I blogged back in June about how the new To-Do Bar in Outlook had transformed my working life and I'm pleased to say that my good habits are still (well, mostly) in place.
One feature that helps a great deal with this is the ability to drag and drop Outlook items and thereby create new items.
For example, I receive an email from an author with a suggested article for our newsletter. I need to discuss this with a colleague and then get back to the author with a response.
I simply drag the email from my inbox on to the calendar in the To-Do Bar (or over the Calendar button in the Navigation pane) and let go. An appointment with the contents of the email is automatically created and all that I have to do is modify any details and invite my colleague.
To remind myself to get back to the author, I can drag the email into the task list in the To-Do Bar and it will automatically flag the email for follow-up with a due date corresponding to where in the task list I "dropped" the email. If I drag the email over the Tasks button in the Navigation pane, it will create a task for me instead with the contents of the email - I might use this method if I wanted to allocate the task to a colleague, or track my progress in more detail.
Finally, if (in this example) the meeting to discuss the article concluded that I needed to phone the author to go through our feedback, I can drag the task from the To-Do Bar onto the Calendar to automatically create an appointment.
So the only excuse I have left for forgetting to do something is human error...
This Outlook feature is called Autocreate and, despite having been around for while, is rarely used to its full potential. For speed, I favour the SHIFT+CTRL+V keyboard shortcut. But a mouse right-click also adds some neat functionality too. See my post at http://blogs.technet.com/usefultechnology/archive/2006/06/15/435243.aspx for more details.