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In this final video installment, Harry has really learned some effective time and schedule management, and he knows that all that depends on consistently applying the principles he's learned-—fundamentals that can happen naturally after they become part of a normal routine.
But Renée has one more fun little tip for Harry before she's off on her new job.
Although you don't have much say about when and how many meetings are scheduled, you do have more control over your calendar than you might think.
In this video, Renée talks to Harry about some of the things he can do to take more control over his calendar such as 1) Setting aside time each morning to review his calendar and task list; 2) Blocking out appointments for completing the work he plans to do; and 3) Schedule more time for himself to do a thorough review about what's planned for the current week and beyond and how to prioritize those things
Learning to manage your email and time effectively is not only a function of Outlook features. Control of your schedule comes from understanding and following best practices in how you work. Renée explains the principles behind the practice of the "four Ds" in handling email:
But which one to employ? Renée offers some advice to Harry and something rings a bell for him...
A lot of email messages you get don’t need a response, and don't even need to be read right away, especially those from large distribution lists. Renée shows Harry how to set up rules in Outlook that route email from those lists to special folders, to be read at a time that Harry schedules in his regular routine.
In Harry's next visit with Renée, she explains that by creating Search Folders—which look just like regular folders—Harry doesn't have to know where to hunt for a particular message. She explains to him that there's no more need for panicking when he wants to find a particular message by keyword or whatever. So now, Harry is starting to get the idea that if he creates the Search Folders, Outlook will do the heavy lifting.
Sorting through email—sometimes in that panicked or semi-panicked state—may seem the most logical way to figure out what you need to do RIGHT NOW. But I can tell you by experience that it isn't. If you have something that need to get done pronto and that you didn't schedule for a specific time in your calendar (and therefore isn't just waiting around to alert you with a pop-up reminder) one way to make sure you're aware of it is to turn an email into a task.
Renée explains to Harry how to do this, and also how he can work with tasks in other ways to make sure some prioritizing—and not freaking out—is going on.
Adding categories is like tagging photos or adding tags to blog posts: you're adding little handles or hooks that help you gather related messages. Watch how Harry's eyes are opened even further in this next video when Renée explains to him how categories can really lighten his load when used as they were meant to be used. (You can benefit from using just some of the best practices that are shown in this series. For example, even if you don't want to go through all your stored email to add details like categories, you can benefit by starting with the messages you're working with right now.)
When you're searching for a particular email message, you don't have to know what folder it's in (unlike your filing system at home); search will find it for you. Organizing and staying on top of your mail can involve creating a folder structure that makes sense to you, and there are some tried and true ways that work for most people. In today's video, Harry finds himself on his way to organization nirvana.
If you've been using Outlook as an email program for a while and are ready to start using it as a full productivity suite, this training is for you. Perhaps you've already found the article Best Practices for Outlook 2010 on Office.com and would like to see an overview of how it works in practice. This series shows step-by-step how to get started by giving an example of how it worked for Harry, an employee at Contoso.
As Harry’s star rises and he’s asked to take on more ownership of more projects, now’s the time to make sure he has a good program in place when it comes to email, his calendar, and his contacts and tasks. All of those things in Outlook are designed work together but if he doesn't set up some sort of system, Harry may find himself falling behind, misplacing important mails and dates, and not living up to what his boss thinks is his potential.