A Hard Habit to Break

ist2_2380326_happy_mobile_computing.jpgOne of the more difficult habits to break when using Outlook is hard to change because of how the program is designed.

Here is the typical scenario:

  • Several pieces of email come into the Outlook in-box
  • Each of them share a single characteristic, in that they require about ten minutes of work
  • They have nothing else in common

Here is what I would really want to do, that as far as I can tell is not programmed into the latest version of Outlook.

I really want to assign them to the next scheduled time that I have set aside to reply to disparate emails. I wish I could assign them to a single time-slot in Outlook, and then when the time comes, that I could click on the time-slot and all the emails I need to reply to could come up. This could easily be achieved by allowing some kind of instant tagging in Outlook that allows an email to be connected to a particular kind of time-slot.

Instead, here are my options as I see them, constrained as they are:

  1. I can move the emails into a folder called “For Return Emails Time-slot” and hope that when the next Return Email time-slot comes up I can remember to pull up the folder
  2. I can schedule each individual email as a time-slot of its own, and that makes sense for really complex emails that take, say 45 minutes to reply to. However, 15 emails are difficult to coordinate as separate time-slots
  3. I can leave them in the in-box – which in 2Time is a big no-no. This quickly leads to overwhelming chaos.

None of these actions is perfect, but the best one seems to be the first.

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One Response to “A Hard Habit to Break”

  1. SuMM Says:

    Option 1 makes sense. Make the “For Return Emails Time-slot” folder the todo list for your “For Return Emails” Time-slot. Then you’ll aways go to the folder.

    Here’s another option:
    Create a “to do” of each of the emails (I recommend clear context’s plugin) and then set a category called “return email”. then the next time your slot comes up go to that category. The advantage is that if you have 10 extra minutes because another apt ended early then you can see this on your todo list.

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