Organizing expert Julie Morgenstern recommends that we “never check e-mail in the morning”. The problem is that for many of us, our Microsoft Outlook™ program opens directly to our e-mail Inbox and it is impossible not to see what has been sent. And then, of course, something catches our eye that seems important – or, at the very least, interesting – and we end up losing most of our morning non-productively clicking through the rest of the messages. What some of us don’t realize is that we have control over what first appears when we open Outlook.
Microsoft Outlook™ can be programmed to open to any available folders. The advantage of reprogramming Outlook to the “Calendar” view, for example, is that we see our schedule for the day and the tasks that await. Our productivity gets a jump-start instead of stalling as we click and close those morning e-mails.
It is a simple matter to specify which Outlook folder appears when Outlook is first opened: In the main Outlook window, click Tools (found in the Task Bar at the very top of the screen).
- In the drop down menu, find and click “Options”. This opens the Options dialogue box.
- Select the tab labeled “Other” within the dialogue box. (The tabs are located directly over the body of information in the dialogue box.)
- In the “General” section (which is the first segment of the dialogue box), click the button marked “Advanced Options”.
- In the “General Settings” section of the “Advanced Options” dialogue box, click the “Browse” button (toward the right side within the dialogue box) to open the list of all available Outlook folders.
- Select a folder from the list that appears and click “OK”. Your changes go into effect the next time you start Outlook. We recommend either selecting “Calendar” or “Personal Folders” as these both show calendar appointments and upcoming tasks. The value of this selection increases as you learn to use the Calendar and Tasks options for processing your e-mail messages.
Learning to use your Microsoft Outlook™ features to the fullest can save you time, energy and money. If you require additional help learning Outlook, find a productivity/organizing consultant who specializes in computers. Check the directories of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), NAPO-LA (the Los Angeles Chapter of NAPO) or FindMyOrganizer.com for local experts in Los Angeles, Ventura, or Santa Barbara Counties.