Office Pioneer

What it's really like to be working with the 2007 Microsoft Office System Beta 2


Drag Queen Heaven

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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...