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I returned last week from a family emergency that meant ignoring work for eight days. Everything turned out okay, but I came back to a mountain of email, 80% disposable, 20% important. In the sorting, I found this gem in Adam Bryant's NYT "corner office" interview with Guy Kawasaki: business schools "should teach their students how to communicate in 5-sentence emails and 10-slide PowerPoint presentations." Why? "Because no one wants to read “War and Peace” e-mails. Who has the time? Ditto with 60 PowerPoint slides for a one-hour meeting."
When my manager's manager shared this with her group, she added her own polite "encouragement" to take Guy's statement to heart. Oh, how timely.
I love Outlook because it makes it easy for everyone to keep everyone informed about everything that's going on. And I hate Outlook because.....it makes it easy for everyone to keep everyone informed about everything that's going on. Guy's advice can help with brevity, but not volume. So besides trimming my emails back to 5 sentences max from here on (if you're not part of the solution, etc.....), it's time to let Outlook do more to manage the sheer volume of email for me.
I'll start by rescuing Outlook PM Melissa MacBeth's comprehensive how-to, Best practices for Microsoft Outlook 2007, from my "someday" list and then do what it says. I've already instituted some of her recommendations (rules, folders), but it's time for the full meal deal. My manager reorganized his Outlook setup based on MacBeth's recommendations awhile back and swears it changed his life. I'll report back on what it does for mine.
Meanwhile, if you've a trick or technique for catching up after time away, care to pass it on?
For free Office resources, visit Office.com. I'm on Twitter @hollythomas
Personally, I'm THRILLED with the "ingore" option in Outlook 2010. Too bad I can't ignore more meetings. . .
Did you recognize yourself as the "startled recipient of my brevity"?