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The Productivity Hub
Office for Mac 2011
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The Productivity Hub
Inbox boot camp Day 6: Schedule email delivery to co-workers
Last inbox boot camp – this should have gone on Friday, but my blog service was taking a break. Most of us send e-mails without much thought about the timing of our message. In our rush to get things done, we all just fire and forget, right? But lately I've taken an interest in timing my mails for...
12 Oct 2009
Print just one page in Outlook 2010
Have you ever wanted to print just the first page of an email message? Most of the time, right? You may not realize it, but there is a place to select this in Outlook 2010. Just go to File , Print (or press Ctrl-P) and then click Print Options : Directly below the Print style box, about halfway down...
14 Feb 2011
Writing a good Out of Office message (and how to set it)
When you're on vacation or holiday, it's wise to set an Out of Office message (abbreviated as OOF). Here are some tips to writing a good one: Provide the dates that you are unavailable. If it's only a partial day, provide the time you expect to be back on mail. Describe whether you will have limited...
27 Dec 2010
Create an Outlook distribution list
If a coworker asks you to keep them on the DL, they might mean "down low" but in my office they're probably asking to stay on an Outlook distribution list. If you frequently send e-mail to the same group of people and you're not using distribution lists, you're missing out on a real time saver...
5 Mar 2010
Force recipients to Reply All in Outlook
Have you ever sent a mail and asked that recipients use Reply All, only to have some people respond just to you? Then YOU have to forward the mail to the rest of the group. Thankfully, there is a way to force Outlook to send replies to a specific list of recipients regardless of whether they click Reply...
11 Apr 2011
Prepare draft messages for someone else to send
If you ever write Microsoft Outlook messages for someone else (say, weekly team reports for a manager to review and then send), just write the message normally. But be sure to only save it (don't send it), and a copy will appear in your Drafts folder. Drag your finished draft into a new message addressed...
3 Jun 2010
Inbox Bootcamp Day 1: Rules
I’ve posted a few times already about ways to manage your inbox. It’s been such a popular subject – with everyone – that I decided to run a series of posts I’m calling Inbox Bootcamp. Today we'll start with one of the most powerful tools in your Inbox management arsenal: Rules. A surprising number...
3 Oct 2009
Participate in 'Clean Out Your Inbox Week'
Taking control of your Inbox is a perennial topic, one that we’ve addressed several times with our Inbox bootcamp and New Year’s clean-up resolution . MSNBC has a fresh take on how to deal with your overflowing inbox and calls for workers to take part in "Clean Out Your Inbox Week." Productivity...
27 Jan 2011
New Year's resolutions you can resolve with Office and Windows
It's 2011, and if you're like me, you know there are some things you should have mastered last year that you didn't get to - so you resolve to tackle them when the calendar rolls over. Here are 65 popular tasks we frequently hear that customers want to learn - and which Productivity Hub can help you...
4 Jan 2011
Keep your Outlook meeting requests in your Inbox
By default, Outlook deletes meeting request mails once you've accepted or declined the invite. This is designed to help you reduce clutter in your Inbox, and you can recover them individually if you like from your Deleted Items folder (as long as it hasn't been emptied). If you prefer to hang on to these...
15 Oct 2010
Make a professional-looking e-mail signature in Outlook
Is your signature plain and unengaging? Or just too informal for your business communications? There's an easy way to dress it up: Use the Business Card feature in Outlook 2007. You can include company logos or photos to make it match your printed cards, or just create a professional look for yourself...
19 Feb 2010
E-mail on Your Schedule
What happens when you get an e-mail message? Do you drop everything to respond to it? Make this your year of saying NO to the lure of instant response email. I recently read a book called the Myth of Multitasking , by Dave Crenshaw. It follows a mythical (ha!) coach and his client to show how multitasking...
23 Sep 2009
Make your unread messages really stand out
By default, your unread messages in Outlook display the sender and date in bold, but this is a little subtle. You can increase the font size and even turn the text another color to really make them stand out. From the View menu, select Current View and then Customize Current View : Click the Automatic...
29 Apr 2010
No more folder obsession
Many of us ‘live’ in our inboxes. Some of us obsessively meticulously organize our mail using nested folders. This army of folders, lined up in perfect order, has served to separate our almost important mails from our very important mails on a plethora of projects. Now I’m telling you that you can toss...
17 Feb 2009
Mark your comments when replying to Outlook messages
If you answer e-mail questions "inline" - that is, inside of the sender's original quoted message - you should use Outlook comments. This marks your insertions with your name so that the recipient(s) can quickly spot your notes and you don't have to type ">" in front of everything...
28 May 2010
A different view of your inbox
How messy is your inbox? Is it stuffed full of messages about projects long finished and donuts in the break room long ago eaten? And you don’t do anything about it until you get a message saying you’re over your limit and you won’t be able to send messages until you clean things up? You’re normal, but...
1 Oct 2009
Automatically download images from trusted senders in Outlook 2010
When receiving HTML emails, you know doubt have noticed that Outlook 2010 blocks images by default, like so: The reason is to protect you from identifying your account is active when opening messages from unscrupulous spammers, who will detect when you open the message and increase the assault on your...
23 May 2011
Outlook Rules: Custom actions - what they are and how to use them
If you're like me - the curious sort - and you've plumbed the depths of Outlook rules, you may have come across the perform a custom action option. If you select it, odds are (unless your organization has written some itself), there are no default custom actions for you to choose from. Fortunately for...
17 Nov 2009
Quickly Clean Out Your Inbox
What’s your biggest workplace challenge? Email, right? (Okay, besides the co-worker who pops her gum while holding a loud conference call right next to you). I can get 100 emails in one day. I can get 100 emails in one morning! Some people get more. And they just give up trying to organize them. And...
6 Jun 2009
Clear the e-mail clutter with Ignore and Move in Outlook 2010
If you're like me, you spend a chunk of your day sifting through your e-mails looking for the ones that require action and deleting the ones that don't pertain to you. Well, that's what I used to do, anyway. With Outlook 2010, if a mail conversation comes in on a topic that I don't have any stake or...
24 May 2010
Create a PST file in Outlook 2010
Even if you've created Outlook personal data files before to archive, filter, or otherwise store mail on your local drive, you may not know where to find this feature in Outlook 2010. It's actually pretty quick and easy to do, once you know where to look. On the Home tab, click New Items , select More...
28 Mar 2011
Get notified when people read your e-mails
Have you ever wondered if people are reading your messages? Perhaps you want to follow-up with a coworker when they start reviewing that document you sent them. Fortunately, Outlook 2007 can provide read receipts that let you know when your mails are opened. To turn this on, go to the Tools menu, select...
6 Apr 2010
Find that mail with Outlook advanced search options
If you want to go beyond the basic mailbox search, click the Search box magnifying glass icon in Outlook 2010: This opens up a Search Tools toolbar with a number of options. Let's say you want to look at all mail from a particular person, even if it's filed away outside of your Inbox or selected mail...
11 Mar 2011
Share your Outlook calendar with an e-mail snapshot
If you've ever want to share your upcoming calendar with a colleague or customer, there's a feature in Outlook 2007 that makes this easy to do—even if the recipient isn't using Outlook themselves. It's called Calendar Snapshot, and it lets you choose exactly which dates and how much detail to include...
18 Feb 2010
Check the readability of your Word documents and Outlook mails
You may have heard the marketing rule that when writing for a general audience, you should aim for an 8th grade reading level. This not only helps your message get out to people who are less educated, it can reach customers who are learning English as a second language and, in general, can help you stick...
9 May 2011
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