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Hi,

I would like to share my way of using Outlook.

Some months ago I decided to find a better way and I found my way by applying the principles found in GTD by Allen and Total Workday Control by Linenberger. It was a great change for me.

As no training or book was available in French. I decided to train my directs with it. Well, it was life changing.

Here are the general principles.

Basic principles :

1) turn off any alert
2) plan E-mail reading
3) empty Inbox = free mind
4) read E-mail = manage it = out of Inbox
5) GTD principle applied to E-mails
6) Task management
7) Delegation with tasks
8° Task lists
9) Filing
10) Calendar management

In order not to have too long posts, I will then detail in the following posts.
If you need details, ask me for.

I would like to know your comments about it and share ideas.

Cédric.

cwatine's picture

[u]1)Turn off any alert[/u]

·The role of Outlook is not to add to your stress.
·Turn off alert about mails coming in
·Turn off alert about task to do
[u]
2)Plan E-mail reading[/u]

·You go to you In-Box once, twice, 3, 4 times a day, but ...
·..You don’t go to your In-Box every minute !

[u]3)Empty In-Box = free mind[/u]

·Each time you go to your In-Box your purpose is to empty it !
·NEVER stock mails you have already read in your In-box
·Emptying your In-Box is a process : don’t interrupt it by other actions (more about that later)

[u]4)Read E-mail = Process E-mail = Out of InBox[/u]

·If you read an E-mail, you never close it back into your In-Box
·Never ! You process it

[u]5)GTD principles for processing Emails[/u]

Here is the process
A. Open first E-mail in the list
B. Is there an action to be done by me or a direct ?
.....-->No : Delete or File (see 9)
.....-->Yes : Does this action spend more than 2 minutes ?
................. --> No : Do it now ! And Delete or File E-mail (see 9)
.................. --> Yes : convert it to a task
C . Open next E-mail …

cwatine's picture

[u]6)Task management (if no delegation)[/u]

·RIGHT click, Drag and drop this E-mail to the tasks
[b]·Subject :[/b] always starts with a [i]verb[/i] (action) ! Then, the very simple next action to be done
[b]·Time :[/b] if I want this task to appear at one date, I put that date in the due date zone (this date is not my deadline, it is the date when I want this task to appear in my "list for the day")
[b]·Context :[/b] if I want this task to appear on a certain context, I put a context in the category zone. I will start the context name by “@”. Examples : “@ Meeting with John”, “@phone”, “@Home”
· Deadline : if I want to put a deadline, I put it in bracket after the subject (I don’t put the deadline in the “due date” zone)

[u]7)Delegation with tasks[/u]

·It is FORDIDDEN to send a task to anyone : Outlook is NO delegation tool
·If I need to delegate a task, here is the process : I meet the person, I explain the task and give all information, we agree on a deadline and a follow-up frequency
·I create a follow-up task
·She creates a task “she owns”

[u]Example : [/u]
[i]I want to delegate “Do the reporting chart” to John.
a.I create a task “>John = Do the reporting chart” with context “@Meeting with John”
b.I meet John, look at my list and see that I must delegate to him (“>” means “to delegate”)
c.After I have met him, I change the task to “?John = Do the reporting” (“?” means “to follow-up”) and I put a date or a context[/i]

[u]8° Task lists[/u]

[b]·“To do today” :[/b] this list just lists the task that have a “due date” today or the days before and have not been completed. This list is near my calendar. The tasks with high priority appear first because they have to be done today. The other one can wait

[b]·“By context” : [/b]this list allows me to see tasks by context. I will refer to that list when I am next to a phone for example so I can group phonecalls. Same for O3 : everything I have to see during John’s O3 will be on that list

[b]·“To be done in the next 5 days” :[/b] just in case I have done everything standing in my “to do today” !

All these lists only regroup “not completed” tasks

cwatine's picture

[u]9) Filing[/u]

·Use [b]Categories[/b], not folders : you can put more than 1 category per folder
·Only 2 Folders : one is “[b]active files[/b]” (Emails you will need this month) / one is “[b]archive[/b]”

[u]10) Calendar[/u]

·Only put [b]meetings[/b] in Calendar: NO TASK HERE !
·[i]One exception :[/i] you can choose to put Emails or file here, so they magically come up at the date you need them (very powerful for Hotel reservation or electronic flying ticket)
·You have to put here “meetings with yourself” !

bren811's picture

I've been using Linenberger's system for about 6 months now and love it. I'm staying on top of my work, and able to leave the office on time and stress free 99% of the time.

I had started GTD using Allen's list system with Outlook but found my lists got too long. This became rather depressing so I stopped using the lists. Linenberger's variation avoids this.

I don't do the email filing though. I just forward everything to gmail and search.

Brenda

cwatine's picture

[quote]I've been using Linenberger's system for about 6 months now and love it. I'm staying on top of my work, and able to leave the office on time and stress free 99% of the time.[/quote]

I agree on that. Using this method clears things out right away. That is the big advantage of the method. But I could not get used to the distinction between (Master tasks and Daily tasks) : too broad categories.

[quote]I had started GTD using Allen's list system with Outlook but found my lists got too long. This became rather depressing so I stopped using the lists. Linenberger's variation avoids this.[/quote]

What both methods have in common is the process of emptying the In-box by finding actions inside Emails. This is the core principle.

The trouble with GTD is there is no real priority and time concern. And ... It requires a heavy maintenance (going through long lists). Linenberger's still works if you don't have time to maintain it. the really fantastic tool is the task pad next to the Calendar.

But ... The "context concept" in GTD is really powerful and is lacking in Linenberger ...

[quote]I don't do the email filing though. I just forward everything to gmail and search.[/quote]

Wow ! Very smart ! I know Gmail's powerful search capacities ...

How can you do that ? Do your Emails automatically get forwarded there when you receive them or do you need to send them one by one ?
And when you search and find an Email, do you send it back to your In-box, or ?

bren811's picture

I actually find master and daily tasks is all the context I need. My task list is not big enough to make this unworkable. If I need to I can sort the list alphabetically to get all the "call" or "read" or other types of task together.

Forwarding - can be done automatically in some cases. A lot of employers (mine included) block "forward all" rules. I manually forward - either one at time while I'm talking on the phone, or select a group of emails and send them as a an attachment. Everything is still fully searchable.

What I do with the email after I have searched for and found it depends on why I wanted it - maybe send it back to my work account, maybe copy and paste, maybe just check if I had said something I shouldn't have :wink:

cwatine's picture

[u]Filing with Gmail : [/u]

If your exchange system is hosted on your company server, you can have all your in/outcoming mails automaticaly sent to Gmail.
This is the solution we had implemented in my company so the "nomads" could access their mails on any computer connected to the Web.

Our exchange system is no more on our server and we now have "web access"....

ccleveland's picture

Excellent job, cedwat! Nice to see others using this process effectively. My process is very similar. The only differences are due limitations with our e-mail system (GroupWise :? ). For example, GroupWise "Task" management isn't helpful, so I record actions by pen and paper.

Thanks for posting!

CC

cwatine's picture

And it work soooo well when all the team is using it !

After the two training-implementation sessions, I let my directs use it for 3-5 weeks.

Then, now, I take them individually to look at specific issues, just after their O3.

Most of the time, they point problems related to tasks ... And we look at each of them and ask ourselves the right questions :
- what is the ACTION in that task ?
- is it YOUR role ?
- is it a PRIORITY ?
- can't you DELEGATE it ?
- etc.

And this is the point I want to make : we now have a "concrete" thing to work on ... Not just general ideas like "I don't make my deadlines..." , "Too much to do !" , Etc

sholden's picture

This is a great list of suggestions with some really good best practices.

One input I have for folks looking for an Outlook-savvy dashboard look-n-feel is to check out the open source tool Jello.Dashboard:

http://www.jello-dashboard.net/wordpress/

It has helped me a great deal in organizing Context and Projects.

Steve

cwatine's picture

I downloaded it a few months ago and used it for some time.
I finally came back to my former use of Outlook (described above).
I feel it does not fit better to my way.
But I agree, this is the pure "GTD way".

-------------------------------------------------

We had a very interesting work with one of my directs who had been using the outlook task system described above for some weeks.
He was feeling he "had way too many things to deal with".
We printed all his "done" tasks, sorted by dates, and reviewed them together.

We could :

1) put them near his calendar to see what he was doing of his working time (what did he achieve over one week)

2) take task by task and see :
a. if that kind of actions was under his job description
b. if this could be delegated
c. what would have been the consequences of not doing this task !

After doing that little work, I did not give him any advice. But he told me that several things "clicked" in his mind and he now knew what he do to improve.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Another one had "too many tasks" in his list.
So we reviewed them together.

He found out himself that :

- he did not split what was urgent and what could wait (every single task had a due date !)
- he did not delegate enough (but now he has a concrete list !)
- he was not able to make a clear split between actions he should do and actions he should follow-up
- he was not able to find the "very-next-easy-action" to be done to get the project going

-----------------------------------------------------------------

This is the beauty of the process : it gives you solid data to work on.

It is totally different than speaking with somebody who says "I have too much to do" ; "I can't really give you a deadline" ; "I feel I have a lots to do " ; "..."

Mark's picture

I am learning a great deal from all of you in this thread, and have changed some behaviors that have made me more effective.

Many thanks!

Mark

jenp's picture

Hi All,

Really interesting thread, thanks!

Just wanted to note that there could be issues with forwarding all of your company mail to gmail. For example, at my company it would breach policy. Be especially wary about emails that may contact Intellectual Property belonging to your company.

Cheers
Jen

Gareth's picture

[quote="jenp"]
Just wanted to note that there could be issues with forwarding all of your company mail to gmail. For example, at my company it would breach policy. Be especially wary about emails that may contact Intellectual Property belonging to your company.
[/quote]

The e-mails are also covered under the (UK?) Data Protection Act and likewise my company policy would strictly forbid forwarding e-mails to a gmail account.

ashdenver's picture

If a system works for me, should I still change it?

I have Outlook set to show the quick start of an email when it comes in.

If I see it and know I can delete it, I do so right away without even opening it.

If I see it but need to read it to know the full context of the message, I do it right then & there so I can go back to what I was working on without worry about what's waiting to pounce on me later.

If I don't see it but come back to my computer to see the yellow unread message envelope in the lower right corner of my status bar, I go directly to Outlook to read, skim, review, delete so the unread indicator goes away. I don't like to leave things hanging or looming over me.

I also don't generally delete things. I have my folders setup and I tend to save pretty much everything. (Search and Sort By are my friends.) It helps me be more self-sufficient in that I have the electronic copy of information (in a very technical company where things are constantly changing) that I can refer back to when needed.

Because of email server limits, I store my emails on my hard drive so the only real adverse impact is on myself when my boot-up encryption software kicks in and spends a few minutes decoding all that stuff but so far it's been worth it as I've been able to retrieve stuff (at least once a month) from last year or the year before.

Since I don't like seeing that "unread icon" I'd pretty much have to close Outlook for the bulk of my day and that would just about cripple me -- couldn't ask questions internally, communicate externally, get notification of new client assignments, kick back clients in a timely manner, etc.

Just now, while typing this post, I handled six emails. One of those was a new client order which I sent to my boss for clarification and eventually reassignment. The sooner things like that get handled, the less of a mess for everyone.

So ... if my system works for me in this environment, should I still change it [i]just because[/i]?

cwatine's picture

[quote]If a system works for me, should I still change it?[/quote]

Haha ! If you don't try something else, how can you be sure you have a good system ? :wink:

[quote]I have Outlook set to show the quick start of an email when it comes in.
If I see it and know I can delete it, I do so right away without even opening it.
If I see it but need to read it to know the full context of the message, I do it right then & there so I can go back to what I was working on without worry about what's waiting to pounce on me later.[/quote]

This means Outlook is an "interruptor". The working life already gives you so many "opportunity" to get interrupted during work : phone, etc.
I personnaly work much better if not interrupted this is why I now travel more and more by train ... Gives me some time "alone". It makes such a difference ...

[quote]Just now, while typing this post, I handled six emails. One of those was a new client order which I sent to my boss for clarification and eventually reassignment. The sooner things like that get handled, the less of a mess for everyone. [/quote]

This means you don't priorize your tasks, letting the flow of your Emails direct your actions ... Or over those 6 Emails, did you just manage the one you said or did you manage the all 6 ? If not, what did you do about the other 5 ? Are they waiting somewhere ?

[quote]So ... if my system works for me in this environment, should I still change it [i]just because[/i]?[/quote]

I understand your question, and I have one for you : Why do you risk by trying another way ? Lets experiment ... :wink:

cwatine's picture

[quote="ashdenver"]Since I don't like seeing that "unread icon" I'd pretty much have to close Outlook for the bulk of my day and that would just about cripple me -- couldn't ask questions internally, communicate externally, get notification of new client assignments, kick back clients in a timely manner, etc.
[/quote]

Sorry, I missed this one :

1) Planing your InBox does not mean you need just to open it once a day. It can be 3 times per half day like 8.00, 10.00 and 12.00 (but each time, you want to empty it : so when you get to it, you only have new and not managed Emails).
In between, you do your work ! It is very different than stopping your work each time a mail comes in (important or not).

2) You don't need to go to your InBox to send a question. So you don't close Outlook, you just turn of alerts and resist the temptation to go through your InBow each time you send a Email. [b]One other excellent practice is having OUTLOOk not in the "continuous mode". This means that you have to press a button to let your Emails come into your InBox - Synchronize ==> Does that solve your problem?[/b]. The you read all the Emails that come in, [b]and manage them[/b] (task or file).

3) To see "what actions you have to do", you access your task list, not your Inbox. When you access your Inbox, your action will be to empty it for converting your mails to tasks or file them.

thaGUma's picture

[quote]Since I don't like seeing that "unread icon" I'd pretty much have to close Outlook [/quote]
Swtich it off (OPTIONS/EMAIL OPTIONS/ADVANCED OPTIONS). I thoroughly recommend it - it's like getting shot of your mother-in-law. No more nagging and distracting.

Chris
(apoogies to Audrey if you read this)

JohnGMacAskill's picture

Excellent post. I use the Outlook format from the GTD white paper you can purchase on David Allen's website. It works pretty well, but you have identified some great tweaks and habits.

I'll look forward to experimenting with it. I am also very interested in you taking your team though it. I have had this in my 'someday/maybe' list for a while, but didn't really know how to approach it.

I see you had a couple of group sessions. Did you use powerpoints or project your desktop and run through examples from your outlook?

cwatine's picture

[quote]I'll look forward to experimenting with it. I am also very interested in you taking your team though it. I have had this in my 'someday/maybe' list for a while, but didn't really know how to approach it.[/quote]

Move it from you "someday/maybe" to your "tasks for today" list ! I think you can't regret it ... It really changed things here.

And ... It clicked so well with some MT principles (especially O3). :wink:

[quote]I see you had a couple of group sessions. Did you use powerpoints or project your desktop and run through examples from your outlook?[/quote]

I did both a PPT with general principle + shots of Outlook and examples of my outlook. I would be happy to send my ppt to you, but it is in French 8)

The general schedule was :
1) Is Outlook a good tool for organisation ? (Guess what ! It is !)
2) Tell me about your problems with outlook (list of problems, and everybody show his ... InBox to the others ! this was very funny)
3) You are a sender (rules about sending mails)
4) You are a receiver (rules about Inbox, tasks, filing, and calendar management)

We did 1) to 3) + rules about InBOx at first session (2 hours)
Then : Tasks to calendar in the second session (1 hour)
Then we had another quick sum-up a few weeks later.

I also made a small guide for them, and I translated to English for an English-speaking friend. Mark also got it. But I am not very sure about having it without the training ...

Thinking back about it, I should have kept the PPT more general and the guide more detailed (technical details).

cwatine's picture

[quote="bren811"]I don't do the email filing though. I just forward everything to gmail and search.
[/quote]

Copernic's software is the solution that would allow very powerfull search capacity, without the need to forward all Email to Gmail. www.copernic.com

It is able to search on any support (hard drive or network) and any file format (office document, pdf, mails, ...).

If you don't want it to search "everywhere", you can limit it to your harddrive and Outlook.

I found it very powerfull and easy to use to search in my archived Emails. It allows me not to care to much about my filing and still be able to find back any Email.

pneuhardt's picture

I have found this thread quite useful and informative. Thank you every one for your contributions.

I'm currently using Lotus Notes/Domino at work, and I have implemented (with a few slight tweaks) the "GTD Using Lotus Notes" system available on the David Allen website. This is not by choice. I use what the company provides, of course.

My company (well, division of the company) was just acquired by another, much larger company. The new VP of IT recently said that one of most interesting things about the merger was that when people asked "what does this mean to me" questions, the top question was about the benefit package, which was normally #2. The usual #1 question, "will there be layoffs" was actually #3. And the most frequently asked question from the recently acquired employees? "Do you use Outlook/Exchange Server and if so, when can we switch?"

Thankfully, the answer was "yes, and soon." I look forward to applying the techniques I have read about here as soon as that transition takes place.

JohnGMacAskill's picture

[quote]Move it from you "someday/maybe" to your "tasks for today" list ! I think you can't regret it ... It really changed things here.[/quote]

I will. Thanks for the insight into the way you presented the methods. I will prepare and implement this.

Thanks cedwat.

RichRuh's picture

[quote]My company (well, division of the company) was just acquired by another, much larger company. The new VP of IT recently said that one of most interesting things about the merger was that when people asked "what does this mean to me" questions, the top question was about the benefit package, which was normally #2. The usual #1 question, "will there be layoffs" was actually #3. And the most frequently asked question from the recently acquired employees? "Do you use Outlook/Exchange Server and if so, when can we switch?"
[/quote]

I had the opposite experience. Two years ago we were acquired by a larger company. After a few months, all of my friends asked me "How is it working out?" My standard response was "The only really bad thing about the acquisition is that now we have to use Lotus Notes." Everyone would cringe and make little symphathetic noises.

This doesn't say much about Lotus Notes, but it says quite a lot about the acquisition-- If the worst part about an acquisition is the e-mail system, you're not doing too badly. :)

cwatine's picture

[quote="JohnGMacAskill"]
I will prepare and implement this.
Thanks cedwat.[/quote]

John,

I would be glad to hear about how this system will help you. If you need more help, I'll be happy to forward my pdf internal document. PM me if you are interested.

Cédric.

LouFlorence's picture

Cedric-

Thanks for the detailed descriptions of your system! Your comments and those that followed have given me some great ideas.

I recently implemented GTD (or, I should say, I'm in the middle of implementing it, doing it a piece at a time, not right at all . . .). One of the simplest ideas in the system looks like one of the most powerful -- identifying the next action. As you said, the action must start with a verb. It amazed me how much more got done after I switched from a list of topics to a list of actionable tasks!

Lou

cwatine's picture

I have two documents I would like to share :
- a powerpoint presentation about this method (if you want to implement it in your team)
- a pdf document showing detailed process, screen shots, etc. (the text is in my bad English, but the screen shots are in French)

It you are interested, please give me your Email adress, here or in PM.

Cédric.

attmonk's picture

PM Sent

cowie165's picture

Hello Cedric,

If your offer is still current, I would love to see those documents. The posts in this thread are making me excited about trying your ideas at work tomorrow morning!

Could you please mail to: [email protected]

Thank you!

cwatine's picture

Mark-

Sent. Please Email me if you don't receive it.

Regards,

Cédric.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Cedric

This was incredibly generous of you to share. I have one question (for now). In point 9, you mention filing as categories, not folders. And each folder can have more than one category. Can you please explain how you do this? Thanks very much.

*RNTT

cwatine's picture

*,

Sorry, I may not have been very clear.

What I meant is "you can give as much categories as you want to a task or mail. But you can put a mail in only one folder at a time. This is why I think categories are a superior way of filing than folders

Regards,

Cédric.

PS : I now use "Copernic desktop" to search old Emails. It is really powerfull

cowie165's picture

Cedric today I sat down and read your document that you kindly sent to me - and it was GREAT!

I have reorganised my tasks list, discovered TaskPad, implemented categories, and now see a lot more being possible through Outlook.

Thank you so much for sharing your work.

Kind regards from Australia,
Mark

WillDuke's picture

Cedric,

It sounds like you have an interesting solution. Can you send that along to me as well?

Thanks!

asteriskrntt1's picture

Yes Cedric

Could you please send it to me as well?

With much appreciation,

*RNTT

cwatine's picture

No problem.

Please PM me your Email addresses.

Best regards,

Cédric.

asteriskrntt1's picture

So I have taken much of what Cedric was kind enough to send me and gone through the Email cast once or twice again.

I am now down to 6 orphan emails in my inbox, down from (GASP) 384.

Thanks guys. I am developing a lot of good habits that will help me out when I return to the corporate world!

*RNTT

cwatine's picture

2 excellent tricks I learned from Tim Ferris book (see topic in "our favourite books) :
- NEVER start your day at the office by checking Emails
- if you check Emails twice a day, check them at 11.00 and then at 16.00

Just do that and you will be surprised.

Now my advice :

Your day should start with the review of your calendar for the day and task list. During this process, you should select 2 main tasks in the list. You have to do those two things today. Then, you can think about doing something else.

Why not starting by checking Emails ? Because then you will never have a chance to review your calendar and tasks ... You will not control your Emails, your Emails will control you.

This is not so easy because if you want to go and see your tasks and calendar, you will have to open Outlook, so you will be tempted to go and check your new Emails ! Please resist that temptation !

One way I have found to avoid that is to have my Outlook only getting new Emails when I ask for them (synchronize on demand, not permanently)
One other good way is to have your Outlook open directly on Calendar and task pad : Tools/options/other/advanced/ and select "start from calendar".

It [b]will [/b]help ! :idea:

RichRuh's picture

I've had success in a variation of Cedric's plan. I check e-mail three times a day. I schedule these on my calendar:
- first thing in the morning
- either before or after lunch
- before going home
Sometimes I "cheat" mid-day, but when I do I always seem to get less done.

The morning check is vital for me- we do business in Europe and on the east coast, and the time zone difference comes into play. If I don't respond to a European e-mail first thing in the day, I lose that day.

I review my calendar and pick out 2 or 3 to-do items as well. I do it immediately BEFORE leaving the previous night. That way when e-mail is done I can immediately shift into drive and go...

--Rich

cwatine's picture

Yes.

I understand there can be exceptions of course, but each time I go checking my Emails first thing in the morning, I litteraly ruin my day. Because it gets me in a mood where I will not keep my priorities and I will just have a day ruled by urgencies. And ... I usually leave the office feeling bad.

Planning the night before is great. But I just can't do it. At night, my head is not as "clear" as in the morning.
I really do it better if I can review my day in advance first thing in the morning (sometimes at home before going to the office, or as soon as I arrive, behind a closed door). I hate do be disturbed during that moment. It just takes 10 minutes, but it is vital for me. After that, I can relax, go out of my office and say hello to my people, have some chats with them, etc. My day is already done "in my head" !

Different people, different rythms ?

dmbaldwin's picture

Hi Cedric,

I was listening to Bill Hybels talk about using bursts of energy throughout the day to maximize work getting done. He says the same thing, "Why check email first thing in the morning?" He looks at it as then being on the defensive the rest of the day. He checks it mid morning, mid afternoon and then just before leaving work.

Hope your summer has gone well.

Blessings,

Dave

cwatine's picture

Hi Dave,

Yes, it was good time with the family and friends in the French Languedoc.

I like what you say about "being on the defensive". This is just that : you let the interruptions control you. If you need them to rule your day, it means that you did not have a real plan for your day !

Talking about Emails, another thing which is difficult to change is the fact that we are used to permanent interruptions. Even when I am working at home on a difficult and long project, I find myself checking my Emails or jumping from one subject to another, passing a phone call, just in the middle of my work.

Exactly like a smoker who needs to "punctuate" (is it right translation) his day by smoking a cigarette every hour !

We have been used to constantly jump from one think to the next, open many windows on our browser, zap from one channel to the other, answer the phone while checking our messages, etc.

And ... This is not a good way to be productive and efficient.

Cédric.

James Gutherson's picture

[quote="cedwat"]Hi Dave,

Yes, it was good time with the family and friends in the French Languedoc.

Cédric.[/quote]

Off Topic

What a beautiful part of the world - I spent 6 months in my early 20's teaching sailing just west of Montpellier (great memories :D )

dmbaldwin's picture

Hi Again Cedric,

Sorry to say, I've only spent a very little time in Paris in between flights. You can fly in from Eastern Europe arriving late afternoon and then spend the night and fly out to the U.S.A. the next morning. So, we stay at the Novetel at the airport, take a train into downtown Paris and stay out really late. So late we have to take a taxi back to the Novetel.

The French Languedoc would be an awesome region to spend time! Especially with friends. Did you check email often when you were there? I hope not.

Blessings,

Dave

sholden's picture

Rich Ruh and I are on the same schedule plan on checking email.

I started this early in 2007 and I can really tell the difference in not getting distracted from doing things already on my Next Action list and my calendar.

There is also something about have a set amount of time to check email that seems to increase the efficiency and my ability to discern what is important and what is noise.

Awesome thread. Ton of great suggestions here.

Steve

asteriskrntt1's picture

A question to you techies out there regarding creating outlook rules (I am using Outlook 2000).

I am teaching three sections of classes this fall with 150 students. I made up a new email addy and then added 3 folders in my inbox (Course 1, 2 and 3). I told the students to put their respective course codes in the subject line so that I can keep the student emails organized and not get confused. I made a rule for this and it sorts well.

What I am finding is that when I reply to each email, outlook automatically puts a copy of the replay back in the new folder, as it has the same code in the subject line as the original incoming email. Then I have to delete these by hand. Any ideas as to a rule I can create that will prevent this or auto delete the copied email reply? Thanks very much.

WillDuke's picture

Look at the rule and change it to apply only to received email. Sounds like it's operating on outgoing as well now.

asteriskrntt1's picture

I tried that... it doesn't seem to work. It seems to read the rule about the code first and works off that. I need some sort of rule that says... do not apply to re: code or fwd: code.

cwatine's picture

[quote="dmbaldwin"]Did you check email often when you were there? I hope not.
[/quote]

Hi Dave,

Not once. I don't even know if it was possible !

8)

Cédric.

cwatine's picture

Hi *,

Why don't you use category instead of folders ?
I think it would solve your problem.

Cédric.

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