Some of the most commonly used features in User Preferences include the ability to open Capitol Correspond directly to your Tickler instead of the Search Screen.  Also, many users like to view their Tickler in a “Tree View,” which organizes all of the open records assigned to you by Group Codes instead of the default list view.  You can also set up activity defaults like “In Type,” “Out Type,” “Response Type,” so that when you create activities manually, all of the fields are already filled out for you!  Of course, you can change those fields at any time, but it’s definitely a time saver to have the pre-set for the type of correspondence you create most often.

What You May NOT Know

User Preferences also include the ability to default your salutation for response letters.  A salutation (i.e., “Dear Friend,” or “Dear John,” or “Dear Mr. Doe,” etc.) is an incredibly important element of any Congressional response letter.

If your office likes to be formal with your constituents, you may want to ensure that all of the staff members in your offices have their salutation set to “Dear [Prefix] [Last Name]”.  If your office policy is to be a little more personal with constituents, you may want all of the staff members in your office to have “Dear [First Name]” instead.

If your office is like most, you probably have occasions for both, which means that the majority of users in your office will have the same salutation preferences while a minority of users that primarily deal with VIPs, Congratulatory letters, and Thank You letters have completely different preferences.

To Set Your Salutation Defaults

From the “Search” screen, click on the “Utilities” button.
In “Utilities,” click on the “Preferences” button.
In the new screen, select the drop-down menu labeled “Salutation,” and choose the standard default from the list of options.
Next, select the drop-down menu labeled “Salutation (When Prefix is Null),” which means you have a constituent that is gender neutral – no “Ms.” or “Mr.”, and choose the standard default from the list of options.
To Apply Your Default Salutation to an Individual

Remember!  If you edit or transmit a response letter to a constituent, and the salutation is incorrect, you can permanently update the constituent’s salutation based on your User Preferences.

From the “Search” screen, search for the constituent “Last Name, First Name.”  When you find the constituent, double-click on his/her record.
 Double-click on the “Address” box in the top left corner of the constituent’s record.
You may choose to edit the constituent’s name and prefix.
Click on the “Update Salutation” button in the top right corner of the address box.
Click “OK.”

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