Outlook

Set a date with your to-dos

November 29, 2011 Categorized in: OrganizingOutlook

How do you make sure a task gets done? Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes, believes we ought to make appointments with ourselves in order to accomplish things. “We should all be working off our calendars, not our task lists,” says Bregman.

Writing email that gets read

October 20, 2011 Categorized in: OutlookWriting/Editing

Boost the odds that people will read your emails. Five guidelines: 1.  Limit your message to five sentences. 2.  Figure out your main point. 3.  Edit. 4.  Ask one thing at a time, or maybe two. 5.  Include a link to information available online.
1. Include your phone number and mailing address in your signature. 2. Provide “if-then” options. 3. Always start with a greeting. 4. Check Snopes.com before you waste time forwarding a chain letter.
Maria had been emailing back and forth with a colleague all day about a work issue, when she finally decided to cc the boss. It felt like the right thing to do. But that’s not how it turned out. In­­stead, it came back to bite her. How to avoid cc’ing up and other email faux pas:
Next time you get an email request with an urgent flag, try one of these three tips:
Chris Anderson, who runs the high-profile TED conference, believes we need to focus on limiting the flow of email, rather than focusing on how to organize and file all those messages. Anderson penned 10 ideas that could make a dent in email quantity:
E-mail newsletters remain one of the most effective ways to build relationships with customers. For proof, look no further than the recent popularity of Groupon. If you’re asked to develop an e-mail newsletter, keep in mind these tips:

5 simple ways to tune your inbox

April 20, 2011 Categorized in: OrganizingOutlook

Administrative professional Debbie is in search of the magic bullet that will make it easier to archive e-mail—and later find what she needs. While e-mail is a source of productivity, it can also become an out-of-­control monster. Tune up your inbox with these tips:
When you help someone by connecting them via an e-mail introduction, follow these three basic rules: 1. Be clear and up front about your motive. 2. Don’t copy all parties unless you are 100% positive the recipient will be open to the introduction. 3. Give the recipient an “out.”
Keep the size of a PowerPoint file low with these three tactics … Put a halt to communication overload by limiting the number of people you add to any group or process … Customize the toolbar of your web browser, so handy little functions appear as icons across the top.
Pay attention to first impressions—the ones you’re making on others … Steel your resolve by clenching a muscle … Increase productivity by keeping one to-do list … Optimists find jobs more easily than their peers and are more likely to be promoted …

2 words to improve e-mail messages

December 16, 2010 Categorized in: OutlookRecognition

The biggest problem with e-mail, according to Scot Herrick, is that most people only use the tool as a way to manage to-dos, collaborate and move work along. Herrick believes that’s a problem because we should be thinking of e-mail as a personal branding tool, not merely as a workhorse.
A reader writes: “We have tasks assigned to us via e-mail, the phone, in-person, in passing, etc. I carry my notebook and keep it on my desk to jot down assignments and then transfer some tasks to Outlook, but I’m wondering if there is a better, more efficient way to keep track of everything. What are your secrets to staying organized and on top of all your assignments?”