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Book Excerpt: My MacBook by John Ray

Chapter 4: Managing Contacts and Appointments By John Ray

Editor's note: Excerpt from My MacBook by John Ray, Published by Que
My MacBook provides step-by-step instructions with callouts to MacBook photos that show you exactly what to do. It offers help when you run into MacBook or Snow Leopard problems or limitations.

Chapter 4: Managing Contacts and Appointments
In this chapter, you'll learn how to use your MacBook to manage your contacts, calendars, and appointments, including:

  • Adding contacts to Address Book
  • Organizing contacts into groups
  • Connecting to enterprise contact servers
  • Creating calendars in iCal
  • Adding appointments to calendars
  • Inviting contacts to meetings
  • Connecting to network calendar servers

Introduction
Part of the pleasure of owning a MacBook is that you don't need to sit at a desk to get work done. In a portable workspace, however, you still need to interact with coworkers and manage meetings, appointments, and deadlines.


Snow Leopard gives you the tools to organize contacts and tie into enterprise personnel directory systems. It also works with your company's scheduling system to track calendars, meeting invitations, and even to-do items. In this chapter, you learn about Address Book and iCal--your MacBook's personal information management utilities.

Managing Contacts in Address Book
Many of the applications you use on your MacBook send information to, or receive information from, other people. Snow Leopard offers a central contact database that you can access in Mail, iCal, iChat, and other programs. Appropriately enough, you manage this database through an application called Address Book (found in the Applications folder).

Address Book acts as a digital rolodex, pulling together personal and business contacts. With it you can connect to enterprise directory servers for accessing centralized company personnel listings. The Address Book application is similar to many other Snow Leopard applications, providing a drill-down view from a group list, to a contact list, and, finally, to contact details.

Adding Groups
When you first start Address Book, there is a single pseudo-group available: All Contacts. The group displays any contact available in Address Book. To make the most efficient use of Address Book, you should add groups for the different types of contacts you use--businesses, coworkers, family, friends, doctors, and so on. Like Mail, Address Book can use rules to create Smart Groups.

Emailing to a Group - Contacts groups are more than just organizational tools; they also add functionality to applications that support them. Once you've defined a group, you can use it in Mail as your message recipient, effectively sending the email to everyone in the group!

Creating a Group
To create a new group, decide what you'd like it to be called, then follow these steps.

Click the + button below the group list.

A new "untitled group" is added. Type to change the name of the group.


 

Creating a Smart Group
If you'd like to use search criteria to define your address book groups, you're in luck! Address Book supports Smart Groups, capable of pulling contacts together from multiple different groups, and even network accounts.

Click and hold the + button below the group list. Choose New Smart Group from the pop-up menu that appears.

Enter a name for the new Smart Group.

Use the + and buttons to add or remove selection criteria. Use the first pop-up menu from the selection lines to choose a contact attribute. Use the second pop-up menu to set a comparison. Enter the value to use in the comparison in the text field at the end of the selection line. Check "highlight group when updated" to show when new contacts match a group.

Click OK when you're satisfied with your group definition.


 

Adding Contacts
The bulk of what you'll do with Address Book is entering contacts. When it comes to people, one size contact does not fit all. For your family, you might want to store email addresses, instant messaging screen names, and birthdays. But for business contacts, you might only be interested in an address and a phone number. Address Book adapts to the information that you want to store. 

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Related Keywords:macbook, macbook tips, Mac OS X,


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