Suggested Rule on Flagged Mail: Keep Only 2 Days

April 10, 2015

As you may know, in MYN and 1MTD, I have these rules about using flags on mail in Outlook:

  • Use flags only for deferred replies: mail you cannot reply to now and intend to reply to in a day or so.
  • Write the reply within a day or so, then immediately remove the flag, (and then file the original mail item).
  • Don’t use flags for anything else. If you must mark mail for other purposes, use Outlook categories instead and file the mail. My favorite category is Read Later.
  • Don’t file mail with flags—always remove the flag before you file them.

Following these points helps keep replies prompt and the task list reserved for longer term items. And mainly it helps keep flagged mail from preventing you from emptying the Inbox each day. But there are some fine points to this. Continue reading

New Video Added to Paid Toodledo Class: 22D Android Toodledo App

March 19, 2015

We’ve just added yet another new training video to the paid Full MYN Toodledo Video class. It shows you how to use and set up the Toodledo Android app—the one provided by the Toodledo company itself.

We first talked about this app about a year ago (in this blog post) when it first came out. At that time the Toodledo folks said it was an early release and would get a lot of changes shortly, so we didn’t do much with it. Well, recently the Toodledo folks have completed their first phase of changes, so we thought we’d offer a video on it. All paid users of the Full MYN Toodledo Video class can access it, it’s video 22d.

While this app is not as powerful as the other two Android Toodledo apps we show in that class and elsewhere (Pocket Informant and Ultimate To-Do List), it does something those don’t: it includes nearly all the optional non-task features of Toodledo: Notes, Outlines, and Habits. If you use some or all of those, that may be a good reason to select this app.


Toodledo Updates

March 12, 2015

Over the last month or so the makers of Toodledo have updated the user interface and their home page. The navigation at the top of the task list is no longer a tab motif, but rather now a set of buttons. And many menus have been moved to the upper right corner of the window. Because of those changes, we just updated a few of our introductory videos (both in the free and paid lessons) to show that new navigation–we don’t want new users don’t get confused with our videos. But if you are an existing user, I think you’ll have no trouble adapting to the new user interface; no need to study the updated videos.

Also, a new feature called Habits was added by Toodledo, but I won’t be documenting it since it’s not really closely related to MYN or 1MTD.

And finally, we just updated some of the Toodledo iOS app videos, both in the free and paid lessons; they were a little out of date.


Clearing Up Outlook Task View Issues

March 9, 2015

In the Windows desktop copy of Outlook, occasionally the task views can get corrupted and clicking the normal Reset Current View button will not clear up the problem. The typical scenario for MYN users is finding that the custom settings made to the To-Do Bar task list do not stick; no matter how many times you put in the MYN settings, they just disappear. In the middle of Lesson (Chapter) 3 of the Outlook book, Edition 4, I give some easy solutions for that. But every so often they don’t do the full job. Even reinstalling Outlook may not fix the issue (as the corruptions get stored in the server or PST you reconnect to after reinstall).

If you run into this problem, here is a simple, but somewhat drastic, solution. It’s a command line Windows OS operation that completely resets the views in Outlook. I call this drastic because it resets ALL views in Outlook to their default settings; so any customizations to any other views you made, say to an e-mail or Calendar view, also get reset. Also, any custom views you create from scratch will be deleted.

But this may be your only solution. A recent reader had the problem above in his copy of Outlook and tried everything including reinstall, but to no avail. He then used the command below and it fixed the corruption issue (thanks to Stew for bringing this to my attention).

It’s called the cleanviews command, and it is part of a full set of Outlook command line tools that is written up here:

Following instructions there, use the switch /cleanviews. In other words, in step 3 at that page, use the command:   outlook.exe /cleanviews    (note the single space before the / and no space after).

That should fix the problem I described above. Of course, use of any of the commands at that page should be done with caution as they make fairly major changes to Outlook.


Use Quick Steps for Speedy Categorizing and Filing of E-mail

Feb 17, 2015

As you may know, I recommend filing mail into one folder (Processed Mail folder), and then using Outlook Categories to tag mail there with topics, if needed. Here’s a way that can speed that up in Windows Outlook 2010 and 2013.

If there is a particular Outlook Category you use a lot when filing your e-mail, consider creating a Quick Step that both applies the category and moves the e-mail to the Processed Mail folder in one click. For example, the Quick Step above called Amex-File assigns the category Amex to the e-mail and files it all in one click.

Watch free video #24 at this link to learn more about Quick Steps:


AutoPreview in Windows Outlook

Feb 17, 2015

Windows Outlook, in all desktop versions, has an optional feature called AutoPreview that shows you, in the Inbox list view, the first few lines of each message. See the image below for an example.

This can be useful to scan e-mails without opening them, possibly helping you make quicker decisions about them.

How to Turn On or Off

  • Outlook 2013: Open the View tab and choose Message Preview.
  • Outlook 2010: go to the View tab and choose View Settings, and then Other Settings, and look for the AutoPreview section.
  • Outlook 2007: Go to the View menu and choose AutoPreview.

Should you Activate this Feature?

It depends. Personally, I don’t like this feature because by far most of my mail I delete without reading, and I can decide that just from the sender name and message title. With this feature turned on, I see fewer messages per scroll and that slows down my deletion speed. Also, http messages aren’t handled very well, as you can see in the image  above—another reason not to use it.

But if most of your mail does need reading and is not http, this could be a good feature to try.


Best iPhone and Android Mail App for MYN and 1MTD

Dec 4, 2014

As you know, I have two primary recommendations in MYN and 1MTD for keeping e-mail under control:

  1. Convert action emails into tasks.
  2. Empty your inbox into a single folder (for speed) and use Categories in Outlook (or labels in Gmail) to group your mail by topic when needed.

There’s now an app that can do both of these on the iPhone or Android: and it’s called TouchDown, and it’s only for users with an Exchange Server (e.g. for those in a corporate environment or for individuals using Office 365 with Exchange).

I’ve been recommending TouchDown for years on Android but up to now I thought its iPhone version was too immature—but now it’s e-mail module is ready to recommend. It also comes with good Calendar and Contacts modules that sync with Exchange.

These are very unique apps. There are no other e-mail apps on iPhone or Android that can assign or view Outlook categories on smartphone mail—even Microsoft’s apps can’t do this. And very few apps can convert e-mails to tasks. So these apps are very good for MYN and 1MTD users. Continue reading

TouchDown iPhone App for Tasks

Dec 4, 2014

I’ve been recommending the Android version of the TouchDown app for years as a way to bring MYN tasks to your Android smartphone or tablet (see this post).

But what about the iPhone version of TouchDown, do I recommend its Tasks module for MYN or 1MTD?

Well, sort of. It doesn’t sort tasks quite right for MYN, but it might work for you. Here are my thoughts on the most recent version of it.

Continue reading

Another $100 Windows 8 Tablet

Nov 21, 2014

Another $100 Windows 8 tablet has been released for sale: the HP Stream 7.

I haven’t tested it, but below is a link to a good review of it, which states the 7-inch screen is actually quite nice (compared to the other $100 Windows 7-inch tablet that came from Toshiba):

As you may know, I like the Windows tablet navigation design better than any other tablet OS. And using a Windows tablet gives you a way to take a full version of desktop Outlook mobile so you can use all the MYN features of Outlook.

Of course, I am a bit skeptical of using desktop Outlook on such a tiny screen. Personally, I am waiting for Microsoft to release a touch-friendly version of Outlook (which is apparently now delayed until a Windows 10 release). But if you are willing to use a stylus (you’d have to buy  non-active one because this tablet does not come with an active screen digitizer), you should be able to operate the menus on desktop Outlook even on this small screen

Let me know in comments if you get one of these, and how you like it.