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The Public Folder - Tips and Tricks - 4/16/13

Now that we are on Outlook Exchange our School Conference has been replaced with the Public Folder. The Public Folder for your school is the place to send and receive messages that are important for your entire school community. Make sure you check it as often as you check your Inbox.

As I've been exploring the Public Folders, I have come across some Issues and some A-Ha Moments!

How do I get to the Public Folder?

The Public Folders are found in the bottom left corner when you login to Outlook Exchange. Click Public Folder and then click the Public Folder for your School. My school is Clarksville Elementary so mine is CES Public Folder.

How do I send to the public folder?

You can send posts (messages) to the your Public Folder two different ways.

Method 1 - Go into the Public Folder as shown above, and click NEW. This will open a new post. Compose your post (message) the way you would a regular email. Then press POST to send to your school's Public Folder.

NOTE: If you are including images in the body of your message, you will not be able to add them using this method. Use Method 2.
Method 2 - Compose your message in your Inbox. From your Inbox - Click New. In the TO: put in the name of your Public Folder and include @hcpss.org. For example, Clarksville Elementary would be: CESPublicFolder@hcpss.org

Compose your message as you would normally and click SEND. It will be sent to your school's Public Folder.

NOTE: Sending using Method 2 will allow you to add images to the body of your message. Also, messages may have a few minute delay before being viewable in the Public Folder you are sending them to.

Public Folders on the Go

A huge frustration of mine since the beginning of Outlook is the fact that you can not access the Public Folders via a Mobile device. I have tried both with the iPhone, iPad, and also with an Android phone. There is no way to access them through the Mail app or even using the browser.

If you want access to your public folders on your mobile device and you are willing to pay $4.99 you can on iOS devices. Check out the app below. I downloaded it and have played around a bit. It was pretty easy to set up and to use.

Public Folders App by Foretek

Public Folders App allows you to connect to a Public Folders database on a Microsoft Exchange server to view posts, attachment, public contact lists and calendars. Support for public task lists will be added in a future release.
It appears that Microsoft might have something else in the works that will be coming out in the near future that could also enable this feature as well. Time will tell on that one.

PLEASE NOTE: When I spoke to the technology office for my school, they were hesitant to provide support for Mobile Apps because of the Data Usage Restrictions that Cell Phone Users are under. So keep that in mind as you explore mobile options for use with Outlook.

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