Outlook Tasks – speed tips

Anyone who’s read my blog for any length of time (1) has my sympathy and (2) will know that I’m a fan of tasks in Outlook. I’ve written extensively on the subject. Here’s a selection of my favourites.

One aspect I’ve never shared publicly is how I create a subject line for my tasks. When I convert an email into a task (using the magical SHIFT+CTRL+V, T, Enter shortcut) the subject line is pre-populated with the subject line from my email. It’s worth editing this is little bit or adding some simple abbreviations to make trawling through your tasks a little quicker. Here’s my system:

  • If the subject line is clear, I make no change. No point wasting time here!
  • If the content of the email needs careful reading then to be filed, I type RDF (which stands for Read, Digest, File!) before the existing subject line
  • If the content needs reading then some response, I type R&R (read & respond)
  • If it just needs reading then deleting (maybe it’s not worth keeping or I’ve already filed it) I type R&D
  • If the task calls for anything more complex I simply type what it is, e.g. "Book travel then notify team"

There’s no right or wrong here but if you regularly create tasks from emails it’s worth figuring out a shorthand code to make task creation quicker. Not only that but it also makes sorting through tasks easier. For example, if I’m tired I’ll avoid an RDF as I need to be switched on enough to remember the content. If I’ve had a day away from the keyboard then wading through a few R&Rs gives my fingers some exercise and avoids my having to deal with these when I’ve been typing all day.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

About Allister Frost

I'm a marketer who helps companies adapt and grow in our digital world. This site is the place where I share my thoughts about marketing, how it's evolving and what great marketers are doing. Let me know what you think.

Posted on October 12, 2007, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Outlook Tasks – speed tips.

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