Outlook Address books and GAL options

Warren was searching though the office sites and found my blog. (you can find people who blog on different categories and topics here).  He said that he wasn’t a techie, but couldn’t get his head around the problem he’d been having with Outlook. 

My question:  I created a contact for someone – let’s call him John Smith.  If I go to “search” and type “Smith” I get the usual pop-up window listing all the Smiths, including John. But if I’m writing an e-mail and click on the “To” box and type “Smith” in the pop-up box, it lists all the Smiths except John.  Why?  And how do I fix that?

So, When Warren created a contact for John Smith, the entry went into his personal Outlook address book and is listed under contacts in the “Show names from” option mail field.  So when he hit the to button when composing a mail, the default setting searched through the Global Address Book, not his personal Outlook Address Book.  This default setting can be changed however, to whichever other option you choose. Have a look at all the things you can do with the Address book here

To change which address book is searched first:
On the Standard toolbar, click the Address Book button
In the Address Book, on the Tools menu, click Options.
In the Show this address list first box, click the list that you want to see first when you open the Address Book.

My suggestion to easily get around this problem is to use the Autocomplete feature in Outlook.  Start to type Johns name in the address bar, and as soon as you’ve typed “J”, then all of your contacts, whether from the GAL or your personal address book will be displayed. See here for information on Autocomplete
If you want to remove erroneous entries from this list then read
this kb article  which explains about selecting the entry you want to remove and using the delete key on the keyboard to remove the entry.

Warren  also had a few comments about the numerous features in the contact fields available which I’m passing on for your opinions.   

Look at some of the choices for phone number entry fields – “radio” and “ISDN” and “Telex” (and “Car” in addition to “Mobile” – how useful is that?) but no option for “Vacation Home” or “Home Office” or even “Private/Direct line.”   And the calendar listings are organized around events (starts with Subject) as opposed to people. Most businesspeople schedule a meeting based on the person, not the subject. Geeks do a meeting about some techie subject and the people are secondary.   

I told him that Exchange server has the ability to customize entry fields for users, so that whatever you want can be displayed in the Active directory.  If you’re using Outlook as a standalone application, then you can easily change the contact form to display the holiday home number if you want to.    As for meetings – I create a meeting based on the person for example: Eileen:Warren 1:1 in the subject line, or I may describe the meeting as Lunch with the team.  Once again the calendar form can be customized – to add fields to the template in a simple way.   

But Warrens comment about all these extra fields has piqued my interest.  Which of the (more unusual) extra fields in the contact fields do you use?  And should I make a request to the Office team to add “Vacation home” to the contact telephone numbers in time for the next Office release.  Tell me what you think…