Organizing Internet Reading Material: Use Pocket

Have you ever wanted to tag those online articles, videos and PDF’s to review later? Well there is a tool that works with most web-browsers called Pocket  that does just that! Pocket is a free application that lets you save information you have found on the Internet to watch or read on multiple devises, including Smart phones, tablets and laptops. Once you create an account, it will be located in your Browser and as an application on Smartphone’s or tablets. Then, when on a website just ‘pocket’ it and it will remember that website and page and be accessible from any of those devises when you want to go back to it.

Reduce the Email Inbox: Set up Rules and Filters

Compounding the sheer volume of email is even more problematic because most of the e-mail we do get, we don’t really want. The London Times  in 2010 reports that eighty eight percent of e-mails are considered junk by the average office worker including spam, newsletters, solicited and unsolicited e-mails. One way to reduce the email inbox clutter is to set up email rules and filters.

Use the rules or filters function, available in your email program, to help in the initial sort of incoming e-mail. Some e-mail software will use the term “filters” and other software will use the term “rules,” and they are essentially the same function. When you set up a rule or filter, the incoming e-mail will re-direct and move to a different file folder. It is then diverted from your in-box entirely. This is particularly helpful for filtering distribution lists and/or newsletters that you may not need to see daily and could review on a weekly or monthly basis. This is also particularly useful if you have a friend who always forwards jokes or other unimportant e-mail that you can filter out automatically.

Click here to learn more how to set up a rule in Microsoft Outlook.

Click here to learn more how to create a filter in Gmail.

Delegating Effectively: Using Microsoft Outlook

Once actions have been delegated, then the delegator can use the functionality within productivity software to track and manage those delegated items. The following are three methods to track delegated action items using the Task function in Microsoft Outlook but can also be applied to other productivity software’s such as Lotus Notes or Google.Adult business man reading and signing documents at his office

Create a category. Using categories in Outlook allows users to view e-mails or tasks assigned to a person in one group. In Outlook, there is only one category list to use for all functions including Calendar, Email, Contacts and Tasks. First, create a new category by the person’s name. Then, categorize e-mails or tasks that have been assigned to that person simply by right clicking on the task or e-mail item, choose Categorize and then click on the person’s name. Once items are categorized you can view them by category by clicking on View/Arrange By/By Category. When having a one-on-one meeting follow-up items can be quickly accessed by using the category view.

Create one task item. Another option is to create one task for each direct report or delegatee. Name the subject line of the task item by the person’s name. In the text and notes section of the task window, type in a listing of all action items with due dates. This can then be one location for all the delegated items for that person.

In Outlook, you can also create a table from the Insert ribbon inside the notes section of the task list. This can make it easier to track actions by creating columns for the action item, due date, completion date, notes and status of each delegated action.

Create separate task folder. In Outlook, separate task folders can be created. Click on the task folder and go to File/New/Folder and the Create New Folder dialogue window will open. Enter in the name of the person and click OK. This will create a new separate sub-task folder by that person’s name underneath the primary task folder. Then create individual task items under this new task folder for the delegated action items. All delegated task items are then organized under one task folder to make it easy to manage and track.

To learn more about all task list management, download Getting Tasks Done, by K.J. McCorry