Tag Archives for " Tasks "

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Managing Outlook Reminders

Ideas for the tutorials on this site and the guest posts I write elsewhere come from a lot of different places. I watch more blogs in my RSS reader than I can count, I’m constantly keeping my ears open for coworkers’ problems, and of course any problems I personally experience with Microsoft Office become post fodder, too.

But by far the richest source of material on the site is e-mail I get from readers.

Take, for example, a fairly lengthy e-mail exchange I had with one reader. Here was a lawyer, trying desperately to keep a handle on deadlines and outstanding work, particularly stuff assigned to others. He’d made a pretty game effort to use Microsoft Outlook to keep track of everything.

And he was drowning in Reminders.

Frankly, it took a while (and a good bit of back-and-forth) before I really started understanding the source of the problem. But his initial question really piqued my interest: “What is the best way to manage reminders in Outlook, and why isn’t there a ‘snooze all’ button, like dismiss all? It is very annoying to get reminders going off all day.”

As we worked through the various aspects of this challenge, I made notes and did little research. The result of all that was not only a (I hope) successful resolution of his problem, but a new guest post over on Lawyerist. That post, Managing Microsoft Outlook Reminders, contains a whole slew of tricks for keeping that Reminders window from driving you completely crazy while still letting it do its job.

Click here for the complete illustrated tutorial. I bet you’ll learn at least one new thing!

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Assigning Outlook Tasks

In my continuing quest to upgrade the Microsoft Outlook skills of Lawyerist readers, my latest guest post there shows how to assign Tasks in Outlook to others. From putting in the subject line and addressing the task (it’s as easy as sending an email) to tracking its progress, it’s a fully illustrated tutorial in how to hand off a to-do list item with Microsoft Outlook.

If you’re looking for an easy way to track not only what’s on your plate but also what you’ve given other people, click here for an introduction to Task assignment in Microsoft Outlook.

Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Using Tasks + Categories Views

Want to use Microsoft Outlook to organize your cases? Say, keep track of your overflowing to-do list, group all of your Smith v. Jones entries together, get an at-a-glance look at what’s on your plate this week?

In the second post in a series, I’m demonstrating those very things over on Lawyerist. In Using Outlook Tasks + Categories Views, I build on the techniques shown in the first post, this time focusing on how to use Task Views so you can get an overview of what’s coming up, like this:

You can even print these views out to put in your briefcase or working file.

To view the step-by-step demonstration of how the Task View above was created, click here.

1 Guest Post @ Lawyerist: Organize Matters using Microsoft Outlook Tasks

In Microsoft Outlook (as in life), there’s a lot more than meets the eye. And it’s a shame not to explore Outlook’s features (beyond just email and calendar), particularly if you work in a law office. I mean, who else deals with so much information?

If you want to use Outlook to help organize your client matters but don’t know where to start, I’ve got you covered over at Lawyerist. In my guest post entitled “Organize Matters Using Microsoft Outlook,” I show you (step by step with screen shots and detailed instructions) how to:

  • Use Outlook’s Tasks feature to keep track of your to-do’s
  • Organize your Tasks by client/matter/file using Categories
  • Embed important information in your Tasks, like Word documents or Outlook v-cards with contact info

And this is just the beginning. Be sure to follow the entire series and pick up some skills that could save you a lot of time and busywork.

Click here for the full article.

43 Make your Outlook email messages un-ignorable

Email’s great, isn’t it?  You can just type up a quick little message to someone to send them some information or answer a question or ask them to do something for you.

In the “asking them to do something for you” department, though, things can get a little hairy.  After all, as easy as it is to send someone an email, it’s just that easy for both sender and receiver to forget it’s there.

So, whaddya do to keep track of all those little requests (both the ones you send and the ones you receive)?

Keep reading →

The Ballad of OMG Dave (or, how to start Outlook in a different folder)

Once upon a time, there was this guy named Dave. (Actually, he wasn’t named Dave, but that’s what we’re going to call him.  Because I said so.).  He suffered from a curious affliction: Calendar Blindness.

Oh, he could see just fine.  (Especially after he had that fancy laser eye surgery.)  But as soon as he opened Outlook every day, he began obsessing over his overflowing Inbox and forgot all about his Calendar.

Occasionally, his assistant would go into his office on, say, Monday, and he would mention that he needed to do such-and-such by mid-week.  “So, we need to get that finalized before your trip to Podunk on Wednesday?” she’d ask.

“Podunk? Wednesday?” he’d reply, the color draining out of his face.

“Yes, Podunk.  It’s on your calendar for Wednesday.”

(This would be where the OMG part comes in.)

His assistant, proactive soul that she was, finally got an idea: she went into Dave’s office one day and set up his Outlook so that, instead of going straight to his Inbox, it showed his Calendar at startup.  He could then click on his Inbox folder when he was ready to view his email, but at least he had an opportunity to glance at his Calendar first.  (She also set up his Calendar to show the weekly view so future stuff didn’t sneak up on him anymore.)

And they all lived happily (or at least better informed) ever after.

I’d show you how to start up in a different folder in Outlook, but I don’t have to.  Because Vivian Manning from Small City Law Firm Tech already has, in her guest post on the Attorney at Work blog. She’s even given directions for three different versions of Outlook – 2003, 2007 and 2010.  (She’s good that way.)  She suggests starting in the For Follow-Up folder (makes sense), but you can really adapt this trick to use any folder you want to see — Calendar, Tasks, whatever — at start-up.

Click here to learn more from Viv.