Hints and Tips

Time Management with Outlook

Microsoft Outlook is an excellent tool for personal task, time and email management but many users do not obtain maximum value from the product. Here are NDA’s favourite Outlook time management tips.

Make full use of Reminders. Set reminders for important tasks, appointments and email replies. This will free you from the worry of forgetting things and ensure important activities are completed on time.

  • Set a reminder for appointments – 5 minutes for nearby meetings and up to several hours for activities that require preparation.
  • Set a reminder for tasks – include sufficient detail in the task Subject field so you know exactly what you need to do when the reminder is triggered.
  • Set a reminder to reply to emails – right click the email you want to set the reminder for, point to Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder. In the Due By list, click the date when you have to complete the reply. In the second list, click a time and then click OK.

Create a new Contact from an email message
Open the email message, right click the sender’s name in the From field and choose Add to Outlook Contacts.

No need to re-type information that already exists. Just drag and drop with the mouse.

  • Drag an email to the Tasks icon to create a task that contains all the relevant information from the email.
  • Drag an email to the Calendar icon to create an appointment or event.
  • Drag a task to the Calendar icon to create an appointment based on the task – or vice versa.
  • Select text in any program and drag it to the Notes icon to create a new note.

Make tasks and appointments self-contained by including all the information needed to successfully complete them.

  • Drag and drop from emails to create the task or appointment, as explained above.
  • Enter any preparations required in the document pane of important appointments.
  • For complex ongoing tasks maintain a history of completed actions in the task document pane. Add the date and the most recent action to create a timeline of work completed. Then re-set the Reminder field and specify the next action due in the Subject field so it displays with the reminder – for example “Refurbish offices – quote received from builder yet?”.
  • Add the client or any other key people associated with the task to the task Contacts field .

Carry your personal information everywhere you go. Next time you upgrade your mobile phone, make sure it can synchronise with Outlook.  Then you can carry your Contacts, Appointments and Reminders everywhere you go.

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