Outlook delegate access helps shoulder a principal’s burden

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The issue of getting elementary schools—public or otherwise—on board with electronic communication has taken some time. It takes a strong leader, possibly in the form of a principal, to guide that effort. When you’re a busy school principal or administrator, your administrative assistants, secretaries, office managers, and other support staff are of vital importance in the day-to-day operations of the front office. If you’re using Outlook with Microsoft Exchange, you can hand off some of the calendar and mailing duties to someone you set up as a delegate. Then you’ll have more time to drop in, unannounced, to some of the classrooms and make everyone nervous.

My third grader’s school is just down the street from us, so we’re one of the lucky families who can walk to and from school every day. As an almost-full-time mobile worker, having the school nearby also means that I can volunteer more time than I normally could because I’m not dealing with travel. Now, working at Microsoft, people tend to think that I know everything about computers from fixing them (I know nothing) to how to get the most from Office (that one I can do). So when I saw a lot of email communication that was written by the principal coming from the email address of her front office admin, I wondered if they knew about setting up delegate access (they didn’t). And so I’m on my way over there to show them how.

But hey, not everyone has the Crabby Office Lady right down the street, now do they? So let me make this quick and easy:

What is delegation?

Delegate Access is a more advanced feature than just sharing your Outlook folders with other folks in your company using Outlook with Exchange Server. If you want to grant additional permissions, such as allowing a delegate the ability to create email messages or respond to meeting requests on your behalf, you must use Delegate Access.

When a delegate has Send on Behalf permissions, the delegate can compose an email message and enter the manager’s name in the From box. Recipients of the email message will see the text Delegate Name on behalf of Manager Name next to From. When you’re the one granting delegate access, you can choose how much or how little access—to your calendar or Inbox—you want to grant.

Do I need it?

Far be it from me to tell you what you need. But if you’re really busy, if you have a lot of appointments to make and to respond to, and if you are going to be sending out a good amount of mail, if you have access to an assistant of any kind (and you’re all using Exchange, of course), it’s my humble opinion that it’d behoove you to consider it. It’s a great built-in feature of Outlook with Exchange, so why not take advantage of it?

How do I set it up?

Before I send you off to these resources, just let me say that it isn’t very difficult to set this up; you can do it in a matter of minutes.

Outlook 2010

Outlook 2007

So, on this bright and shiny Monday morning, I’m glad I was able to contribute to my daughter’s school in this way; it sure beats managing bake sale fundraisers…

— Crabby