Sliding Tile Puzzles like the above always drive me crazy. I don’t have the logic skills to manage them well. But I find myself using a lot of logic when I play with TntConnect’s astoundingly powerful Lookup tools. Sometimes I have made super-complex lookups by using a combination of adding and taking away until I get just the right result.
Last week I was preparing our annual family update, which is different from our monthly newsletter, and I had to do a bit of this Lookup puzzelry to make it work.
The monthly newsletter is easy because I can use the Newsletter Tools Helper to find my list of newsletters, then I merge and go.
But the annual family letter is more problematic because of some nuances. I have multiple groups I send it to:
- Everyone who gets my paper newsletter
- Relatives and friends who get only this letter but not the monthly letter
- Neighbors and co-workers who get this letter but not mailed
- People who get a PDF via email
I manage this complexity using a special set of Saved Groups specifically for the newsletter.
I start by looking up my regular newsletter list:
…returning this Current Lookup:
Then I Lookup | By Group to add the non-newsletter recipients (called “Christmas Letter” in this example):
I have two other exclusive saved groups related to this newsletter:
- “Local Delivery” because I am going to print but not mail them (I don’t want their envelopes mixed in with the mailed ones)
- “Email Christmas Letter” because they will not receive a printed copy.
In my own database I have six “newsletters” saved groups reflecting different ways people get the family update (Canada, email, paper, local delivery, expanded family version, and co-workers in the office).