How to manage follow-up on calls, voicemails and instant messages like you do with email     

Applications like Outlook are great for keeping in control of outstanding tasks. If you receive an email that you aren’t able to deal with right away, you can simply mark it as unread, to remind you to look at it later. You can also flag it, copy it to an “unactioned” folder, or use other Outlook features to manage follow-up.

The steps below show you how you can use the same methods for calls, voicemails and Skype instant messages, in addition to email. (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. Follow the instructions here to receive voicemail and auto-answered messages in your Outlook inbox.

3. Make sure Skylook is configured to place missed instant messages in your inbox. To do this, click the Skylook options button:
Skylook Options button

then check that the “Put missed text chat messages in the inbox” option is checked:
Option to get missed instant messages in your Outlook inbox

…and click OK.

4. Now all voicemail messages and missed instant messages will appear in your inbox. Also, voice conversations and non-missed instant messages will appear in the “Skylook Conversations” folder. These communications can be managed like email. For instance, if you receive a voicemail, it will show initially as an unread item in your inbox:
Play Skype voice mail from inbox

5. After you play the voicemail, it be marked as “read” in Outlook (i.e. it will no longer be shown in bold font). If you decide that the voicemail needs some sort of follow-up that you can’t complete straight away, you can right-click it and mark it as unread:
Mark voice mail as unread

6. When you have time, you can come back and review all of your unread items, including the voic mail. If you are more sophisticated in the way you manage follow-up, you can use the other options in the Outlook menu shown above: Categories, Follow Up > Flag, Move to Folder.

7. You can do the same with missed instant messages, as well as voice calls and instant message conversations.

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