You are previewing Effective Time Management: Using Microsoft® Outlook® to Organize Your Work and Personal Life.
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Effective Time Management: Using Microsoft® Outlook® to Organize Your Work and Personal Life

Book Description

Take charge—and create an effective balance between your work and personal life with the help of Microsoft Outlook. In this practical guide, two experts teach you a proven time-management system, showing you how to set and manage your priorities with custom modifications to Outlook. Sharpen your focus, combat distractions—and manage your time with complete confidence.

Get the skills to take control of your schedule

  • Organize email in a systematic way and keep your inbox clean

  • Schedule time for productivity—and defend it against interruptions

  • Apply Outlook filters to help you manage tasks and projects

  • Make time for family and fun—plan your work and private lives together

  • Use Outlook with Microsoft OneNote to capture ideas and set goals

  • Learn effective time management techniques with practical examples

  • Table of Contents

    1. Effective Time Management: Using Microsoft® Outlook® to Organize Your Work and Personal Life
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      2. Foreword
      3. Acknowledgments
      4. Introduction
        1. Who This Book Is For
          1. Assumptions
        2. How This Book Is Organized
        3. Additional Video Lessons Online
        4. How to Get Support & Provide Feedback
          1. Errata & Book Support
          2. We Want to Hear from You
          3. Stay in Touch
      5. 1. How Not to Drown in the Email Flood
        1. Let’s Get Started and Change This!
        2. It’s Not the Email Messages, It’s How We Handle Them
          1. Don’t Let Yourself Get Distracted
            1. “Educate” Pushy Senders
            2. Disable New Email Notification
              1. How to disable the visual and/or acoustic new email notification
              2. How to disable the automatic downloading of new messages
            3. Process Email Messages in Blocks
          2. Break Your Response Pattern
            1. View Current Sender Information with a Mouse-Click: The Outlook 2010 Social Connector
        3. Keep Your Inbox in Order
          1. Process Your Email Block with the DANF System
          2. File Email Messages Accordingly
            1. Convert Email Messages into Tasks and Appointments
              1. How to create an appointment or a task from an email message
              2. How to quickly create a new contact entry for the sender of an email message
              3. How to create tasks and appointments from individual parts of a longer email message
              4. How to insert multiple email messages into existing tasks and appointments
              5. How to use a flag to mark an email message as a task in Outlook 2010/Outlook 2007
        4. Create and Use Your Own Folder Structure
          1. How to set up new folders
          2. How to move messages into the correct folder
          3. How to customize message sorting for individual folders
        5. Flag the Messages You Still Need to Work On
          1. How to assign a colored flag to a message in Outlook 2003
          2. Don’t Force Alarms on Yourself: The Reminder Functions of Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010
            1. How to add short notes and reminders to a message in Outlook 2003
          3. Keep All Items That Are Flagged for Processing in a Single View
            1. How to create your own search folders
        6. Let Outlook Presort Your Inbox for You
          1. How to set up rules directly from a message
          2. How to set up and change rules with the Rules Wizard
        7. Think Before You Communicate
          1. Make Your Text Easier to Understand: Always Adjust It to the Recipients
          2. Keep Your Phrasing Short, Precise, and Crystal Clear
          3. Use Well-Written Subject Lines to Make Everyone’s Life Easier
        8. You Try It
      6. 2. How to Work More Effectively with Tasks and Priorities
        1. Let’s Get Started and Change This!
        2. How to Run a Country Like the United States in the 24 Hours a Day Has to Offer—Set Priorities!
          1. Focus on What Matters Most (the Pareto Principle)
          2. Decide What’s Most Important—Use the Eisenhower Matrix to Set Rough Priorities
            1. Say “No!” More Often—and Therefore “Yes!” to What’s Important to You
          3. Write Down Your Plans
        3. Use Task Lists to Plan Flexibly and Effectively
          1. Tasks vs. Appointments
          2. Tasks in Outlook
            1. How to insert links to files instead of copies
          3. The Text Editor in Outlook 2010/Outlook 2007
            1. The Insert Tab
            2. The Format Text Tab
              1. Format Text with Fewer Mouse Clicks: Take Advantage of the Mini Toolbar
              2. Take Advantage of the Multilingual Spelling Checker and the Foreign Language Dictionary in Outlook 2010
              3. Take Advantage of the Multilingual Spelling Checker and the Foreign Language Dictionary in Outlook 2007
        4. Define Your Own Views (Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, and Outlook 2010)
          1. How to set up a new view
          2. Use Filters to Clean Up Your Views
            1. How to set up a simple filter for your view
            2. How to hide all completed tasks
          3. Fine-Tune Your Priorities with the 25,000 $ Method
            1. How to define a 25,000 $ view
            2. How to use your 25,000 $ view for refining your priorities
          4. The To-Do List—View Tasks from Multiple Folders and Email Messages at the Same Time
        5. You Try It
      7. 3. How to Gain More Time for What’s Essential with an Effective Week Planner
        1. What Really Matters—and Why Does It Continue to Remain Undone?
        2. Let’s Get Started and Change This!
        3. Take Advantage of Categories to Combine Tasks
          1. Gain Perspective with Categories
            1. How to Assign Categories to Tasks
            2. How to Assign Categories in the Calendar
            3. How to Assign Categories to Email Messages
            4. The Master Category List in Outlook 2010/Outlook 2007
              1. How to use shortcut keys to quickly assign your most important categories
              2. How to fill the list with your own categories
              3. How to revise the master category list
          2. Keep Track of Your Most Important Categories by Using Colors
            1. How Outlook 2010/Outlook 2007 Displays Category Colors
            2. How Outlook 2010/Outlook 2007 Colors Appointments According to Category
            3. How to Avoid Problems with the Category Colors
            4. The Category System in Outlook 2003: How to Assign Categories
              1. How to assign categories using the Outlook 2003 master category list
              2. How to clean up the Outlook 2003 master category list
              3. How to fill the Outlook 2003 master category list with your own categories
            5. Set Up Your Own Category System
          3. Filter and Group by Category
            1. Filter Your Views
              1. How to define positive filters for categories
              2. How to create negative filters
            2. Work with Grouped Views
              1. How to group your tasks by category
            3. How to Show or Hide the Group By Box
            4. How to Expand or Collapse Your Groups
        4. The Kiesel Principle—Gain More Time for What Matters Most Each Week
          1. Keep Your Life in Balance
          2. Plan Your Professional Life and Private Life Together
            1. The Four Areas of Life for a Life in Balance
            2. Seven Days, Seven Hats...
          3. Regularly Take Time for What Really Counts
        5. How to Plan Your Week with Outlook
          1. Prepare Your Task List for the Week
            1. Start Your Weekly Planning by Evaluating the Previous Week
            2. Plan the Incomplete Tasks from the Previous Week Again
              1. Plan your tasks for the next week
          2. Plan Tasks and Appointments Together in Balance
            1. How to Show or Hide the Daily Task List
            2. How to Customize Your Daily Task List
          3. Plan Appointments with Yourself to Concentrate on the Essential Tasks
            1. How to create the appropriate task view for week planning in your calendar
            2. How to convert entries from the To-Do bar/TaskPad into appointments
            3. How to automatically color your appointments
        6. You Try It
      8. 4. How to Make Your Daily Planning Work in Real Life
        1. Let’s Get Started and Change This!
        2. The Basics of Successful Day Planning
          1. Combine Similar Tasks into Task Blocks
            1. Use Categories When Creating Blocks
            2. A Special Task Block: The ActionList
          2. For Advanced Users: Take Advantage of the Journal for Semi-Automatic Time Protocols
          3. Take Your Performance Curve and Your Disruption Curve into Consideration
          4. Focus on Your Important Tasks Without Interruptions During Productivity Hours
            1. Defend Your Productivity Hours
        3. Order Must Prevail
          1. Hide the Tasks Intended for Block Building in the Week/Day Views
            1. How to hide all tasks belonging to block building categories
          2. Mark Tasks That Are Due Today and Tomorrow in Color
            1. How to color tasks by using automatic color formatting
            2. How to turn off the red color marking for overdue tasks to avoid such color conflicts
        4. Gain a Better Overview by Using Appointment Lists
          1. How to create new calendar views as thematically grouped appointment lists
          2. How to help yourself quickly, if you have accidentally entered duplicate holidays and now want to get rid of them
        5. Fine-Tune Your Daily Planning
          1. Plan Pending Tasks with the 25,000 $ Method
            1. How to fine-tune the 25,000 $ view (created in Chapter 2) for your daily planning
            2. How to plan your day (with the new view) according to the 25,000 $ method
        6. More Steps for Successful Daily Planning
          1. How to estimate the duration of pending activities
          2. How to adjust the 25,000 $ view in Outlook
          3. Make Further Appointments with Yourself
          4. Keep an Eye on Buffer Times
          5. Use the To-Do Bar to Keep Upcoming Appointments and Tasks in View
          6. How to Customize the To-Do Bar
        7. You Try It
      9. 5. How to Schedule Meetings So They Are Convenient, Effective, and Fun
        1. The Problem: Way Too Many Inconvenient Meeting Requests and Insufficient Preparation
        2. Let’s Get Started and Change This!
          1. Technical Requirements for Using This Chapter
        3. Meeting Requests with Outlook—Basic Rules and Tips
          1. Find Free Times and Evaluate Replies
            1. How to create a meeting request
            2. Create Meeting Requests from a More Flexible View
              1. How to create meeting requests from a more flexible view
        4. Stay on Top of It: Calendar Overlay
          1. How to answer meeting requests
          2. How to check and change the status of a meeting you called
          3. Use Meeting Requests Sparingly
            1. Meetings Are Expensive
          4. Optimize Your Calendar to Make Meeting Requests Easy
            1. Keep Your Calendar Well Organized
            2. Take Advantage of the Show As Field to Flag Your Appointments
              1. How to use all-day appointments
            3. Flag Personal Appointments As Private
        5. Prepare Meetings Effectively
          1. Improve Efficiency by Preparing and Running Your Meeting Wisely
          2. Use Meeting Workspaces to Prepare Meetings
            1. The Advantages of Meeting Workspaces
            2. Automatically Get Notified About the Changes Relevant to You
            3. Take Advantage of Document Libraries
            4. Discover the Advantages of the Other SharePoint Web Parts
        6. You Try It
      10. 6. How to Use OneNote for Writing Goals, Jotting Down Ideas, and Keeping Notes
        1. Why Do Important Documents and Notes Always Get Lost?
        2. Let’s Get Started and Change This!
        3. Finally, a Place and a System for All Your Notes
          1. Use a Structured System When Planning
            1. Have Your Notes Available When You Need Them
          2. Do You Still Use Paper Even Though You Have a Laptop?
          3. Discover the Advantages of OneNote
        4. Basics for Notes in OneNote
          1. Take Advantage of the Digital Notebook Structure
            1. Your Notebook Structure
            2. What Are the Subpages For?
            3. Notebook vs. Section
            4. Develop a Structure for Your Notebook
            5. Notebooks on the Web and Shared with Others
          2. Work with Sections, Notebooks, and Pages
            1. How to create new sections
            2. How to create new pages and subpages
            3. How to navigate among sections and notebooks
            4. How to open specific pages and subpages
            5. How to move or copy a page
          3. How to Fill Your Pages
            1. Text Functions
            2. How to Insert, Move, and Scale Pictures
              1. How to insert screenshots into OneNote
          4. Use Pens, Text Markers, and Colors
            1. How to color entered text
            2. How to use text markers and pens
            3. How to set a picture as a background
            4. How to add documents as pictures
        5. Meeting Minutes in OneNote
          1. Use Outlining for Preparation
            1. How to create an outline
            2. How to Collapse and Expand Levels, and How to Select Text on a Specific Level
              1. How to create a table in OneNote
          2. Keep Follow-Up Activities and Important Information in View
            1. How to set and remove tags
            2. How to customize the available tags
            3. How to Quickly Find Elements Marked by Tags
              1. How to take advantage of the full-text search
          3. Link Your Information: Use Outlook and OneNote as a Team
            1. How to transfer tasks to Outlook
            2. How to Create a Contact/Appointment Note from Outlook
            3. How to Export Email Messages
            4. How to Create Hyperlinks to OneNote Pages/Paragraphs
              1. How to share your notes and meeting minutes with others
            5. How to See When You (or Another User) Last Edited the Current Element
          4. Create Page Templates and Checklists
            1. How to create a template
            2. How to create a new page based on a template
        6. Always Keep Your Ideas and Goals in Sight
          1. How to link documents to your notes
          2. “Printing”—Export Data from Any Program
            1. How to “Print” from Any Application to OneNote
            2. Save Websites from the Web Browser in OneNote
          3. Read Between the Lines—OCR for Pictures
          4. Set Goals for Yourself—Not Just for Your Revenue
            1. Set Goals with the 3M Rule: Measurable, Manageable, Motivating
          5. Create Your Master Plan
        7. You Try It
      11. 7. How to Truly Benefit from This Book
        1. Let’s Get Started and Change Things!
        2. How to Get a Handle on Your Time
          1. The Next Steps
          2. Test the Current Version of Office for Free
        3. Take Responsibility—Do It Now!
          1. Time Management Is Self-Discipline
          2. Create Your Own Personal Action Plan
          3. Find a Buddy
          4. Start Immediately and Keep at It!
      12. A. Recommended Reading
      13. B. About the Authors
      14. Index
      15. About the Authors
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