Get organised in 2017 with Outlook
I often hear people comment that they haven’t got enough hours in the day.
The same discussion comes up time and again, about the ever growing need to respond to emails, and how they are generally bogged down with an ever growing mailbox.
By following some simple rules in Email time management, I am hoping that 2017 will allow you to get more organised and have the time you need become more productive.
So start by stopping opening, reviewing and closing the same Email, and use the 4 Ds model for your Email management.
4D's Email Management
- “How much of this information will I actually ever need again?”. Delete it.
- Is this message important for a project that I’m currently working on? If no. Delete it.
- Will I require any of this information within the next 6-12 months? If no. Delete it.
- Am I required to keep this information on file? If no. Delete it
- Is this a SPAM email? Yes. Delete it.
So apart from deleting emails – there are some other useful features.
Clean Up Conversation
This is where you can delete unwanted messages that are part of the history of the conversation. So if you have replied to an email and someone has replied again etc. it will get rid of the old emails and leave you with the top ones.
If you definitely don’t need the email – you can also press SHIFT+DEL to delete it permanently without the email going to the deleted items folder.
Is this something I can do quickly without affecting my current work and takes less than 2 minutes? Yes. Then do it.
Is this something I can only do now? Yes. Then do it.
Was I the main recipient of this email (you were not CC:), and this is urgent, and again won’t take very long. Yes. Then do it.
Is this something that you cannot do immediately but needs attention? Yes. Delegate this.
Is this a question that can be answered in a more appropriate way by a colleague? Yes. Delegate this.
Do not delegate an email if you were CC: - this email was given to you as a reference only.
Remember when delegating an email to keep your message short and concise. Explain why delegating this, and put a summary paragraph only and refer to the content below.
If this is something that needs reading that takes longer than 2 minutes.
You need to discuss this with colleagues.
You have an action that again may take time up that you currently haven’t got available.
So to Defer it – you can do the following:
If you simply want to read it again in more detail then from the closed email press CTRL+U (mark as unread)
If you want to flag it for action and there isn’t a particular message you would like to give – press the Insert button on the keyboard or click on the flag. (This will mark it to be done today)
If you need to action this but not today, and would like reminders then – right click on the flag and choose Add Reminder to take you to the Custom dialogue box. Here you will be able to write your own comments and set alert dates and times. Click OK when complete.
When you have done the task press the Insert key on the keyboard when your cursor is on the email.
The other way to defer an email is to allocate time to doing it in your diary. For this you can drag and drop the email straight into your calendar and then allocate time to doing this.
Other ways you can help with email management within your organisation is to promote effective use of hyperlinks to files instead of sending attachments.
And finally consider using great packages such as Skype for Business to send instant messages that allow for a quick response.
If you would like any more information on Outlook Time Management or any training for your organisation, then please have a look at our website for all our different formats for training which include classroom, seminars or even training via Skype for Business.
Either way I hope these tips help you to become more productive in 2017.
Happy New Year