How to handle post-holiday mailbox deluge

Welcome back after a long holiday. I am sure an overflowing Inbox is waiting for you. Here are some simple but useful ways to get a grip on it and handle it efficiently.

  1. Mails received earlier are waiting longer. Therefore, try to start from the day after you went on leave. If you went on leave from Christmas, go to the Search box and type received>25 dec 2015
  2. Now sort the results in descending order of time and check for important mails.
  3. Look for mails which are addressed ONLY TO YOU. This is easily done by creating a special rule.
  4. Think of important customers, boss, or other high priority senders. Create a rule which highlights mails from them using a color category. Group by that category and handle these mails first.
  5. One approach is to look at unread mails only. But nowadays, we often see the mails first on a mobile phone. This marks the mail as read. In spite of that action may still be pending. Therefore Unread mails is an unreliable indicator of pending work.
    To avoid this confusion in the future, use the message flag when you read a mail on mobile but intend to act upon it later.
  6. Convert actionable mails to Tasks and put a deadline. DO NOT mark them with the follow up flag. Drag the mail using the right mouse button and drop it on to the Task icon. Choose the Move with Attachments option.
  7. Filter on Importance flag. Mind you, this flag is usually set by the sender. However, if it is important to the sender, there is a good chance that it is important to you as well. Type Importance: High in the Search box.
  8. Confidential mails are generally more important. Type Sensitivity: Confidential in the Search box to find such mails. There is no easy way to filter IRM protected mails. These mails are visually identifiable with this type of icon SNAGHTML1c9216

If you use an Office 365 mailbox, use Clutter to automatically segregate less important mails.

That’s it for now. Happy New Year.

“New outlook towards Outlook” : Article Links

Here is a list of relevant articles for topics covered in the New outlook towards Outlook video. The video will be published soon.

  1. Confusion- Which method of communication to use when
  2. Are you misusing the 50 GB Inbox?
  3. Reduce Inbox Clutter using Artificial Intelligence
  4. Rules, Quick Steps, Clutter, Junk, Spam – what is the difference
  5. How to identify important mails automatically?
  6. The Outlook paradox: Are you helping others at the cost of your own work?
  7. Tasks folder is your best friend!
  8. Never delegate work using email: Use Outlook Tasks
  9. Beyond Task List – Add a duration column
  10. Arrange meetings with yourself = Time Management
  11. Tired of long mail trails? Why not just chat and finish it off?
  12. Common concern: Yammer will lead to uncontrollable misuse
  13. Smart Searching in Outlook

And finally, here are all articles written by me about Outlook.

Here is a poster for Outlook Best Practices.

Outlook Best Practices Poster.

Irritant: Excessive selection

I want to select a sentence. Sometimes, instead of the sentence, the entire paragraph is selected. Inside a table, contents of the entire cell are selected. It is inexplicable and frustrating. Here is what you do in such cases.

Here is the action replay. I want to select the second paragraph.
I am using Shift Right Arrow to select the text, one character at a time.

imageimage

imageimage

Usually we get frustrated at this point. We give up the effort and start all over again … HOPING that it will work this time.

The solution is … Press SHIFT  and LEFT ARROW once. That’s all.

Even if you use Shift CTRL RightArrow to select word by word, this problem can occur. The solution is exactly the same. Shift LeftArrow.

Continue reading

Knowledge Pack: Outlook

Outlook is great. But our outlook towards Outlook is not! That is why we waste lot of our precious time in doing the wrong things in and around Outlook. I have covered many aspects of effective Outlook usage. Here is a comprehensive list, in recommended order of reading.

image

Photo credit: simondavies57 / Foter / CC BY-SA

Continue reading

Outlook 2016: Insert Attachment shows OneDrive recent files

Office 2016 has enhanced the integration with cloud. Inserting attachments into a mail requires you to select the file to be inserted. Often this file is something you have been working on very recently (as in, few minutes back). But often we forget the path and struggle to locate the file. Now that problem is solved. Find out how…

Continue reading