Faithful LifeApps readers know that I don’t have a lot of patience with email and favor an aggressive approach to managing your Inbox.
Occasionally however, we’ll receive emails which require more time to respond to – and/or which don’t require a response immediately. OR… they’ll require collaboration with several colleagues who you’d like to meet with in order to formulate a response.
A little known technique enables you to add such messages to your calendar so you can formally schedule time for you – and your coworkers, if appropriate – to develop your response…
Let’s say you get an email which requests your response by a certain date and you’re buried until that day or the day before. In this hypothetical case I’ve sent an email to myself asking that I complete a “marketing scorecard” by May 12th. Completing this task won’t require a lot of time, but let’s say I can’t deal with it until the 9th or I need to consult with someone who’s out of the office until then…
If I left click on the email, I can drag it down to the Calendar OR Task icon on the Outlook Bar. In this case, I’ve dragged it to the Task icon. I simply set the due date as 9AM on May 12th, and the start date as May 9th. Once I click on “Save and Close,” it’s set as a Task in Outlook. (Incidentally, all examples here are from Outlook 2003 – but this should work in Outlook 2007 as well.)
Similarly, the same process will actually set aside time for me to deal with the issue as a meeting on my calendar, were I to drag the email to the Calendar icon in the Outlook Bar. The full content of the email is captured in the task or meeting details.
NOTE: as shown below, the original email will remain in my Inbox. IF I delete it, the Task or Meeting will remain in Outlook.
Try this technique the next time you want to set aside time to deal with an important email.
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