Quick Reference

This page is a quick reference to the published posts. After each post I would publish, I would add here the short-story version with a link to the relevant post.

RSS Feed

Another option of getting notifications on new posts (besides subscribing to the blog via email) is adding it to our Outlook RSS feed. Read more…

Outlook Panes

Our screen is the most expensive real estate property in our workplace. This is how see it. After all, I am looking at my screen most of the day (let’s leave the meeting rooms aside for now) and I want to be able to adjust it carefully for including the most valuable information for my work and optimally clear away all the other non-important stuff for avoiding unnecessary disruptions. Read more…

Messages Pane

The messages pane is the 2nd pane from the left. It contains the list of our emails. Our goal would be to view as much emails as we can with while including only the mandatory information needed for our work (remember, our screen is the most valuable real estate property in our work environment).

  • Columns
    The messages pane includes columns (take a look at the top of the messages pane). I found that the Outlook default is not suitable for me. I recommand to include only the following: Importance, Icon, Attachment, From, Subject, Received, Categories, Flag Status. Read more…
  • Sorting & Grouping
    Sorting & grouping the emails correctly help us: answering on the latest email in a specific email thread, navigating in the email thread history more easily, seeing an entire email thread as a single email line in the messages pane.
    3 main recommendations:
    – Sorting the emails by date
    – Grouping the emails by conversation
    – Setting the Conversation Index sort as descending
    Read more…
  • Coloring
    Wouldn’t it be great to visually detect emails that are directly targeted for us and handle them according to priority?
    My recommendation is creating (at least) 2 color formatting rules: “ToMeAlone” and “ToMeWithOthers”.  Read more…

Reading Pane

The Reading pane is the pane displaying the email content. The reading pane has 3 layout options – Right, Bottom and Off. The Right layout is the right layout to use. The main benefits of the Right layout are:

  • It shows the same number of emails as one can see in the Off layout, and twice the emails than in the Bottom layout mode.
  • Per email, we can see enough information for review just by standing on the email, much better than in the Off layout.

Read more…

Navigation Pane

The Navigation pane appears on the left side of the Outlook window and is how you switch between the different areas of Outlook, such as Mail and Calendar. In addition, when you are working within a view, the Navigation pane displays the folders within that view.
My recommendation is removing all the views from the Navigation pane, except for the Mail and the Calendar. Read more…

To-Do Bar

The To-Do bar is located on the right side of the Outlook window. Is has a few modes: Normal, Minimized and Off. My recommendation is using either the Normal mode or the Minimized mode. Moreover, my recommendation is turning off all the To-Do bar options except for the Appointments options. Read more…

Desktop Alerts

The Desktop Alert might look innocent, but in practice, this Outlook feature has a huge destructive effect over your work efficiency. I strongly recommend to turn it off:

  • Go to File
  • Go to Options
  • Go to Mail
  • In the “Message arrival” section, uncheck the “Display a Desktop Alert” checkbox

Read more…