Need a list of everyone's addresses in an #Outlook e-mail folder? You may need ClearContext. #tech #uoltech

Need a list of everyone’s addresses in an #Outlook e-mail folder? You may need ClearContext. #tech #uoltech

Happy New Year, everyone! It was quite good to write the previous blog post, because I got some really cool and supportive stop-being-such-a-baby-and-get-on-with-your-job comments which have helped me quite a bit focus on important things again. 🙂 So: what’s been going on?

I tried to create a mailing list from contacts in specific Outlook Folders

Initially I thought that would be no biggy. In practice, unless I missed something obvious, extracting all the e-mails from all the messages I had saved under various folders and subfolders in Outlook was not possible without external plug-ins. On the one hand, I see the problems coming from giving people the functionality to turn into professional spammers; on the other hand, I wanted to send a message and an invitation to the 2011 European Articulate Conference to a particular group of friends whose messages live in a particular folder, so I was not amused (and getting less so as time passed and I still couldn’t find the answer…)

Enter ClearContext, a plug-in that can turn into your Outlook’s best friend because of its very neat organisational and filtering features. However, I needed it just for one thing and it did it very well (and that’s why I used the Pro trial version rather than buying it straight away… must look properly at what the free Personal version can do once my trial is over, but I have a feeling it will continue to do mailing lists for nothing):

ClearContext interface in my Outlook

ClearContext interface in my Outlook

I selected my folder in the Outlook left-hand area, and then started working in the ClearContext tab on the right: I selected the Project tab first at the top, then Contacts at the bottom and Hey! Presto! I got a list of everyone in the To, From, CC and BCC fields of all the e-mails in that Outlook folder: 154 people to be more precise.

What I chose to do next was to select everyone (click on the record at the top, scroll to the bottom of the list and CTRL+Shift+Click on the last record in the list) and then Export (option available in the Actions menu) because I had quite a few folders and subfolders in there and (again, unless I missed something obvious) I needed to repeat these steps for each folder.

In the end I had a few .xls files which I merged into one list, used the Excel function to remove duplicates and did a little happy dance because I finally had my list. Result!

Hope this helps some of you, too.