Monthly Archives: May 2011


Why Outlook’s Appointments and Tasks are NOT Good Enough for YOUR Business… and How to Fix It in 5 Minutes

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Friday, May 27th, 2011

A quick post to let you know that the special report is ready for you to read now.

3 Reasons why Outlook’s Appointments and Tasks are
too Simplistic, Error-Prone, Time Consuming & Risky for Your Business
… and How to Fix It in 5 Minutes

Download and read the report now:

Click here to read the report online. You will need the latest version of the free Adobe Acrobat Reader – if you need it, get it here.

To save the report to your hard-disk and read the PDF file offline, right click this link and then click “save target as”

A special Thank You to the many readers who came back with such fantastic ideas and comments… your information was so valuable that we HAD to go back and rework major parts of both the report and the solution.

Once you have read the report, please send me your comments at news@standss.com

I look forward to helping you to add more time to your day.

Regards,
Sanjay

PS: You need to read the information TODAY as it links to a video showing you a 5 minute solution to making Outlook’s Appointments and Tasks work the FAST, EASY, ERROR-FREE way your business needs.

Turn Off Outlook’s Blue E-mail Notification Box to Improve your Productivity

By standss - Comments ( 10 ) Friday, May 20th, 2011

I have always preferred to turn off e-mail notifications in Outlook, particularly the blue notification rectangle that shows up everytime you receive a new email in Outlook versions 2003 and later (This is officially referred to as the Desktop Alert in Outlook).

New Message Alert box

The trouble with that alert box is that it displays just enough of the message content to divert your mind completely to it,  thus truly diverting your focus away from more important work. Various research show that its takes up to five minutes for a worker to completely refocus on a task after being interrupted. Imagine this pop-ups appearing every 5 or 10 minutes, or even more often and the end result – your productivity is getting affected (even if you do not open and read the email immediately)

You might want to turn off this alerts (like me) to help you stay focussed on what’s important.

To turn off this Email Alerts in Outlook 2010:

  • Go to the File tab > Options > select Mail on upper left side of the Outlook Options window
  • On the right side, scroll down to the Message Arrival section
  • Clear the checkbox labeled Display a Desktop Alert. (You might want to consider clearing all 4 checkboxes in that section)

For Outlook 2003 and 2007:

  • In the Outlook menu > choose Tools > Options.
  • Under the Preferences tab > click E-mail Options…> click the Advanced E-mail Options… button.
  • Clear the checkbox labeled Display a New Mail Desktop Alert. (You might want to consider clearing all 4 checkboxes in that section)
  • Click OK all the way out to the main Outlook window.

Did you find this post useful, let us know by leaving a comment on the Blog

Categories : Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 10 )

Are Outlook Appointments and Tasks too DUMB for use in real business?

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

You may have noticed that I dedicate a lot of time to getting the most out of Outlook for my (and hopefully your) business – just look at the emails and blog articles I send you.

So I was abit surprised (confused?) during lunch when two of my friends (a lawyer and a real estate agent) commented that they do NOT think that Outlook’s Tasks and Appointments were SMART enough tools for their businesses.

They were both using Outlook but were frequently finding that when they relied on their Outlook calendar, they were RUSHING about in the last minute trying to meet DEADLINES due to INCORRECT entries…

These guys are both extremely competent highly professional people… if they were having problems then I was sure that many other people would be having similar problems.

So I decided to do some research… to try and understand what they actually meant… and hopefully find a solution.

Their problem was that they needed to enter a SERIES of related appointments and tasks into Outlook (sort of like a process)… based on the start date for the real estate agent and the end date (generally a court date) for the lawyer.

It was TIME-CONSUMING and ERROR-PRONE to do this by hand each time…
sometimes some steps were missed or entered on the wrong date.

The problem was made worse because invariably there was a change in a critical date which required RESCHDEULING of multiple items and… it wasn’t easy to find and change them all in Outlook.

It wasn’t uncommon to miss updating one or more appointments.. and unfortunately THE SIMPLEST STEP BECOMES THE MOST CRITICAL AS SOON
AS IT IS MISSED!

The good news is that we have been working on something that I hope to release in the next month or so.

But before we do that… we thought we better make sure that we were understanding the problem properly.

Could you give us a couple of minutes of your time to answer two simple questions:

1. Why does your industry need to enter a series of appointments (and
tasks) into Outlook?

2. What are some of the problems of doing this in Outlook at the
moment?

Please type in a quick response and send it to news@standss.com

With so many readers, I can’t guarantee a personal response… but
I can guarantee that I will personally read your email.

That’s all for now… Wishing you a better Outlook.

Regards,
Sanjay Singh

P.S. I really DO value your input in getting things right. Why
does your industry need to enter a series of appointments (and
tasks) into Outlook? and… What are some of the problems of doing
this in Outlook at the moment?

Please send your response Now to news@standss.com

Coming Up… Smarter ways of Scheduling Outlook Appointments (and Tasks)

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Sunday, May 15th, 2011

We’ve had a lot of requests from readers in the past for something to make appointments and tasks more effective… we realise that most of our past reports and addins have focussed on email productivity.

But… recent conversations with other Outlook users and reader emails are telling us that simple scheduling errors have been causing a lot of stress for many people.

So… we have been working on a system that helps you create not only individual appointments and tasks but ENTIRE SCHEDULES of them.

And then lets you monitor them… and RESCHEDULE them in case dates change (as they always do)… all INSIDE Outlook.

We’re aiming to ELIMINATE almost all HUMAN-ERROR from the process.

I’m not quite ready to show you the result yet… but keep your eyes on your Inbox.

More about the project later in the week…

Regards,
Sanjay Singh

Compact Outlook Data for Speed and Space

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

There could be a lot of unused space inside your Outlook. You may be able to speed up Outlook and also reclaim some precious disk space using this 5 second tip.

In this post, I will focus on two main things:

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1. How to Compact your Outlook Data
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When you delete e-mails from folders in Outlook, Outlook does not automatically reclaim the space.

If you are using the e-mail filing system that we recommended in our recent posts (Links to which are provided at the end of this post) then you will be frequently moving e-mails from one data file to another. Internally in Outlook, this is like deleting the e-mail from the first file.

I recommend that you compact your Outlook data file periodically… anywhere from once a week to once a month. The steps to compact your data file are:

  • Right Click the top-level folder and select Properties.
  • Click the Advanced Button.
  • Click Compact Now.

If your data file was quite large, then the compacting may take some time. I would recommend that you do it during your lunch or tea (or coffee if that’s your preference) break.

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2. How to GUARANTEE that your E-mail Filing System does NOT FAIL!
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The Client/Project based E-mail Filing System works. It has worked for years for your physical documents and it will work for your e-mails. But…

Without a little bit of help, you may stop using it within a few weeks (if not days). Even if you don’t, you may start doing batch processing i.e. filing e-mails weekly or monthly. Why?

  • It takes too much effort to drag each and every e-mail out of the
    Inbox and into the correct folder.
  • It’s too easy to forget to go to the Sent Items folder to move
    e-mails out of there into the correct folders. Most people have
    Sent Items folders with thousands of e-mails in them.

We have an inexpensive, easy to use system that we GUARANTEE will  make you file your e-mails AS SOON AS YOU HAVE READ OR WRITTEN THEM!

QuickFile for Outlook is an inexpensive Outlook add-on that works inside Outlook by adding two buttons called QuickFile and Send&File to your Outlook. It doesn’t change Outlook in any other way and it won’t change the way you have always used Outlook.

QuickFile is a fantastic time-saver for anyone who wants to use a client or project based filing system in Outlook.

Please give QuickFile a try. This is the only add-on we know that can guarantee that your e-mails get filed properly.

In the past few weeks I have outlined some simple tips that can greatly improve the security and effectiveness of your business-critical e-mail filing system. I hope that you have found this information useful. Here are the links to the earlier posts again:

The BEST way to file your work e-mails

How to protect your Outlook Data from data loss

Outlook’s Auto-Archive is messing up your Emails

Take Control of Your E-mail Inbox

Take Control of Your E-mail Inbox

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Do you feel stressed every time you look at your Inbox? How many e-mails are just sitting there in your Inbox that you plan to get back to someday?

I have seen clients with hundreds and even thousands of e-mails in their Inboxes. Their Inbox is a massive filing cabinet and action-list rolled into one.

It’s like using your desktop (I mean your physical desk – not the one inside your computer but the one your computer is actually sitting on) instead of a filing cabinet to file all your important papers. Imagine the chaos if you left papers on your desk after you had read them.

Your Inbox needs to be used like a To-Do list. It should contain only the e-mails that you still need to read or take action on.

After reading any e-mail:

  • Keep it in the Inbox if you still need to take action on it
  • File it OUT of the Inbox into another folder if you need it for
    future reference
  • Delete it if you don’t need it for future reference

Once you get into the habit of doing this, you will be amazed at what a useful tool your Inbox will suddenly become.

Don’t use the Deleted Items folder for filing old e-mails

Some users take control of their Inbox by Deleting the e-mails so that they end up in the Deleted Items folder.

They are using Outlook’s built in Trash Can to store their important e-mails???

Please don’t do this!

It is very easy to accidentally clear out your Deleted Items folder and lose all your e-mails. In fact there are automated tools that do this for you to reclaim space on your hard-disk.

Delete item’s that you don’t want to keep! File your important e-mails in project folders created inside Outlook!

Get started NOW with a “Still to File” folder

If you have hundreds of e-mails sitting in your Inbox, here is a quick way to get started.

  • Create a folder inside your Inbox and call it “Still to File”. (Right Click on your Inbox and click New Folder)
  • Drag all e-mails that you have already worked on out of the Inbox into this new folder.

You will now only have e-mails in the Inbox that still need your attention.

Doesn’t it feel good to be able to easily see only your still-to-action e-mails in one place.?

When you get a bit of time, remember to clear out the e-mails from the Still To File folder into dedicated folders for each project or case that you are working on.

Tip 4 in our e-book shows you how to create a Project based E-mail Filing System in Outlook…
Click Here to download your own copy of the special report

Move E-mails out of your Inbox at the click of a button

You can greatly reduce the time it takes to clear your Inbox while increasing the chances that your e-mails are filed in the correct folders using a special Outlook add-on…

QuickFile  for Outlook is an inexpensive user-friendly Outlook add-on that greatly simplifies the filing of e-mails to the correct folders.

Find out more about how QuickFile can simplify your e-mail filing by Clicking Here.

There is a fully functional demo version that you can download and try out for yourself.

Related Posts

The BEST way to file your work e-mails

How to protect your Outlook Data from data loss

Outlook’s Auto-Archive is messing up your Emails

Outlook’s Auto-Archive is messing up your Emails

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Do you know that there is an easier way to archive your Outlook e-mails that will keep all related e-mails in one place?

Outlook comes with a built-in auto-archiving feature that shifts e-mails out of your normal Outlook data file. If you normally file your paper documents by client or project then we recommend that you…

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Turn OFF Auto-Archive Right Now
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Auto-Archive basically takes e-mails that are older than a certain date and shifts them out of your main Outlook data file and puts them into a second Outlook data file.

If you need to find an e-mail that is older than a certain date then you have to open the second data file.

If you need to track e-mail conversations for a project that has been going on for a while then you have to jump between the two files.

Auto-Archiving has just messed up your e-mails and greatly increased the amount of work you need to do to find your e-mails.

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Why is Auto-Archive Turned on by Default
————————————————————–

There is a physical limit to the size of your Outlook data file. Although this limit is generous, it can easily be reached over time, particularly if you send and receive a lot of e-mails with attachments.

Even before you get close to this limit, Outlook starts slowing down.

Once you reach this limit, Outlook becomes totally erratic. It slows down, crashes and starts losing your e-mails. For many people Outlook stops opening altogether.

To protect you from this, Outlook built the auto-archive feature. By periodically moving e-mails from your main data file to another archive file, Outlook greatly increases the chances that your main Outlook file keeps working.

The intention behind the feature is very good and it works extremely well for most home and casual e-mail users. But it is far from ideal for serious business e-mail users …

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How to setup Outlook for Proper Archiving
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I believe that where possible we should use the same methods irrespective of technology. E-mails are after all just another form of communication … an evolution from letters and faxes.

How do you file you paper files?

You probably keep ALL paper in the same file until the project is finished irrespective of how long ago the project took place. Then when a project is complete, you take the whole folder and put it in a separate section of the office (or storage) reserved for old project.

Do the same for your E-Mails!

You can find detailed step-by-step instructions for creating your Client or Project folders in Tip 4 of our free report. Then when a project is completed, drag the whole folder into another folder or Outlook data file reserved for Archives.

Now when you need to refer to e-mails for an old project, open the folder and it is all there in one place.

There is one additional benefit to filing your e-mails in this way. We frequently get asked by users how they can file their e-mails with the rest of their electronic files once the project is completed.

How can you create one zip file that they can be put away that has all e-mails, Word documents, Excel files etc?

If you use separate Outlook folders for each project as we recommend, you can use Outlook’s built-in tools to easily export all e-mails for any project into a separate file. This file can then be put away with all other electronic files for the project in your electronic archives.

You can find detailed step-by-step instructions for creating your Outlook folders in Tip 4 of our free report. Tip 10 has  additional instructions to export and archive project.
Click this link to download your own copy of the Special Report.

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An inexpensive way to GUARANTEE that your e-mails get filed in the right folders
———————————————————————————————
In order to get the full benefits of archiving using the methods outlined above, you must file your e-mails into dedicated folders for projects or clients.

Unfortunately this is easier said then done. Experience with thousands of clients around the world has shown us that most users fail to continue with their e-mail filing systems because it takes TOO MUCH WORK!

We created QuickFile for Outlook specifically to solve this problem.

QuickFile for Outlook is an inexpensive Outlook add-on that works inside Outlook by adding two buttons called QuickFile and Send&File to your Outlook. It doesn’t change Outlook in any other way and it won’t change the way you have always used Outlook.

QuickFile is a fantastic time-saver for anyone who wants to use a client or project based filing system in Outlook.

Please give QuickFile for Outlook a try. This is the only add-on we know that
can guarantee that your e-mails get filed properly.

Related Posts

The BEST way to file your work e-mails

How to protect your Outlook Data from data loss

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