Keep track of friends

It’s a good idea to keep address and birthday details about all your friends and family members in one easy to find place. A tool like Outlook is a great place to do this as it is the digital equivalent of an address book. Better still when you use the Outlook address book tools Outlook will remind you of important events such as people’s birthdays and anniversaries. So, you’ll never miss another birthday and you’ll always have all your friends’ information where it can be easily found.

We’ll show you how to get started recording friends’ details in Outlook.

Start in the Contacts area in Outlook – in Outlook 2013 this is called People. To add a person as a new contact, click the New Contact icon on the Home tab of the Ribbon and the contact dialog will appear. Type the information that you have – you don’t need to complete every field.

When typing their home address in the Addresses area, click the Business dropdown list so you can select the Home option. Type their address into the box on the screen and click Ok when you are done.

Once you’ve entered the person’s general details click the Details button on the Contact tab (in some cases you may need to click Show > Details). Here you can add additional personal information such as the person’s birthday and/or anniversary. When you are done, click Save & Close.

Having entered someone’s birthday or anniversary in their contact details, go to that same date in the Calendar. Here you will see that Outlook has created an event for their birthday or anniversary and a reminder. By default this reminder is set to 15 minutes which isn’t very useful.

Click on the event to select it and then, from the Calendar Tools > Appointment Series tab click the Reminder option and set it to something that is more appropriate such as one or two days ahead of the date. This event is what is called a Recurring event so it will appear in this year’s calendar as well as calendars for future years.

Once you’ve added your contacts to your Contacts list you can view them by clicking My Contacts. To search for a contact by name type their name or part of their name in the search bar and press Enter. This will show you matching contacts and you can click the one you want to view.

If you’re not using Outlook you can use the Windows has a contact list. Click the Start button, type Contacts into the box and click the Contacts application icon. This opens the contacts folder in Windows Explorer. Locate the toolbar across the top of the screen and click New Contact.

You can type the person’s details in this dialog. Click the Home tab to enter their home address and other related information. The Work tab is used for work details and click the Family tab to enter personal details such as their birthday and anniversary as well as details of their and children. The Notes page is for typing notes.

If you have a photo of the person you can add this to their contact information. Click the dropdown arrow beneath the picture and click Change Picture. Browse to find the photo to use, click it and click Set. Now the photo you chose will appear in the contact details. When you are done, click Ok.

You can add other contacts in this same way. Change how the contact details appear by clicking the Change Your View button in the top right of the window. You will find that Tiles or Large Icons are good options to choose. In future, you can return to your contacts by clicking the Start button, type Contacts and click the Contacts icon.