Wow, what a week.
We’ve been totally crazy-busy at work. Everyone wants their web site NOW. It’s like Barry and Scott commented on my Dilbert/quality/design post the other day… finding the time to do things properly is really, really hard.
So, I figure the only way to get more done is to be better organised. Ever since I started using Gmail, I’ve realised how badly under-utilised my Outlook is, and how inefficient it’s making me. I love Outlook – I think it’s a very powerful program, especially Outlook 2003, and recently I’ve realised that almost *everyone* under-utilises it. There’s just so much more you can do.
I’ve always used a fairly typical organisation system of one client per folder, with sent items in the sent mail folder. I started my new system by moving any client I hadn’t dealt with in a year or more to a separate pst file. Then, I set the option to store sent mail in the same folder as saved messages. Then, I set up a whole stack of custom categories and defined rules to assign messages from different contacts to different categories.
All up, it’s very much still a work in progress, but I spend less time looking in different folders for different things, and goddamn it, I *feel* more organized, which is what matters most. Having proper categories and using them for tasks, contacts, calendar items and emails makes finding things a lot easier, but I never realised until I “got” the concept of Gmail labels. I combine this with flagging items for following up and using the Search folders extensively.
I have same great ideas for extending outlook that I would love to work on when I have some spare time (yeah right!) – my pal Deprecated Cruelty (or Mung Bean or whatever he’s calling himself this week) who is always trying to turn me to the dark side (ASP.NET), has given me some pointers already.
Anyway, the whole point of this post was to link to a useful blog I discovered, called “Working Smart”. Michael Hyatt – the extremely serious-looking dude in the sidebar, apparently – talks about productivity, mostly using Outlook, OneNote, and Tablet PCs (I love my Tablet, too – this whole post was inked).
I sat down to read the whole thing tonight, but to be honest, with a can of cheap premix bourbon in my hand and a Guns n’ Roses DVD playing, there’s not a lot of concentration going on.
Never mind, life’s good. I think I’ll go play some Age of Mythology.