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Archive for September, 2010

As I mentioned in my introductory article for the September newsletter, it is extremely helpful to analyze and evaluate where you are spending your time. Are you investing your time in your top MVAs (Most Valuable Activities)? Or is your time extinguished [spent] by getting caught up in your Inbox? Do you have your email program open all the time with the notification beep on? Do you have an organized file structure for sorting and filing your emails for future reference as well as for storing your documents and files?  

Here is one bit of advice from my own personal experience to help you reclaim or redirect your time:  

  

Here is one of many QuickTips from CMIT that may help: 

Who wants to wade through a swamp of emails to find the stuff that’s really important to you? Instead of manually sorting all your email into folders, you can use rules in Outlook to do that sorting for you. Rules are triggered by an action – either the arrival of an incoming email or the sending of an outgoing one – and they can save you a lot of valuable time by automatically performing a specified task.  

Let’s take a very simple and straightforward example. You’re subscribed to receive daily emails from an airline. These emails are occasionally useful, so you don’t want to drop off the subscription list, but you also don’t want them cluttering your Inbox. 

Solution: Create a rule that says whenever an email comes in from this particular sender, it goes into its own special folder. That way you can just check the folder whenever it’s convenient for you. 

  • Create a folder in your Inbox called Airline Alerts.
  • Go to the Tools menu and click Rules and Alerts. On the Email Rules tab, click New Rule. That will bring you to the Rules Wizard, where you have a number of different options. You can use a templated rule, or you can write your own. In this case, we’ll use a templated one because it’s pretty straightforward.
     
    The rule we’re going to create will apply to a particular sender upon the arrival of the email. So first, we’ll select the first option: “Move messages from someone to a folder.” Then click the Next button.

The process that follows will ask you a few questions about what conditions the rules should apply under, what action you want the rules to follow, and if there are any exceptions to the rule. 

  • In the next screen (see below), click the first box, which says “from people or distribution list.” This tells Outlook to only apply the rule to messages that arrive from specific people or a distribution list.  In the window at the bottom, you’ll see the rule written out in sentence form, with highlighted text indicating where you need to supply a few details. Click on the highlighted text (“people or distribution list” and “specified”)  to add your specifications.

  • The next screen you see will ask you what you want to do with the messages.  Don’t worry about forwarding, deleting, copying or anything else. Then click Next.

You now need to consider if there are any exceptions to your rule – are there words, phrases, specific people and such that you want to exclude from the rule you have created.

Let’s say you definitely want that email delivered directly to your Inbox if the airline has cheap fares to Acapulco, Phoenix, or Reykjavik. Click “except if the subject or body contains specific words,” then go down to the window at the bottom and click that highlighted text. You can type those 3 city names in the next screen and then click OK.

Now, you will see an overview of the Rule Description you entered including the exceptions. [We are getting close to the end].

  • Determine what name you want for the Rule – it’s best to include words that help describe the rule. Then, click the box for “Turn on this rule” and finally, click the Finish button at the bottom of the screen.

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Leveraging people and information helps me compose articles for your reading pleasure. Our senior technical consultant, Michael, forwarded a blog (The Sean Blog) that talks to that hopefully infrequent occurrence of sending an email and then wishing you hadn’t.

“We have all sent e-mails that we later regretted (usually that regret comes seconds after hitting the “send” button).  If you are running Outlook along with Exchange, you can occasionally recall/replace the message.  However, message recall doesn’t tend to work if you:

  1. Wait too long to recall
  2. Sent the e-mail to a distribution list
  3. Sent a really really stupid email that you would give anything to get back

If only there were a way to add a delay of just a few minutes between hitting the “send” button and having the bits actually hit the wire.

Fortunately, there is! ”

Click here to read the blog in its entirety with all the visual aids too.

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