Outlook: An Organization Tool?

Do you think of Outlook as an organization tool? It can be, if you use some commonly overlooked features that may improve your productivity.

Start with your Calendar

The default view in Outlook is your email view. However, starting your day by reviewing your calendar, before you get distracted with your emails, can help you prepare for your day.

To start Outlook 2010 in your calendar view, access the Outlook Option window by going to File > Options > Advanced. Then, look for the Outlook start and exit heading. Click the Browse button and select your Calendar folder. Now, when you start Outlook, the calendar will display first.

Add Contact Information

Do you have lots of clients and want to catalog some of their personal details or meeting notes? Why not add the information to the contact window in Outlook. Just click the Contact link in the navigation panel and then add any details about your client that you need to remember. If there is not a field for the information you want to retain, you can just type it in the Notes pane.

The Contact Details window even includes a field for their birthday, spouse’s name, and anniversary. When you populate the birthday or anniversary field, it automatically displays on your calendar.

Organize Emails with Folders

If you have lots of emails and need a way to sort them, folders may be a good option for you. Right-click your Inbox to add as many sub-folders as you desire. After folders are established, just drag emails to the appropriate folder. Alternately, you can assign each email a category color; and then, click the Category column to sort them. The colors will be grouped together.

Integrate LexisNexis Software with Outlook

CounselLink, PCLaw, and Time Matters make it easy to access your LexisNexis software tasks from within Outlook. For example, the CounselLink add-in duplicates the links on your Home tab for matters, invoices, and calendar events. This saves you time since you do not need to open CounselLink first. Similarly, Time Matters allows you to view your Time Matters contacts directly from Outlook and emails may be saved as Time Matters documents.

Why not try one of these features and you may begin to view Outlook not only as a communication tool, but as an organization tool as well.

Delphine Pittman