Practical examples of use
CodeTwo Public Folders is a smart program that lets you easily share Microsoft Outlook and Windows with other users. No matter if you are a big or small office, a bunch of friends working on a project, or just a family, you can quickly set up an environment that will let you share your Outlook calendars, contacts, tasks, email – you name it. What’s more, you can also automatically synchronize selected Windows files and documents across your PCs.
You can decide if you want to share your data in your local network or through the Internet. Both Outlook and Windows sharing takes place only between your PCs, keeping your stuff away from the cloud, hackers and text-mining robots that surface targeted ads.
Take a look at the list of selected examples of use of CodeTwo Public Folders:
Shared company contacts
By using a common contacts folder in Outlook, it is possible to create a global company contact list available for all teammates. Just create a new public folder with contact items in CodeTwo Public Folders and it will be automatically visible to other users.
This way when the new clients’ contact details are added, they immediately become available to the rest of users in the company or in its branch. Depending on the way your data is organized, contacts can be grouped accordingly using a folder hierarchy.
This solution is somehow similar to storing data, e.g. in Microsoft Access, but it offers many additional benefits, such as the clients’ details appearing directly in Outlook. It also enables simplified sending of promotional e-mails to the groups of recipients, classifying customers, easy data searching, and using the Outlook’s advanced built-in methods of displaying contacts in Outlook.
What is more, CodeTwo Public Folders will work equally well as a shared contact database in a company which representatives work from home or are frequently in the field with their laptops, tablets or mobile devices. The program has dedicated mobile apps letting your users synchronize shared contacts with iOS and Android devices and access Outlook contact details anywhere. Since the program also supports the Internet access, laptop users with mobile Internet connection or telecommuting employees can also stay up-to-date with company contacts wherever they are.
And even if you have no Internet connection outside your company, the option to work in the offline mode will let you access shared Outlook contacts and other folders wherever your computer is. The new data you will input or the updated client details will automatically be synchronized with other computers as soon as you reestablish the connection with the Syncing Master.
Global company address book
By using public folders with contacts (explained in Shared company contacts in Outlook) employees can use the contacts directly in their Outlook address book. In order to do that, they have to choose the Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book option in the folder properties that can be found in the Outlook Address Book tab. From now on, contacts from the folder will be displayed in the users’ address book and the users will be able to send e-mails to the selected people in a simple manner.
Public resource booking
The public calendar in Outlook can represent a resource used in the company by many people (e.g.: a car). Creating a fixed date in the calendar means the car is booked for a certain period. The data can in a detailed way describe who is booking the car, what for and for how long.
You can also set access rights for the resource folder, so that users cannot delete bookings created by other users. Owing to this, every employee knows exactly when the resource is going to be available and can plan their timetable accordingly, maximizing the resource utility.
CodeTwo Public Folders provides an opportunity to have an efficient reservation and resource management tool directly in Outlook, which constitutes a friendly and very well-known application to most company’s employees - there is no need to buy entirely new software suite.
Another example of possible application of public calendars as a system of appointments and bookings can be found in doctor’s offices and auto repair shops. A separate calendar can be attributed to each doctor or mechanic.
What is more, combining CodeTwo Public Folders with mobile devices will let your team view and update shared calendars directly from iPhone, iPad, Android a web browser or even Mac.
Groups schedule – common calendar in Outlook
Public calendars can display schedules and descriptions of employee activities. A good illustration parallel to this feature would be a school timetable for individual classes. In this case, every calendar represents a timetable for a group of students - one class. As a result of placing all data in one public folder, every member of the group is able to view the timetable.
Boss’s calendar in Outlook
CodeTwo Public Folders provides an ideal solution for a secretary who organizes meetings and daily schedules for the manager. The manager shares his/her personal calendar in Outlook, and the secretary makes relevant changes in it from another computer.
A shared calendar will considerably facilitate their work - new meetings are mainly created by the secretary while the manager has the right to track them and introduce necessary changes.
Each change to the calendar is instantly visible to both of them. The use of CodeTwo Public Folders does not change anything in the standard features of Outlook such as reminders, organizing meeting, synchronizing data with mobile devices.
Moreover, the manager, as the owner of the calendar, can mark some elements as “private”; they will not be visible to the secretary, even though she enjoys full access rights to the manager’s calendar.
The above scenario for the calendar can work equally well for other types of folders such as: contacts, mail, tasks, journal, and even notes.
Employee availability register
Public calendar can also be used as a folder for employees to enter their presence or absence from the office. They can record their working time, absences caused by business factors or leave, and also mark their future holidays. Due to such solution, a team manager can instantly watch who is present at the moment and what tasks are being performed by those people. This enables appropriate planning of employees’ activities and helps in project management.
Access rights for shared folders can be set in such a way that respective employees cannot see one another’s calendars. All calendars of these employees will be seen by the person in charge of their attendance in the office.
Sharing Outlook with iPhone, iPad and Android
CodeTwo Public Folders not only makes it easy to share Outlook across computers in real-time, you can also use it with mobile devices running Android or iOS.
Sharing Outlook calendar or contacts with your teammates on site, and with those in the field can take your business to a whole new level. Shared Outlook calendars, contacts and tasks can be made available in a mobile phone or tablet by means of dedicated mobile apps available on Google Play and App Store.
This feature comes in handy for those who want to view or update any essential shared info from home or while on the go. If you, e.g. enter calendar appointments or change contact details on your iPhone, they will be immediately updated on your computer and on all other PCs in your CodeTwo Public Folders network. Thanks to the CodeTwo software, you can finally access your data from any Android or iOS device you use.
Sharing company mail
Frequently, the mail that is received (or sent) by a company needs to be accessible for multiple users. For instance, in a company that receives orders by e-mail, owing to CodeTwo Public Folders each order can be processed by any employee, depending on their availability at the moment.
In this case, Outlook’s rules can be used to direct mail to appropriate shared folders, depending on the sender’s or recipient’s address or other attributes. Each group of employees check their individual folder for orders. When a new order is received, one of the employees starts to process it. At the same time, it is marked as “pending” or forwarded to a different folder in order to inform relevant co-workers.
This solution helps to distribute customer service and orders between employees. It is no longer a problem to track the order and see who it is being completed by.
Sharing of mail can be done using Outlook’s rules, which will copy the messages to selected public folders, or directly by sharing the personal folder in the Inbox. See also Creating a common inbox and outbox.
Message board – private discussion group in Outlook
Using the structure of public folders you can create a virtual messaging board in the company. Folders can be divided by topics. Users can create a message in a public folder if they want to share it with their teammates. Replies can be posted directly in the public folders - this way it is possible to develop different discussion groups inside the company.
Delegating tasks in Outlook
CodeTwo Public Folders helps the manager to delegate tasks to the team. Each team member has to grant the manager access to their personal task folder. The manager will now be able to create new and supervise the existing tasks directly in these employees’ folders. Of course, simultaneously a new public folder can be created to include shared goals for the whole team.
If you already work on shared tasks, thanks to CodeTwo Public Folders you might also consider adding CodeTwo Task Workflow to your Outlook tools. This great free Outlook task manager will let you easily assign workmates, send notifications, change substatuses and generate workflow statistics for tasks with a few clicks.
By assigning a public task folder to every project, a coordinator can define tasks concerning the project carried out by him in one place. The task can contain a detailed description, the name of the person responsible for it, due date, priority, percentage of completion, etc.
Furthermore, you can define other folders of a different type, containing a variety of data concerning the project: the project calendar, related contacts or correspondence history regarding the project. The employees performing the task can define the current stage of its completion in Outlook, which enables the coordinator to plan, control and optimize work.
The Outlook task management feature can be additionally enhanced with an Outlook addin called CodeTwo Task Workflow. This free Outlook extension streamlines project management in Outlook by adding a bunch of additional functions to the tasks, e.g. automatic notifications, substatuses and statistics. The program works with private and public tasks in Outlook, which makes it a handy companion to CodeTwo Public Folders.
Sharing documents, photos and music (securely)
There a plenty of cloud services for sharing files between computers. Why did we create another one then?
Unlike other popular file sharing programs, CodeTwo Public Folders allows you to share files with others directly from your Windows folders without storing them on any external servers. This way you are creating a sort of personal cloud that is available only to you and can never be intercepted and read by anyone other than your workmates.
Sharing personal photos, music and documents (including sensitive data) is no longer giving you goose-bumps. Even if you share your stuff over the Internet, CodeTwo Public Folders encrypts your data before it is transferred to other PCs.
The program is equipped with an additional tool called the File Sharing App that you can access straight from Outlook, from Windows taskbar or from the Start menu. It allows you to create shared folders that can be subscribed be other users. Use it e.g. to securely share:
- documents of any type with your workmates (PDF, DOC, XLS, etc.)
- photos with your family or a significant other
- music, audio files and videos with your friends
- whatever you want – no rules, no limit
It’s also a good idea to use the File Sharing App of CodeTwo Public Folders to dump email attachments and simply share your files with your email recipients. This way you save a lot of space in your Outlook PST or OST files and stop cluttering others inboxes.