Reviving your Neglected Outlook To-Do List

Feb 12, 2018

For those of you who have used my 1MTD or MYN task list systems in Outlook, a number of you may have seen the Outlook task list get out of hand as it exploded in size. Perhaps it even got so out of control that you’ve switched back to paper for your daily to-do list. If so, here are some quick steps to get that neglected Outlook task list cleaned up and restarted, all in just a few moments.

By the way, it’s easy for any automated task list to get out of hand. The number-one cause is accumulating too many tasks in the list. Since any computerized list saves everything you write down, it overflows fast, even when most of those tasks have lost relative importance long ago. When the list is huge, you will stop trusting it and give up. At least with paper you can start a new list each day, focusing only on current items, and doing that cleans it. Not so with computerized task lists; if you don’t remove or hide or deprioritize old tasks, your lists will just keep expanding.

The good news is that you can quickly clean the 1MTD and MYN Outlook list too and recover its many advantages. Here’s how.  Continue reading

A Video Update in One-Minute Project Management Course

Jan 27, 2018

We goofed back at the end of September and posted an incorrect video in our One-Minute Project Management Video Course—leaving out 4 minutes in an important video. Well we just fixed that, so if you are using this course and have watched it since then, you might want to watch that video again.

It’s the fourth video and it’s called Using Onenote for Background Project Management. The section on linking project tasks to Outlook got dropped when we updated that video back in September. It’s the segment that starts at about 6:10 minutes in. All fixed now.

Though you might want to know!


Microsoft breaks Tasks Search and Filtering in new Windows Outlook release in certain countries

Jan 23, 2018

Our office received a flurry of emails Monday and today, Tuesday, from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa stating that the latest monthly update release of Windows desktop Outlook has broken all Task module searching and filtering. [Update: Just got one Wednesday from Canada].

The reports are that manually searching in the search box in the Tasks module does not work anymore. And all filters in preset and custom views no longer work. Unfortunately, that means the MYN views in the tasks portion of the To-Do Bar also no longer work since they no longer filter out completed or future tasks.

We can’t confirm this in our office (we’re in the US and it works here), but the fascinating thing is that it turns out we have the same version and build number as those users have (Version 1712 Build 8827.2148). So this seems to be a regional issue. I asked users there to try and switch Outlook language settings to English United States, and that did not solve the problem. Since we can’t duplicate it here, we have no solutions, or ways to experiment with ones. But in the past when search stopped working Microsoft suggested treating it like a corrupted index or a corrupted Outlook install. However this does not sound like that—this sounds like a more specific and systemic bug in Outlook itself.


As to workarounds, there are ways to roll back to previous versions of Outlook. We haven’t tested these, but here are two articles that provide methods of doing that.  (this latter article is not about this particular problem, but does have a rollback method)

Or if you don’t want to roll back, another suggestion would be using a mobile app to view your MYN tasks like TaskTask (iOS) or Nine (Android). You can of course still enter tasks in desktop Outlook, and convert emails to tasks, just not view them filtered correctly in Outlook.

Or perhaps even consider switching to Toodledo for a while, to manage tasks.

If anyone finds a workaround, let us know so we can post it.

I’ve posted a Microsoft community report on this. You should go to it and reply that it is affecting you or click the “I have the same question” button. Click this link:


Winter Discount on MYN Corporate Webinars

Jan 16, 2018

From now through March 20, 2018, if you schedule one of our live corporate MYN webinars you’ll receive a substantial discount. Normally $3500 for four 1-hour sessions, the webinar for your entire team is priced at $1995 for that period. If 25 of your staff attended, that would be only $80 each. Act now to reserve your dates as open slots are limited.

In these popular hands-on webinars presented by Michael Linenberger, your staff will learn the MYN Outlook system for task management and e-mail control. Webinar graduates regularly report large gains in productivity and greatly-increased inbox control.

What’s in the Course

The webinar is a mixture of live presentation and hands-on coached exercises. Participants will be running their copy of Outlook on their laptops, and be instructed on MYN principles using their own e-mail and tasks as examples. They can ask questions via webinar text. This is the same material Michael teaches in his on-site corporate MYN seminars.

The webinar will be custom-scheduled per your needs. Normally it is presented as four one-hour sessions spread over four consecutive days. But it can instead be scheduled as one 4-hour session (good for conference rooms with the webinar projected) or two 2-hour sessions. We recommend up to 25 people attend, but can handle more if needed.

The webinars are for participants using Windows Desktop Outlook 2013 or 2016. To save time and enable more focus on MYN principles, we ask that all participants have installed the Outlook add in called MYN Views (we will provide a free license for all participants) or have their Outlook To-Do Bar pre-configured per Chapter 3 in the MYN Outlook book (Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook) prior to the start of the webinar. A PDF copy of that book will be provided for you to distribute to all participants.

Don’t miss this special pricing. Please email or call our offices to schedule the event and reserve your dates. E-mail us at or call 505-395-4541.


Corrected PDF Book Just Posted

Jan 12, 2018

I just uploaded a a corrected file for the PDF book referenced in this post.

An alert reader noticed that the images were lower quality than they should have been, and he was right, they were (thanks Jim!). We’ve corrected that and the images are now saved at 300 dpi in the newer file.

We’ve updated the download links in all the places that you can access the book (see that post for details), so just log in and redownload the file and you’ll get the latest. But be forewarned, the newer file size is now a lot larger than the previous file size (22MB vs. 6MB), in case you are saving in a small capacity location.

The filename of the latest PDF file is: TotalWorkdayControl-OutlookBook-Ed5.4.1.pdf

Michael Premium standalone was discontinued in October

Dec 30, 2017

I am playing catch up on this topic. Apparently at the end of October, Microsoft discontinued the standalone sales of Premium edition. The features that came with that (ad free web use, larger mailbox, and more) are now included free if you have an Office 365 subscription (Home or Personal), and if you are using a standard email address along with that subscription. More information here:

Apparently if you already subscribed to the standalone premium version, which I described in this article, you can continue that subscription, they just aren’t accepting new standalone subscriptions. And whether that includes customers using a custom domain address to continue using that is not clear. But, per this post, it appears not.

It sure looks like Microsoft is wanting customers who need a custom domain to subscribe to Office 365 Business and get Exchange instead.

The good news is, you can subscribe to Exchange at roughly the same price as the old Premium. What do I mean by that? Well, Premium listed at $49 a year (after the initial discount). Today you can buy Office 365 Business Essentials  at $5 a month, which is $60 a year per user, and that’s a subscription to Exchange. (Note that domain registration services would be separate and additional). So if you already have your own custom domain name, you can get a full Exchange subscription at only $11 more a year than the old Premium subscription. Not a bad deal for the extras of Exchange.


TaskAngel To-Do List Software for Toodledo Users

Dec 30, 2017

As you know I recommend using Toodledo as your tasks server if you can’t use Outlook with Exchange or to manage your tasks. Toodledo is powerful software, and it lets you take your tasks mobile while fully supporting my 1MTD and MYN task systems. What you might not know, however, is that there are lots of choices on what mobile apps to use with your Toodledo tasks, with a long list made by third parties. One of those third-party apps that I recommend you consider is TaskAngel.

One reason for my recommending you look at TaskAngel is this: if you travel a lot and often cannot connect to the Internet when traveling, TaskAngel gives you a way to work with your Toodledo tasks offline on your Windows laptop. This is how used it. I downloaded TaskAngel’s Windows client and found it to be excellent, with lots of features. Then, on several long plane trips, I used it to sort through and clean up my tasks while offline. I liked the full-screen editing it gave me, compared with trying to use my smartphone. I was able to clean my tasks a lot faster because of that. When I landed, my tasks all synced back into the Toodledo servers.

Also, take a look at the TaskAngel smartphone apps. They have some features not found on the apps provided by the Toodledo folks. Those apps also work well with 1MTD and MYN. Here is an article about that.


View Settings menus Are Back in Outlook!

December 27, 2017

in a previous blog I had complained that Microsoft accidentally removed the View Settings menu from the right-click menu in the Outlook To-Do Bar task list in a new update to Windows Outlook 2016. That prevented MYN users from making the MYN task list configurations manually. I provided a workaround in that article, but not all readers of my book know that they can study my blog to see updates, and so quite a few readers were stuck when trying to configure MYN using my book.

In fact, the View Settings menu was removed everywhere in Outlook, from email folders, task folders, and so on. And the button equivalent of the View Settings menu was also removed from every place it once resided (usually on the View tab of various Outlook modules). It was frustrating to have such a major bug show up in a widely released version of Outlook, and a bug that affected so many of my readers.

So I’m happy to say there is good news: In an update of Microsoft Office that I just received, Outlook has the View Settings menu and button restored to all of its previous locations.

What’s interesting is this correction seems to have been added in a minor Office build update, not an entirely new monthly version release. I say that because I had version 1711 installed last month when the problem was there, and I still have version 1711 installed now and the problem has gone away. Apparently, I received a newer build of 1711 in that recent Office update (see image below—latest 1711 build I received).

Anyway, it’s good to see that Microsoft fixes their software problems. And, the problem was a bit of a blessing in disguise because it led to my finding a way to create and save view configurations in the To-Do Bar task list, as I reported in this article. That is something I previously thought was impossible, and that capability provides a lot of utility to MYN users.

So a good ending to this story.


The Impermanence of Goals

Dec 21, 2017

It’s that time of year again when you’re going to start seeing a lot of articles and advertisements about how you should be setting and achieving your goals. And you’ll probably be feeling some regret for not achieving those you set before. I think a lot of this regret is misplaced. The reason for that is what I call the impermanence of goals.

I’ve lived and worked a long life and I have to say that I’ve never seen a time where there has been so much dramatic change in so short a time. The things that we call important in our society have changed dramatically over just a few years. It seems like every day we are learning new angles to examine life from and with which to value our outcomes.

As a result, goals that you set a year ago just may not make sense anymore. Even goals set six months ago may be stale and of little current value. So it doesn’t make sense to beat yourself up for not acting on them. Why commit to something that no longer is of value?

The real accomplishment is committing to staying on top of the rapidly changing world and reacting in a way that benefits the most people for the most good. It’s in recognizing how your inherent skills can best be applied to the world where it stands now.

Of course, there is danger in taking this perspective. You could be using it as an excuse for not achieving goals that really do have long-term value. So make sure you’re being honest with yourself.

Really, the right thing to do is to remain brutally honest while consistently reassessing your goals as the year progresses and the new year begins. What’s your highest priority right now? What should you be spending your valuable time and energy on? What is the best application of your skills given the changing world? And what values do you hold steadfastly to despite outer change? How can you meld those together?

This kind of constant reevaluation takes alertness, poise, and inner awareness. It also requires good communication with stakeholders in your life. It’s one thing to pull the rug out and take a new direction if it only affects you. But if you have business partners or loved ones that will be impacted, you need to balance the impacts on them with the increased value of your fresh direction. You might have to slow down to give others time to catch up.

So in this goal setting season, don’t beat yourself up for not achieving goals that no longer makes sense. And don’t let a lingering sense of regret or disappointment over uncompleted goals from the past prevent you from setting new goals this year. Every moment is the right moment to look within and confirm what your long-term priorities should be right now. Use this goal setting season as a reason to do that.


Newer PDF copy of Outlook Book Ed. 5 posted

Dec 8, 2017

I just posted a newer PDF version of Edition 5 of Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook on the book sale site and the MYN Outlook 365 Video site. There are 15 to 20 text updates reflecting changes in Outlook 2016 and some book error fixes.

Readers who already purchased Ed 5 of the PDF book directly from the book web page might want to re-download this latest copy (no charge). To do so, go here, log in, and download the PDF file. It’s now the latest.

If you’ve never bought the PDF book, go to this page to buy it and download it. Those owning previous PDFs or other editions of this book, here is the upgrade information.

Readers who downloaded the book from the video delivery page of the paid MYN Outlook 365 Complete Video Training can go here, log in to the video course, and click on the 5th Ed. book image on the right side of that page. That will download the latest PDF file.

The filename of the latest PDF file is: TotalWorkdayControl-OutlookBook-Ed5.4.pdf