Jan 17, 2017
Over a year ago I lamented on how many versions of Outlook were out there and how confusing it is figuring out which is which. Microsoft uses the Outlook name on way too many apps these days and it’s only gotten worse since that article. When helping users on the phone or by email, I’ve run into too many people who don’t know what version they are on.
In the old days, you simply told users to go to the About item under the Help or Outlook menu. But that doesn’t work anymore—Microsoft has chosen to hide the version name/number in various places, often many clicks away and very hard to find, if there at all.
But Microsoft now has a graphic identification page to help you sort out the Outlook version just by examining the top of the main window. Go to the following link, and Microsoft presents a visual field guide to all it’s Windows, Mac, and browser based versions of Outlook:
If you are in a support role, and your users may have one of many various Outlook versions, this field guide could save you a lot of confusion. Just send the link to your remote user, and they can sort themselves out. Below is a screenshot of the top of that guide. It continues for several pages.
Michael Continue reading
Jan 5, 2017
Nine is an Android App that syncs with Exchange or Outlook.com and provides many MYN functions on your smartphone. Benefits:
- It allows viewing and entering MYN tasks
- It has an E-mail module with Category assignments
- It allows conversion of e-mails to tasks
- It has Calendar, Contacts, and Notes modules too, and everything syncs with the corresponding modules in Exchange or Outlook.com
Many MYN users have used it for years and love it. I used to recommend Touchdown for Android and MYN, and it’s still a good choice, especially for corporations that need secure connections. But the makers of Touchdown have had a beta version of its replacement version out for a while, and that beta lacks a lot of features we need for MYN. It is unclear when it will become the main version and the old version will be cut off. For that reason, I recommend Android users consider Nine instead.
There is a full video in my paid MYN-Outlook Complete Video Training (the newer 365 version of that class) on how to use Nine. It’s video number 22C. Below I show some notes on how to get started with Nine, in case you have not purchased the video course. Let’s look at those next. Continue reading
Dec 7, 2016
A number of technology blog writers periodically write a “What I Use” article to cover the hardware and software they personally use. I’ve never done that before, but since the holiday buying season is approaching, and since many of you may be in the market, I thought, why not? Perhaps this will help you with some decisions.
First of all, if you’ve been following my blog or newsletter for a year or more, let me just say that most of my current choices have not changed since this time last year, and I covered nearly all the devices in my blog articles during that period. So this is primarily for new readers, or for those of you who want a refresh or update from my past reviews. I do share a few new insights here that I did not have back then, for example new thoughts about Windows tablets. So read on. Continue reading
Nov 27, 2016
I’ve been using the currently configured MYN To-Do Bar in Windows Outlook with no changes for years now. Occasionally I get a bright idea to try to improve it, and give it a go for a while. Usually the bright idea has to do with adding columns, but after a while I end up resenting the extra horizontal space they add to the To-Do Bar, and so take them out—I go back to the basic settings. And I find most of my clients like the simplicity of the basic settings best too.
So it’s with caution that I suggest two columns you might want to add to the To-Do Bar. Since both of these are pretty narrow columns, their impact is small. It’s to add the Notes column and the Attachments column. I suggest both these so you can tell in the list view whether the task has any notes, and whether it has any attachments (not to be able to actually see their contents).
Again, you want to keep these very narrow. With the Notes column, after adding it I drag its size down to only show the first few characters of the Notes fields—that’s all I need to tell whether the task has any notes at all. The attachments column is narrow by default.
The simplest way to add a column is to right click on the phrase Task Subject, select Field Chooser, in the list that pops up find the field name (Notes for example), and then drag it to the position in the To-Do Bar header where you want it (between start date and the flag) and drop it there. Then resize it so its width is narrow. Repeat with Attachment.
Adding these is purely optional but you might want to give it a try. You can always take these out if you don’t like them (right-click the field name in header and choose Remove This Column).
Nov 19, 2016
[Note: this article is an update of my 2014 article about the earlier version of TaskTask for iOS. You can still find that article at this link. This topic is covered much more thoroughly as a video in my paid MYN Outlook Video Course; see Lesson 22b.]
As you may know, it is hard to find iPhone or iPad software that syncs tasks with your corporate Outlook Exchange Server. There is one app that works great. It’s called TaskTask (and TaskTask HD for the iPad), made by Ryan Gregg.
Once TaskTask is set for MYN configs (a simple menu choice), it works perfectly for MYN. That means it groups on Priority, then, within Priority groups it sorts on Start Date descending. It excludes future tasks and it hides completed tasks. And it colors today’s tasks differently from older tasks. In other words, everything works for my MYN system. Configuration for my simpler 1MTD system is just as easy. And one thing unique about TaskTask is it shows task attachments, something rare in the task app world.
So, if you use Outlook tasks and are on Exchange (you most likely are using Exchange if you are in a company of any size) download TaskTask now; it’s a great little app.
Nov 2, 2016
We’ve just finished creating a full new set of MYN Outlook 365 Video Trainings that focuses on Windows Outlook 2013 and 2016, and how to use it with my MYN system of e-mail and task management. About this release:
- These are all new videos, 34 in all, that we’ve been working on for eight months.
- This set essentially replaces the current MYN Outlook video course set, though that current set remains available for previous buyers.
- The previous video set is also available to new buyers who want to view the older set, say because they still have older versions of Outlook (version 2010 and earlier).
- As before, this new video set sells for $299.95 for new buyers (see upgrade info below).
- All previous video purchase links now lead to this new set—it’s our main set now.
Free Access for Recent Buyers (within about 1 year)
Anyone who bought the previous set on or after Oct 1, 2015 has free access to this new video set. Just go to the following link and you should have access after you log in using your previous login information: http://michaellinenberger.com/MYN-Outlook-365-VideoCourse/
Upgrade For Earlier Buyers
Anyone who bought the previous set before Oct 1, 2015 can upgrade to the new set for only $99 by first logging in to your old video set, and then in same browser going to this link: http://www.michaellinenberger.com/amember4/signup/index/c/mVA2jWeP0
Why Upgrade to the New Videos?
You don’t have to upgrade, the old videos are still applicable to Outlook 2013 and 2016 (and of course to older versions too). But here’s why you might want to upgrade:
- The videos are greatly improved with more information and more screen capture video of Outlook in action. Fewer slideshow type presentations. More total material.
- The videos capture my latest thinking about MYN and Outlook. There is not a ton of this, but my thinking has evolved over the years.
- If you’ve got the old set and have been thinking about reviewing the material, this is a great time to move up to the new material.
- From now on, all updates to the Outlook videos will only be placed on the new video set.
- That includes updates to smartphone software videos—new ones will be placed only on the new set (and there are some new ones there now, including one for the Android app “Nine”).
- Since coverage of older versions of Outlook is not mixed into this new set, there is less clutter when watching these newer videos. But you can always get to the older videos too.
So start using the new video set today. And if you’ve never bought my MYN Outlook Video training before, this is a great time to get started with a brand new set. Again, for new users, the new video set sells for $299.95
BTW, this is just a blog posting (blog postings are emailed to relatively few people) so we will re-announce this in a newsletter shortly.
Oct 11, 2016
Here’s a thought that may help some of you. How about if you look at your MYN task list the very first thing in the morning, prior to checking your email Inbox. It may save you a few hours a day.
The reason to do this should be obvious. For many of us, once we jump into our Inbox, we easily get lost in reading all levels of mail, including low priority mail. And we can lose hours. But if we look at our task list first, and jump on the important work first—work we set up days before—we are more likely to make progress on our important work and we’ll be less likely to waste precious time on low priority mail.
Of course the best solution is a compromise of those two:
- Look at the task list to see what’s critical and important for the day.
- Also scan very quickly the Inbox to see if any emergencies have dropped in that can’t wait.
- Decide between those where the best place to start is. Create new tasks from the longer term actions in the email. And then start at the top of the task list.
But if you tend to get lost in email the moment you look at it, the task list is the better place to look first.
Sept 30, 2016
Normally I say of the three urgency zones that their definitions are these (in both 1MTD and MYN):
Critical Now: must do today. 5 tasks max. Review hourly.
Opportunity Now: do in 1 to 10 days. 20 tasks max. Review daily.
Over-the-Horizon: do beyond 10 days. Unlimited tasks. Review Weekly.
These definitions work great for 1MTD where no start dates are used. And they are a good starting point for MYN.
Better MYN Definitions
But in MYN, with start dates used to hide tasks to future, there really are some better definitions—ones that capture the fine points of MYN. Specifically, there are better definitions that incorporate Defer to Do and Defer to Review. Those definitions are:
Critical Now: Tasks you absolutely must do now—today—or tasks deferred to do on an absolute future date. Five tasks max can be visible at a time and an unlimited count can be scheduled to future. Review visible list approximately once each hour.
Opportunity Now: Tasks you want to do as soon as possible and that you want to reconsider daily. Or tasks deferred to do on an approximate future date. Twenty tasks max can be visible at a time (with most important at top). An unlimited count can be scheduled to future. Review visible list at least daily.
Over-the-Horizon: No firm commitment to do these tasks; rather only a commitment to periodically reconsider them. Defer all these tasks to an appropriate future Monday review date so that a reasonable number appear each week for review (and so you don’t see each task too often). If on review you find the urgency is now higher, move that task to a higher urgency zone. Otherwise schedule again for future review (or delete them). An unlimited count can be scheduled to future.
These definitions capture the essence of MYN so look them over.
Sep 18, 2016
Updated Video Set
We finally finished the updates to the Full MYN Toodledo Video Training class. Those videos are now updated to incorporate the new web version of Toodledo that came out a while ago. These updates are free to anyone who ever bought the class. If you are a paid user, you can log in here (use the username and password you used the last time you accessed the course): http://michaellinenberger.com/MYN-ToodleDoVideoCourse/
New Price Reduction for New Buyers
And for new buyers, we’ve lowered the price of that course to $249, starting immediately. It was previously $299. To read more about this product or to purchase it, go to this link: http://www.michaellinenberger.com/FullTD-MYN.html
As you may know, Toodledo is the task management software I recommend for people who cannot use Windows Outlook to manage tasks. It works with Macs, Android—any platform really. And it works with all email systems. It’s robust, very powerful, and has built-in quick configurations for my MYN methodology. It also works well with my simpler One Minute To-Do List methodology. And the Toodledo software is free.
Sep 1, 2016
Interesting article in Washington Post about how working insanely long hours is ridiculous, and how unfortunate it is that it is expected these days in many work environments.
It’s a pet peeve of mine, how it’s become a badge of honor.
Better: realize that you will never get it all done—these days that is not possible. So instead, identify your most important work (MYN and 1MTD help with that). Then, starting at the top of the priority list, work efficiently and with focus, and get as much done as you can. Then, at a reasonable hour just stop, leave the rest undone for the day, and go home. The rest of work will still be there tomorrow.
From the article: “Studies have shown that after about 50 hours a week, productivity actually decreases, and it plummets after 55 hours, leaving no detectable difference between those who work 56 hours and those who work 70 hours.”
Sounds about right to me.