A few tips ago, I told you how to handle the birthdays for the spouse and children of your contacts by creating appointments for each and linking them to the contact.
But how do you handle phone numbers for each family member? Outlook labels the phone fields with some really stupid and useless field names they'll never use (at least in the opinion of the majority of Outlook users) and doesn't allow you to rename them.
Easy… enter the number followed by the persons name: 2125551212 (Diane) will convert to (212) 555-1212 (Diane), with the name placed in the Extension field, so you can see at a glance who's number it is. If you use Outlook to dial calls, the number is dialable with most phone systems.
What if you have more than 4 numbers for a contact – how can you easily find the other members numbers since they aren't labeled as such and not visible on the contact? Try this scheme – for personal contacts, always enter the spouse's number under the Assistant field. Enter the children's numbers in the last fields in the list, in the order of birth – radio, telex, and tty aren't typical phone number types and should be free for most families.
And if you can't remember where you filed a number, switch to the All Fields tab and choose Frequently used fields to see whose number is filed where.
Published October 31, 2005. Last updated on May 21, 2011.