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Sales Help Wanted: Our MYN Productivity training business is growing and I am looking for the right person(s) to partner with that can help me continue to expand sales of our corporate seminar offerings. If you think you know someone experienced in seminar sales, please have them contact me by replying to this e-mail. More info here.
Paper System Beta Users Wanted: I have developed a paper version of the MYN task system (it is not Outlook based) and I would like to find some users to try it out and send me comments. After testing, the final version will be described in a new (non-Outlook) book next year. Indicate your interest in testing this system by replying to this e-mail. I’ll send you instructions and templates that you can print out and use. More info here.
Tomorrow (Friday): Getting Started Webinar: Tomorrow (Friday May 1) is the next MYN Getting Started Webinar. Take this webinar if you are having trouble getting out of the gate with the system. There are still plenty of seats available; sign up here.
Did you know that you can display, within Outlook, your mail grouped by e-mail conversation thread, in a manner similar to how Google’s Gmail displays its mail? This view includes indented replies and collapsible groups (see figure below). This can be a very useful view to display, but the controls to do it are a bit hidden.
So how do you display Conversation grouping in Outlook? You cannot create that arrangement by simply clicking a column heading like you can when grouping on the Received or From columns. Rather, in Outlook 2003 and 2007 you must go to the View menu, then the Arrange By sub-menu, and then choose Conversation (earlier versions of Outlook have different choices, this article only covers 2003 and 2007). You will then see mail grouped by Subject, and you will see conversation replies indented (this is shown below). To exit back to your “normal” date view, just click once on the Received column header.
Why might you want to arrange by conversation thread? Well, say there is a long ongoing set of e-mail replies to the same original e-mail, and they are scattered throughout your Inbox. You may want to read the whole chain of replies at once without hunting through the mail list. By temporarily arranging your Inbox by conversation, you can easily see that mail together, and by noting the indents you can easily follow the logic of the replies. This is especially useful if a number of people are involved and they are replying (sometimes late) at various points in the chain; the reply indenting helps show where their replies fit in. It also allows a way to collapse and hide specific “noisy” conversations, so you can see your other mail more clearly.
But there is a slight “gotcha” in how Outlook treats and collapses conversations, one that some of you may not like. See my full article on Outlook Conversation grouping here.
You probably know that core to my MYN (Manage Your Now!) Outlook Productivity System is this: you should convert all action e-mails (that you don’t do immediately) into Outlook tasks, and manage them in the MYN-modified Outlook task system. Lesson 7 in the book (2nd Ed) is all about that.
But what if you want to do the reverse? What if you created a text-based task from an e-mail request, and then later when the task is done, you wanted to convert it back into an e-mail? You might want to do this to tell the requestor the task is done. Well, if you did not originally create the task by including the e-mail as an attachment (the best solution when creating the task for these cases) here is another way to extract the original e-mail: before you mark that task complete just drag the task from your TaskPad or To-Do Bar to your Outbox folder icon. That’s right, the Outbox icon. It usually sits in the lower portion of your primary e-mail folder group. When you drop a task there, an e-mail window opens with all the task text inside. You have a bit of cleaning to do first though; you’ll need to delete the top bolded lines of that e-mail text… these are task fields converted to text and not wanted. And you will probably want to write a note at the top saying the task is complete and referring to the original e-mail below. But once you do all that, you just click the Send button and you are done.
By the way, Outlook 2007 users should not attempt this on Flagged Mail Tasks in the To-Do Bar. Those are already e-mails, so just open them and hit reply. You can tell by the icon column (displayed in the MYN settings) which these are.
The above tips are just that, small tips and lessons to make Outlook usage more productive. If instead you’d like to significantly transform your team or department by learning an over-arching e-mail and task management approach using Outlook, contact Michael Linenberger to schedule a hands-on seminar on-site, in your company. In those seminars, the entire Manage Your Now! system can be learned, greatly boosting the productivity of your team. The material can be directed for any existing capability level. Call 1-888-216-7041 or check out the seminars page for more information.
All the Best,