Do you spend more time talking to voicemail than people? Is sending e-mail like tossing pennies down a black hole? Take a look around—the lights may be on in the cubicle next door but nobody's home. Where is everyone? Chances are they're in a meeting. Or between meetings. Or working from home to avoid meetings. Wherever they are, you need to talk to somebody. And you can't wait three weeks until the stars and the gaps in your calendars align.

Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, the desktop client for Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007, integrates real-time presence information into your favorite Microsoft Office system applications. With Communicator, you can tell if a contact is online and available to communicate with you. Just hover over a person's name in the To: line of an Outlook 2007 e-mail message and click the dropdown menu for a list of communication options. You'll also find presence information for contacts in the Office 2007 Document Information Task Pane and on Windows SharePoint Services sites and workspaces.

If your coworker is online and available to work with you, you can use Communicator to send her an instant message, place a PC-to-PC voice and video call using your computer microphone and speakers, or, if Communicator is integrated with your company's phone system, you can use Communicator to place and receive phone calls using your desktop phone. You can even configure Communicator to auto-forward incoming calls to your mobile phone, home phone, or other location where you happen to be online. Throw in the ability to participate in real-time application sharing sessions, conference calls, and Microsoft Office Live Meeting online meetings, and you have one tool that can do the work of many. If only that basket of remote controls next to the recliner was this organized.

For more information on Microsoft Office Communicator 2007, visit http://office.microsoft.com/communicator.

For more tips and tricks for the 2007 Microsoft Office System, pick up a copy of Evan Archilla's new book, So That's How! Timesavers, Breakthroughs, and Everyday Genius, available now wherever books are sold.