.

7. Set the other options the way you would like them, then click OK.

8. Start making phone calls using Skype and Skylook. (NOTE: You can make calls directly from Skype if you wish – calls are recorded to the journal regardless of whether they are started from Outlook or not, as long as Outlook is running).

9. Each call you make to the contacts you selected above is now recorded in the Outlook journal. You can now use Outlook’s powerful journal features to organize and manage your call history – for example you can sort or group the journal entries by contact to see all of your communications with a particular contact at once.

10. Each journal entry also contains a link to an item in the Skylook Conversations folder, which contains a full recording of the call. To access the recording, first double-click the journal item, then double-click the shortcut icon that appears in the body of the journal item.

11. To see how to take notes on each call and store them in each call’s journal entry, click here. The notes you enter are automatically copied to the journal entry.

As you can see from the options window above, Skylook also allows you to store text chat messages, voice mail messages, missed calls and outgoing SMS messages to the journal.

If you have problems with any of the above, please refer to our troubleshooting pages, or email us: skylook@skylook.biz.

Skype In (or SkypeIn)     

SkypeIn is Skype terminology for being able to take calls from normal phones using Skype.

Obviously for people to be able to call you on Skype using a plain old traditional phone or mobile/cell phone, they need a number to call. So when you sign up for SkypeIn, the people at Skype give you your very own number. When people dial that number from any phone, your Skype application (or Skype phone if you have one) will ring.

(One of the interesting things about this number is that you can ask the people at Skype to give you a number in your own country, or in a number of overseas countries. So, you could be living in London but answering calls made to a Los Angeles number for instance).

The following steps show you how to get a SkypeIn number (or multiple SkypeIn numbers if you want). The steps assume that you already have Skype installed and set up. (If you don’t, click here to see how to do that).

1. A SkypeIn number needs to be purchased. Unfortunately at present this is a separate process to purchasing SkypeOut credit – hopefully the people at Skype will streamline this in the future. In the meantime, it’s basically a separate deal. You can purchase your unique SkypeIn number here.

2. After completing the purchase process, wait to receive a confirmation email from Skype. Once it’s all confirmed, your number will be active and ready to take calls.

3. If you would like calls automatically answered and placed in your Outlook inbox, click here for instructions. With Skype and Skylook you also have lots of other services available to you – click here for more details.

In a nutshell, SkypeIn is basically the opposite of SkypeOut. If you want to call normal phones and have them be able to call you, you need both SkypeIn and SkypeOut.

Skype Out (or SkypeOut)     

SkypeOut is Skype terminology for making calls to standard phone lines. This includes land lines and mobile/cell phones – i.e. any number you can call from a standard phone except emergency numbers (e.g. 000, 999) and, in some cases, toll-free numbers.

SkypeOut calls are charged per minute. The rates are cheap (comparable to calling card rates). Quality can vary, from nearly equivalent to a normal phone, to very patchy, depending on a variety of factors. Calls to mobile phones can be problematic, as the glitches on the mobile network compound with glitches on the Skype network and internet, making some calls unworkable. However Skype are working to improve this and you can expect quality to improve over time.

The following steps show you how to make a SkypeOut call. They assume that you already have Skype installed and set up. (If you don’t, click here to see how to do that).

To make a SkypeOut call:

1. Click here to add some Skype Credit to your account.

2. Wait for a confirmation email from Skype and for your new Skype Credits to appear added to your Skype balance.

3. Click on the “Dial” tab within Skype. Make sure the selected country is correct,

4. Dial the number by clicking the numbers on the keypad. You will need to include an area code, even for numbers that are within the same area code as you. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged long distance rates (Skype charge you the same low rate regardless from where in the world you are calling), however keep in mind that the charging is time-based, so on longer calls you may be charged more than for a local call using your normal phone, if your phone service provider provides fixed price local calls.

5. Click on the green call button and wait for the person you are calling to answer.

If you would like to be able to call contacts directly from Outlook, using the phone numbers stored in Outlook, read about our product Skylook, here.

In a nutshell, SkypeOut is basically the opposite of SkypeIn. If you want to call normal phones and have them be able to call you, you need both SkypeOut and SkypeIn. You can purchase your unique SkypeIn number here.

Making Skype Calls     

Once you have set up Skype you can start to make calls.

There are two types of calls you can make: PC to PC (these are free) and PC to Phone (these require Skype Credit.

PC to PC

Everyone on Skype has a “Skype Name”. This is like an ID. It is a single string of letters and/or digits – e.g. jsmith436, fredflintstone.

If you know the Skype Name of the person you want to call, you can just type it straight into the box at the bottom of the Skype window, then press the green “Call” button to call that person.

If you don’t know the Skype Name of the person you want to call, you will need to search the global Skype network for it. To do this, choose “Contacts > Search for Skype users…” from the main Skype menu. A search window will appear. Enter the full name of the person then click the “Search” button. Keep in mind that there are millions of registered Skype users, so there may be a number of people with the same name as the person you want to contact. If this is the case you will need to narrow your search by entering other criteria, such as Country, State etc. Another option is to enter an email address instead of the name. (All of these additional criteria require that your contact has filled in all the relevant details in their Skype profile).

Once you locate the person, you will probably want to add them as a contact before you call them. To do this, click the contact then click the “Add Selected Contact” button. If you don’t want to add them as a contact, just write down or remember their Skype Name, close the search window, then type the Skype Name straight into the box at the bottom of the Skype window and press the green “Call” button to start a call.

If you added the person as a contact, simply select the contact from the list of Skype contacts in the main Skype window, then press the green “Call” button to call the contact.

PC to Phone

Jargon alert: This is known as “SkypeOut”. To learn how to make calls to normal phones from your PC, click this SkypeOut link.

Calling from Outlook

If you have Microsoft Outlook, you can simplify the process of making Skype Calls. Click a link below to see how to do this:

Calling an Outlook contact on their phone

Calling an Outlook contact on their PC

Skype Call Monitor Window     

When a Skype call is in progress, Skylook displays a call monitor window (shown below). This window allows you to take notes about the call, hang up when the call is complete, and start, stop or pause recording of the call. The window can be closed or minimized during a call without affecting the call or the recording. It can be brought back into view using the Skylook button in the system tray.
Skype Call Window

How to answer phone calls automatically on your PC     

The following steps show you how you can set up your PC to take phone messages for you. The messages are stored as MP3 and attached to Outlook inbox items, so you can deal with them the same way you deal with incoming emails. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. Follow these instructions to set up Skype if you don’t already use it.

2. If you want to answer calls from normal phones, you need to purchase a “SkypeIn” number from Skype. Otherwise, you can still answer PC-to-PC calls using these steps.

3. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

4. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. When you see the pages below, fill them out as shown:
Skylook Answering Machine Wizard 1

Skylook Answering Machine Wizard 2

Skylook Answering Machine Wizard 3

(NOTE: An alternative to the Skylook Answering Machine is Skype Voice Mail. If you have a Skype Voice Mail subscription, you can leave the Skylook Answering Machine off – Voice Mail messages will automatically be sent to your inbox.).

5. If you are not running Skylook for the first time, and you can’t remember how you configured call answering when you were prompted by the Skylook Welcome Wizard, choose “Tools | Configure Answering Machine” from the Skylook toolbar:
Configure Answering Machine

This will bring up a wizard similar to that shown above.

6. Wait for a call – or get someone to call you.
7. When the call is received, let Skylook answer the call (or let Skype answer it if you are using Skype Voice Mail).

8. After the caller has hung up, check your inbox. You should see a message like this one:
Voice Mail in Inbox

9. Click on the message. A “Play” button will appear in the toolbar:
Play Button

Click it to hear the recording.
Call Playback

10. Open the item. You will see a number of hyperlinks in the item that allow you to take various actions (for example, call the person back).
Skylook Voice Mail Hyperlinks

11. You can automatically forward messages to other email accounts if you wish, by going to “Alerts > Advanced Alerts” from the Skylook toolbar and following the pages in the wizard.

If you have any problems getting this to work, contact us for assistance.

How to review all communications with a Contact, including email, phone calls, instant messages and SMS     

The steps below show you how you can store phone calls, PC-to-PC calls, instant messages and SMS together with email in Outlook, and then review all of these together for each individual contact. This in effect gives you a history of communications with each contact. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. Follow the instructions here to start collecting all of your communications in Outlook.

2. The following steps utilize the “Activities” tab in Outlook’s contact form. This has the drawback that it will only work if the Outlook contact you are interested in has an email address set up in its Outlook contact details. This needs to be set up ahead of time, before the communications take place. Another drawback of this approach is that Outlook may take considerable time to find all of the items pertaining to the contact, particularly if you have a lot of items in your Outlook folders.

You may prefer instead to record calls etc. to the Outlook Journal – this feature is available in Skylook 2.0.3.49 and later. To see how to use this feature, click here. If you would prefer not to use the Journal, read on.

3. Whenever you select a contact or an email, call, voice mail, text chat or SMS message in Outlook, the contact that sent or received the communication is shown in the Skylook toolbar (as long as the contact exists in either the Outlook contact folders or within Skype’s contact list):
Skype contact in toolbar

Choose the menu option shown below to view all communications with the contact:
View Skype calls and text chats together with email for a contact

A window like the following is displayed, showing all communications to and from the contact:
Review mail together with Skype calls and chats

If you have any problems getting this to work, we can help – just email us at skylook@skylook.biz for assistance.

How to screen or monitor phone calls using your PC     

Most of us don’t want to be available via our phones all the time, but generally we like to be contactable if we are really needed. There are calls we would like to take and others that we know we can deal with later. Which are the calls we want to take? It depends on who the caller is and what they want to talk about.

So, we have a call coming in. Who is it from? Most phone systems can sometimes tell us who, but often the caller id is blocked, and sometimes we won’t know the person despite being able to see their name. Even if the caller shows, many phones are shared, so we may know which family for instance, but not which member of that family is calling (e.g. it could be your girlfriend, or it could be her Mum). So maybe we know who the caller is and maybe we don’t.

What is this incoming call about? Even if the caller is someone we know, it may be inconvenient to take a call at the moment unless the call is urgent. If the caller is someone we don’t know, they may be calling about something important so the call may be worth taking. Unfortunately we have no way of knowing without allowing them to tell us.

Voice mail is a partial solution, but has the drawback of being “all or nothing”. Most voice mail systems, while more reliable than traditional answering machines, are less useful in that they don’t allow you to pick up the call if the caller’s message needs immediate attention or if you simply do not answer the phone in time.

An answering machine is better, but mechanical answering machines can be fiddly and unreliable. They also offer no way of getting messages to you if you are away from your phone, they cannot be used with PC-based (VoIP) phone systems and are not suited to business environments.

The steps below show you how to set up call screening and monitoring on your PC, so that you can see who the call is from, optionally divert them to a software-based answering machine, then listen to their message and pick up the call if desired. If you are away from your PC, a message is taken and forwarded to your mobile phone. You have the option to call the person back from your phone after hearing the message. (These steps assume you have Outlook installed – see Skylook prerequisites for details).

1. If you don’t already use Skype, download and install it from here. If you don’t already have a headset or a Skype Phone you will need to purchase one from your local distributor, or you can order one in our store.

2. If you want to receive calls from normal phones, you need to purchase a “SkypeIn” number from Skype. Otherwise, you can still screen PC-to-PC calls using these steps.

3. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

4. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Some of the pages in the Skylook Welcome wizard prompt you to set up the “Skylook Answering Machine”. Just accept the default settings as shown below:
Skype Answering machine configuration

Skype Answering Machine Configuration 2

Skype Answering Machine configuration 3

4. After the wizard pages above, you will see the “Alerts” page. Fill this in as shown (using your mobile phone number instead of the one shown):
Forward Voice Mail to Phone

5. Complete the rest of the startup wizard.

6. If you are not running Skylook for the first time, the startup wizard won’t appear. Check that the Skylook Answering Machine is configured correctly by clicking “Tools | Configure Answering Machine…” from the Skylook toolbar:
Configure Skype Answering Machine

Also, click this button:
Alerts

and check that the options are set as follows (using your mobile phone number instead of the one shown):
Call Screening Option

7. When a call comes in (from a standard phone using SkypeIn, or from another PC using Skype-to-Skype), the Skylook toolbar tells you the name or number of the caller and presents you with options for how the call is to be handled:
Answer Call Button

Divert to Answering Machine

Hang Up Call Button

8. Click the second button above to have the answering machine answer the incoming call, or wait for the answering machine to answer it automatically. As the greeting is being played the following options are available:
Answering Machine Greeting

Once the greeting has finished playing, the following options are available:
Answering Machine Recording Message

If the caller leaves a message, you will be able to hear it through your headset or Skype phone. You can choose to pick up the call at any point.

9. When you are away from your PC, messages such as the one above will be forwarded to your mobile phone via Skype.

Note: Skype is free for PC to PC calls, but to call traditional phones there is a fee. It’s cheap, but not free! You will need to purchase some Skype Credit in order to have voice messages forwarded to your phone. You can

buy Skype Credit here. If you’re doing this for the first time, just buy the minimum amount so you can give it a try without too much of an outlay. (Please note that there are exceptions – sometimes Skype runs promotional offers that allow you to call phones for free).

To try message forwarding, first set your Skype status to “Away” by clicking the bottom left hand corner of the Skype application as shown below, so that Skylook thinks you are away from your PC:
Switch to Away Status

10. When a call comes in, let the answering machine answer the call and take a message. After a few seconds, you should receive a call on the phone number you entered above. The message will be played to you, and you will be given the option to call back by pressing “1″ on your phone.

11. Once you’ve finished trying this, don’t forget to set your Skype status back to “Online”. By default, Skype switches your status to “Away” automatically if your computer is left idle for more than five minutes. (Note: You may wonder what happens with calls that come in during the five minute gap – don’t worry, Skylook forwards these calls also, as soon as Skype switches your status to “Away”).
If you need additional help, contact us for assistance.

How to file away all communications, not just email     

Many people, particularly at work, file away all of their email in case they need it for future reference. Others don’t keep everything but of these, many keep the important emails, and perhaps categorize them into Outlook folders.

PC-based voice communications and instant messages are just as important as email, and are as worthy of filing away for future reference. However, these are generally lost – i.e. people don’t store them away and archive them as they do with email. This is partly because there are no facilities to allow them to easily do this, or the facilities exist but users are not familiar with them and don’t use them.

The steps below show you how to set up Microsoft Outlook so that voice communications, SMS and instant messages are filed away in exactly the same way as email. Once you have set Outlook up to do this, you can use all of Outlook’s facilities to manage, archive, sort, categorize, flag and backup voice communications and instant messages along with your email.

1. If you don’t already use Skype, download and install it from here. If you don’t already have a headset or a Skype Phone, check-out our store.

2. If you don’t already have Skylook, download and install it from here.

3. Start Outlook. If you are running Skylook for the first time, you will see the Skylook licensing wizard and the Skylook Welcome wizard. Follow the prompts to ensure you have Skylook set up the way you want.

4. Start a phone call or PC-to-PC call, either from Outlook or directly from the Skype application. (This procedure still works for calls that you do not start from within Outlook).

5. Complete the call.

6. Go to the “Skylook Conversations” folder in Outlook – there will be an item for your call, containing an attached recording of the call.
Call item in Skylook Conversations folder

7. This item can now be treated just like an email. You can copy it to a folder to categorize it, you can flag it, you can archive it or use any of the other Outlook item management capabilities.

8. Now send a Skype text message to someone. (Again, you can initiate this directly from Skype, or from within Skylook – all text messages are captured regardless of how they are sent).

9. Go to the “Skylook Conversations” folder again. There will be another item, this time containing the text chat:
Archived Instant Message

(Note: You won’t get a separate item for each instant message. Any replies that occur within 5 minutes will be appended to the existing item, so that a single text chat thread generally appears within a single Outlook item).

If you have any problems getting this to work, contact us for assistance.