DAILY INSIGHT: Enhancing safety: creating a "Need Assistance" button in Outlook 2012

By Steve Young, CIO Advisor

A few months back, a campus asked about a panic button for its receptionist, so I wanted to find a low-cost way for a campus to create a message summoning assistance without having to install physical hardware. This is an affordable way for users of Outlook 2012 to create a "panic" button that can be surreptitiously activated via a couple of mouse clicks.

Open Outlook.

Make sure you are on the "Home" tab:

Look for the "Quick Steps" box

Click "Create New"

The Edit Quick Step window will appear:
Name your quick step with a logical name, such as "Need Assistance Now"
Click "Choose An Action" and scroll to "New Message"
Click "Show Options" and fill in the data for the email you want to quickly send when help is needed. You can send to as many recipients as you would like. If you want to send email to Cell Phones as SMS messages, you can do so by following this guide at http://sms411.net/how-to-send-email-to-a-phone/.

Here is an EXAMPLE setup:

Click the "Finish" button when done.
Now test this out by clicking the name of the Quick Step in your "Quick Step" window.

To send the message click the "Send" button.

Steve Young is CTO of Judson ISD in Texas and founder of the San Antonio Area Technology Directors group. He blogs at CTO Technotes, where this is cross posted. Follow him on Twitter as @atemyshorts.