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Using Document Routing for Effective Collaboration

Guest Author - Chris Curtis

The deadline for you project is fast approaching and you are almost done with it but you really want a few trusted colleagues to help edit your work. You are working in your office program with your draft document in front of you. You know there has to be an easier way to share your document with the others without having to launch your email program, open a new email message, attach your document and address it to several people. Plus, you would really like the feedback to be cumulative in the same document. The solution to your problem is at the click of your mouse. Your MS Office program allows you to route your document to your colleagues directly from the application program.

MS Office Programs Document Routing

You can send your documents to others directly from any Microsoft Desktop Application, (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, Project, etc). The Send To command is found on the File menu in each of the MS Desktop application programs. You can route the document to a group of people in sequence (one after another) or all at once. You can also send the document "to mail recipients" using the Send to: command.

When you choose Routing Recipient from the Send to: command, the MS Office application program displays a Routing slip for you to complete. You choose the recipients from your address book, type in a personal message, select your routing options and send. The routing feature adds the following message to your email alerting the recipients of the routing slip and how to proceed.

"The attached document has a routing slip. When you are done reviewing this document, choose Next Routing Recipient from the Microsoft Word Send To menu on the File menu to return the document to its sender."

A distribution list can be used as a routed recipient, but the distribution list is viewed as one recipient and all members of the distribution list will receive the document at the same time. However, since the distribution list is stored in your personal address book on your computer, only you can route to the distribution list. If you need a few people to view, edit or approve it prior to sending it to a distribution list, have the document routed back to yourself for further distribution.


Routing a Document
As the originator of the document, you must create a routing slip to send your document to a group of people in sequence.

ľ Open the document you want to route
ľ From the menu, select File |Send to |Routing Recipient
ľ The Routing Slip Dialog box will be displayed

ģ Click on the Address button
ƒ£ Select ¡§Recipient Name¡¨ from the Address Book
ģ Press Enter or Click on the To: Button to load the recipient in the address area
* Select ¡§Distribution List Name¡¨ from the Personal Address Book
* Press Enter or Click on the To: button to load the distribution list in the address area
* Click on OK to close the address book
* Type in the Subject of your communication
* Type in the message text you want to appear in the email body
* Select ¡§One after Another¡¨ from the Route to Recipients block
* Deselect ¡§Return when Done¡¨, if you do not want the document to be routed back to you
* Deselect ¡§Track Status¡¨, if you do not want to track the status of the routing
* If you are ready to send it, click on the Route button. If you want to send it later, click on the Add Slip button.

To route the document later:
* Select File „»Send to „» Next Routing Recipient
* Select ¡§Route Document to Recipient Name¡¨
* Click on OK

Note: You can change the order of the recipients using the Move buttons.

Receiving a Routed Document
A routed document is received as an attachment to an e-mail message. To open a routed document, follow the instructions for your e-mail program.

Sending the Routed Document to the Next Recipient
* Open the attached document in the usual way
* Select File „»Send to „» Next Routing Recipient
* Select ¡§Route Document to Recipient Name¡¨
(When you have included a Distribution List, the name of the distribution list will appear as the recipient name.)

If the option to track status was selected at the time the routing slip was created, the original sender will receive a Status email message stating that the ¡§Recipient Name¡¨ has routed the document ¡§Document Name.doc¡¨ to the ¡§Next Recipient Name¡¨

Edit the Routing Slip of a Routed Document
*Open the document with the routing slip you want to edit.
*Select File „»Send to „»Other Routing Recipient

The originator of a routed document can change the routing slip options. A recipient of a routed document can change the order of the recipients who have not seen the document. Select the recipient name you want to move, and then click the appropriate move arrow in the Routing Slip dialog box.

*To route the document, click on the Route button.

*To close the dialog box without routing the document, click on the Add Slip button.



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Content copyright © 2014 by Chris Curtis. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Chris Curtis. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Laura Nunn for details.

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