This is article two of a three-article series. The purpose is simple: To help you to be more efficient. Better efficiencies lead to more effectiveness. More effectiveness can result in better productivity. Give these tips a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
How to Get the Most Out of Outlook
Microsoft Outlook is a great resource. Here are several ways to get the most of the software. There are many more ways to leverage the software, but we will focus on these for now.
- Keep your inbox streamlined by creating an email file structure. Create folders and store your emails there. This approach keeps your inbox manageable.
- Schedule no-meeting times daily. Meetings can consume most of your day. Schedule times on your calendar when you will not accept meetings. These periods of time will allow you to work on projects that need your undivided attention.
- Utilize Outlook tasks to keep track of deadlines. You can insert or drag and drop emails into this task list. It’s easy and is a much better process than you trying to track deadlines in your head.
- Mark low-priority messages as unread so you can return to them later. Some emails are more important than others, so read and handle them accordingly.
- Use email templates for common messages. If you have reoccurring projects, I recommend that you draft emails related to the projects, save them as Word documents and use them over and over again. While you may have to make minor tweaks, you do not have to start from scratch with the emails
- Blind copy (Bcc) colleagues to keep them informed. When I need to make my supervisor aware of something but do not want him to get copied on subsequent emails, I blind copy him. This approach makes him aware but also protects his time.
What strategies can you share?