Video: Make your job easier with Outlook

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Every message you get is another task for you to prioritize. Use Outlook to triage tasks as they come in, focus on important ones, and file or delete the others.

Make your job easier with Outlook

Let’s say you come across an email that you want to deal with later. To make it stand out, you can add a follow up flag. Hold the mouse pointer over the email in the message list, and right-click the flag icon. Then, decide when you want to deal with the message, such as next week. Right-click the flag again and add a reminder if you want. You can change when the reminder comes up, then click OK. And you’ll get a reminder message when the time comes.

To see all your flagged emails together, click the group control at the top of the message list, and group your email by Flag: Start Date or Flag: Due Date. Now your message list becomes a to-do list.

If you like that idea, here’s a better way. Go to the View tab, click Reading Pane, and click Off to turn it off if you need more room. Then, click To-do Bar > Tasks. Now your to-do items are in a separate list, and easier to track and manage. For example, when you finish an item, click the flag. It disappears from the list, and the flag is replaced by a check mark that appears to the right of the email in the Inbox.

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Every message you get is another demand on your time - whether it’s a manager with another request or a friend asking you to look at a picture of his cat. Using Outlook, you can triage the demands as they come in, focus on the important ones, and file or delete the others.

Follow-up flags are a good place to start. Let’s say you come across an email that you want to deal with later. To make it stand out, you can add a follow up flag. Hold the mouse pointer over the email in the message list, and right-click the flag icon.

Then, decide when you want to deal with the message, such as next week. Right-click the flag again and add a reminder if you want. You can change when the reminder comes up down here. Then, click OK. And you’ll get a reminder message when the time comes.

To see all your flagged emails together, click the group control at the top of the message list, and group your email by Flag: Start or Due Date. Now your message list becomes a to-do list.

If you like that idea, I’ll show you a better way. Go to the View tab, click Reading Pane, and turn it off if you need more room. Then, click To-do bar and Tasks.

Now your to-do items are in a separate list, and easier to track and manage. For example, when you finish an item, click the flag. It disappears from the list, and the flag is replaced by a check mark that appears to the right of the email in the Inbox.

You can also add email directly by dragging it from the message list.

If you just want to add an item, click this area at the top of the list and type. Then, press Enter.

Give flags and tasks a try, and see if they help make your job easier. Up next, two ways Outlook can help you when it comes time to make a decision.

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