A few days ago I wrote the post "The Art of Social Networking" and I received a lot of positive feedback on it. One question dominated the responses. How do I use the LinkedIn Outlook Toolbar? This prompted me to write a follow-up on this topic.
First you need to download the software from LinkedIn. The download link is located at the bottom of your home page. Click on the Outlook Toolbar link.
Click on Download it now.
Make sure that you're Outlook is closed. Then click run on the following window.
After the install completed start Outlook again and you will see this window popup.
Click on "Get Started" to synchronize your Outlook with LinkedIn.
Click on Start at the next screen.
Enter your LinkedIn login. Email and password.
This screen asks you if you want to look for LinkedIn connections based on your Outlook address book and if you want to automatically import contact information into your Outlook address book from LinkedIn. To get the most from your LinkedIn Outlook Toolbar, check both options.
Then click on Next.
This screen asks you about which email folder from Outlook the tool should search for email addresses to add to the new LinkedIn invite list. This is very powerful to connect with people you had an email exchange, but you never saved their information into the Outlook contacts.
Uncheck the folders you don't want to search. There's no point in searching the deleted item folders or the junk mail folder.
When you're done, click on next.
The next screen asks you to enter your personal email addresses. This will speed up the search process and you are not inviting yourself to connect with you.
Click on Build when you're done.
This screen asks you if you want to add these email contacts to your Outlook contacts. These are email exchanges with contact you never added to your address book.
Click on Create when you're done.
This screen asks you to confirm the new contacts that will be added into your Outlook address book, based on already existing connections in LinkedIn. This is very helpful to keep your Outlook contacts up-to-date.
Click on Create to add these contacts.
The next screen is very important to grow your LinkedIn network. There are several check boxes and selection to choose from.
First, if you're doing this for the first time, make sure that you checked the box "Show all contacts in Outlook". This will expand the selection list with your entire Outlook contact list. Then you need to check every box next to the email you want to invite to LinkedIn. No worry, the tool knows which contacts are already connected and will not send another invitation.
Second, click on Next to compile the invitation emails.
In my case there were no more invitations to send.
Outlook sent out all the necessary invitations and added the missing contacts.
The LinkedIn Toolbar will keep track of all the changes of your contacts in LinkedIn. This assures that all your contacts are always up-to-date. I found this feature of the LinkedIn Toolbar of most value to me.
Here's another tip. Even if you're already a LinkedIn Toolbar user, reinstalling the tool from time to time will keep up with the software updates of the tool and also refreshes your contacts synch. I do this about every 2-3 months. This will keep my address book in sync with LinkedIn at all times and I never get an undelivered email notice again.
People tent to keep their LinkedIn information up-to-date, but do not bother to inform their contacts about the email change. The LinkedIn Toolbar does this work for me.
When I ran this tool the first time, I gained about 200 new connections in LinkedIn I didn't have before, but I knew this contacts from my address book.
Working through the Dashboard on a regular base will keep your contacts fresh. No worries, the LinkedIn Toolbar will never update your address book automatically. You always need to confirm any changes. So, reviewing the information in the Dashboard is vital.
The last feature I want to show is the Grab feature.
Let's say you received an email from a new business contact and you want to add this information to your address book, Outlook only auto fills the name and the email address. All the other information is up to you.
With the Grab feature, LinkedIn adds the additional information to the address book. Simply highlight the information you want to add to the address book and then click on the Grab Icon in the Outlook menu bar.
Then you will see the following address book entry.
You see that all the additional information was added to the address book records.
One last caution: The new address records are being created into a separate folder called "Collected Contacts". You need manually move the new contacts into your Contacts folder.
This is very simple and is been done by simply selecting all the new contacts and then use the mouse to drag them into the Contacts folder. If the contact already exists you will see the following screen. It will ask you if you want to add a new contact or update an existing contact. It also shows you what changes will be updates. If everything looks OK, click on the Update button.
This screen will show up for every duplicate entry the tool finds.
There you have it. This is the fast track to the LinkedIn Toolbar. I use this tool every day and I don't know what I would do without it.