A distribution list is a collection of contacts. It can provide an easy method of sending your messages to a group of people. Say you frequently find yourself sending messages to your finance department. You could create a distribution list named Finance Department that contains the names of all members of this department. Your message sent to this distribution list goes to all the recipients who belong to that list. Outlook will convert the address lists to individual addresses, so recipients will see their own names and the names of all other recipients in the To box of your message instead of seeing the name of the distribution list. Distribution lists can be used in messages, task requests and meeting requests.
Distribution lists can contain other distribution lists as well as individual addresses. For example, you could create a distribution list for each of ten departments in your company and then create one distribution list containing those ten others. You would simply use this second list when you have a need to send messages to all ten departments.
You can create distribution lists in your Contacts folder using your contacts list. You can store addresses from any available source, personal address book, contacts list, etc.