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Thread: 10 Ways to Increase Your Productivity with Outlook

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    10 Ways to Increase Your Productivity with Outlook

    Find your e-mail messages more quickly

    Have you ever come back from vacation to find more than 100 messages in your inbox? What messages do you read first? What if you get that many messages every day?

    Use one of the ten built-in views in the Outlook Inbox to group and organize your messages, or create your own. And don't use just one. Vary your views depending on which one is most appropriate. Grouping by sender, for example, helps me find my boss's messages and answer those first. But when I have a large number of messages on a single topic, I group them by conversation topic to see the entire discussion.

    Other helpful views include grouping by follow-up flag, recipient, when the message was received, and unread messages.

    To change the view, on the View menu, point to Current View, and then click the view you want. Experiment to find which view works best for you and what works for certain situations.

    If you still can't find what you're looking for, customize or create an entirely new view. You can add or remove fields and sort or group by particular fields. Figure 1 shows some of your options to create a customized view.


    Figure 1: Create customized views using Outlook

    To create a customized view, on the View menu, point to Current View, and then click Customize Current View. In the View Summary dialog box, use the buttons to add or remove fields, sort, group, or filter your items.

    Creating a new view gives you even more flexibilty. If you use Categories a lot, for example, Outlook doesn't include a built-in Categories view. But you can create one.

    To create a new view, on the View menu, point to Current View, and then click Define Views. When creating a new view, you can choose to make it available for the current folder, all folders of the type you are currently working in, or the current folder for all users (in an organization using Microsoft Exchange Server). Once you name your new view, you can add fields, sort, group, and configure advanced options such as formatting and display fonts.



    Make your calendar easier to read and more informative

    Outlook 2002 introduced a new Calendar feature: coloring. It enables you to color-code your appointments by choosing from 10 built-in labels. With a quick glance you can get a good idea of how to organize your day. You can know which meetings are business-related, which ones are personal, and which ones you must attend.

    Instead of the normal calendar, your calendar can look like the one in Figure 2:


    Fig. 2: Create color-coded calendars to see appointments more clearly

    To color-code your calendar, right-click an appointment, point to Labels, and then click the label you want. Or, when you are scheduling an appointment, click a color in the Label list.



    Make Outlook work for you by automating simple tasks

    I get at least 50 e-mail messages a day from coworkers, friends, and an online developers list. But when my Dad e-mails me, I want to know about it right away. It's a perfect example of how the Rules Wizard can make Outlook work for you. As messages arrive or are sent, the rules you set up can trigger Outlook to perform certain operations. I set up a rule to notify me with a specific sound whenever my Dad e-mails me. That way, I can respond to his messages right away.

    And the messages from the developers list? I set up a rule so that all the messages are automatically moved to another folder and grouped by conversation topic. I can read all the messages on a topic without my Inbox getting cluttered.

    Other ways to use the Rules Wizard (See Figure 3) include:

    Assigning categories to messages
    Deleting conversations
    Running VBA code written in Outlook to perform more complex operations
    Flagging messages from a specific person
    Notifying you when messages containing certain words arrive in your Inbox



    Fig. 3: Use the Rules Wizard to perform certain tasks

    To create a rule, on the Tools menu click Rules Wizard. You can either customize one of the sample rules in Outlook or build a new rule from scratch. Most rules operate on messages as they arrive or are sent, but you can create a rule and select it to run on messages in your Inbox (or other folders). In fact, one of the easiest ways to create a rule is by using an existing message in your Inbox. Open the message, and on the Actions menu click Create Rule. The Rules Wizard will include details about your message, such as sender and subject, already filled in. All you need to do is choose which criteria to use and which action it should trigger.

    Read Tips for Managing Your E-mail Using Rules in Outlook 2002 at the Assistance Center for more information on the Rules Wizard.



    Group together and track information

    Categories are one of the least-used features in Outlook, yet they can also be one of the most powerful ways to group items together. A category is a keyword or phrase that you assign to an e-mail message, task, appointment, journal entry, or contact to help you keep track of it. You can assign a category to related items that are saved in different folders.

    For example, if you have a client named Wide World Importers, you can track all of the meetings, contacts, e-mail messages, tasks, and journal entries related to your client. Just create a category named Wide World Importers and assign those items to it. Outlook comes with a default master category list and you can create your own. Every Outlook item can be manually or automatically assigned to a category (see Figure 4).


    Fig. 4: Use the categories in the master category list or create your own

    To categorize an item, right-click the item, and then click Categories. This will bring up your current list of categories. Select a category from the Available categories list. To create new categories, click Master Category List.

    To view all the items that belong to that category, you can customize your view to group items by category. Or use Advanced Find to search for all the Outlook items related to a category.

    In the Tools menu, click Advanced Find, and then click the More Choices tab.
    Click Categories and use the Available categories list to select the categories you would like to find.
    Click OK.
    Click Find Now.
    Tip: Add rules to automatically assign categories to items based on the subject line or sender.



    Prioritize, manage, and assign your tasks

    If you have more than two or three things to do every day, you probably know the importance of making and prioritizing lists. The Task feature (see Figure 5) can help you do this.


    Figure 5: Use tasks to organize your to-do lists

    The Tasks folder helps you stay organized and makes sure nothing slips through the cracks. You can give tasks priorities, due dates, and categories, and even assign tasks to other people.

    Get the rest of the tips at the link below.
    Taken from this site

    Get the most out of outlook.
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  2. #2
    She who must be obeyed Super Moderator piaqt's Avatar
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    # 11 If all else fails, take it out and shoot it to vent your frustrations. You'll feel better, and work more efficiently for having done so.

    Last night, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know.
    love, piaqt

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    As always, Pia tends to sum it up best and give it her personal touch.
    hehehe
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  4. #4
    Junior Member Stargazer's Avatar
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    Ah! I just learned something new! I didn't know I could play a different sound depending on what email comes in. I've always wanted to do this and didn't think it was built into Outlook. There are so many selections in rules I never saw it! Cool. I'm going a'lookin' for sound files. Anyone know any sites that have great tonal sound files? I like tones and chimes...rather than the "Hey WHOA! You got mail!" ones. :-)

  5. #5
    She who must be obeyed Super Moderator piaqt's Avatar
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    No Honeymooners?

    Last night, I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I'll never know.
    love, piaqt

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    http://www.openhere.com/music/sound-...sic-libraries/

    THe above link contains some links to several sound download sites.
    Hope that helps,
    BB

  7. #7
    Junior Member Stargazer's Avatar
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    Ah.....Booger, I understand now how forums work. I share a font site with you. You share a sound site with me. heehee

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    You hit the nail on the head. We help each other depending on what you need and what answers you have. Contribute as much as you like. the more you post the more we can learn and help.
    BB

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