IM your Email and Meeting

Did you run into the need to start a group chat conversation based on an email or  a meeting? It happens to me all the time and I just discovered how to do it using the great integration between Microsoft Lync and Outlook. It was always there (I think…) and I guess I just didn’t take the time to look for it.


The scenario

Let’s start with describing why we need this. I’ll give 3 main scenarios that I run into (almost) every week.

  1. I want to start an Instant Messaging (IM/chat) with a person on a specific topic that was just discussed over an email thread. I want the title of the IM to be meaningful and describing the email discussion.
  2. There is an ongoing email thread on a topic and I want to move the discussion from the email to an online IM. Why? Because I have decided I want to give the topic an extra attention and that a group IM with the entire distribution list (or part of it) would be the appropriate way accomplishing that.
  3. I have arrived to a meeting on time and I see that many people are missing. I decide I want to reach out to them using IM, for requesting them to join the meeting (…and then tell them that the last to arrive the meeting would bring a cake for the next meeting).

IM an Email

Let’s start with the first scenario, where we want to IM a person regarding a specific email (where that person was on the distribution list).

  • Go to the email
  • Go to the person name on the distribution list
  • Right click it and select IM
  • IM session on Lync would be opened with the email title

The second scenario is starting an IM with the entire distribution list of the email.

  • Go to the email
  • Go to the Respond tab
  • Select “Reply All with IM”
  • Group IM session on Lync would be opened with the email title


IM a Meeting

The third scenario is starting a group IM containing the meeting distribution list (or part of it).

  • Go to the meeting on your calendar
  • Open the meeting
  • Are you the meeting organizer?
    • Yes: click the “Contact Attendees” button
    • No: click the Respond button
  • Select “Reply All with IM”
  • Group IM session on Lync would be opened with the meeting title
  • If you need to remove people from the IM, this is the time to do it (before you type the first letter in the IM session)



That’s it – simple and useful. Such a cool feature.


Published by

Erez Morabia

I’m an engineer and a leader in the computer software industry which is passionate about leading teams, embracing new technologies and improving soft skills for work efficiency.

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