Would you like to have one place where you can write all your appointments, make notes to yourself, keep track of projects & be reminded that an important event will be taking place (your sister’s birthday, for example)?
If you have not used Microsoft Office Outlook, I would really encourage you to check it out. It’s an electronic appointment book, where there’s always plenty of room to write as many tasks as you can think of, all your appointments, read your email as well as send email and best of all you won’t mislay this notebook!
One feature Outlook has is a Calendar where you can add one time occurrences or recurring events. You can set your recurring events for daily, weekly, monthly or yearly and even choose which days it will recur on. You can set it to remind you of future events. For instance, since a birthday is a recurring event you can set Outlook to remind you of that particular birthday 5 minutes before it begins or up to 2 weeks ahead. This event will recurr forever or until you change the settings. You can view your calendar and all its appointments in different ways with just a single click of your mouse. You can view it by day, week or month. I love the calendar feature because I have now input everybody’s birthday from both sides of the family and I have set it to remind me the day before. (Oh, the shame of it but recently, I forgot it was my sister’s birthday and it was all because my Outlook information had not been transferred over to my new computer.
Anything you put on your paper calendar should be added to your Outlook calendar. Have one place where you keep all your appointments, etc.
I also use Outlook to receive and send emails. My gmail account is configured to automatically send all my emails to Outlook. No more logging in to my email account. I can view them in Outlook and delete as necessary. The original email from gmail is not deleted, only the one in my Outlook. I can also organize my emails by sending them to different folders that I have set up if I choose not to delete it.
Finally, another way I use Outlook is in the Tasks section. I have several folders set up per David Allen’s suggestions in his book Getting Things Done. For instance one of my folders is called At Computer. In this folder, I write down every task that needs to be done but can only be done at the computer. One of my tasks might be “write letter to Tracy”. I can then open the task “write letter to Tracy” and write notes to myself on what I need to mention in my letter to her and save it for later. When you finish your tasks there is also a place where you can put a check mark saying that this task is completed.
You may wonder what good is it to have it on computer when you can’t carry it with you. I suggest that you keep a separate small notebook where you write doctor’s appointments, tasks, etc. When you arrive home or set up an appointment over the phone, input these appointments into Outlook. Write down tasks as they come to either in your notebook or straight into Outlook. You will never lose them again! I can’t tell you how many scraps of paper I’m always writing on, only to misplace them. I then have to rethink everything I have written down. If I had typed it in Outlook first, I could have just reprinted my task paper with all of the information.
I have been using Outlook for about a year now and am completely sold on it. Do you use Outlook? If not, what is your choice for organization?
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