Geeks With Blogs
The Stumblings of an IT Manager ...2 days before we go live and you want WHAT....?

 Do you feel that your development group too reliant on Outlook? Have you reached a point that you have to search your email for pertinent information when asked? What are you using?

I realized things had gotten out of hand a couple weeks ago over a weekend. I was at my in-laws house (in the country, no PC/laptop, no internet connection; and I get an email on my phone that I needed to reply to, but I couldn't send without deleting items from my inbox/sent items/etc. Now mind you, I have rules set up to move stuff into folders, and files more than a month old are automatically moved to the PST; but generally don't manually move items to a PST until I have had a chance to 'work' the item. Please don't bother mocking my process, it's just the way I work. That being said, it was a frustrating process of 'I need all this information, what can I afford to lose'.

I work on an International project (think lots of customers), and conversations in 9 or 10 different directions about 10-20 different things are not abnormal for a given day. I have found myself looking data up in Outlook because that's where it is. I think that I have reached the point now, where I don't feel that Outlook is up to the task of organizing the data that it contains.

When you have that many emails (200 or so a day), information seems to get lost at times, and I find that Outlook's search capabilities are lacking. Additionally, I find that any sort of organizational 'system' of sorting emails that can cover multiple topics is a lost cause. But at the same time, the old process of taking the information that I got from emails and moving it into another 'notes' type of program has proved to be too time consuming. Anyone out there have some better type of system? (Comments about the capacity of my brain, and it's ability to recall information not needed.)


Posted on Thursday, February 24, 2011 4:47 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Reliance on Outlook (been a looong time, I know)

# re: Reliance on Outlook (been a looong time, I know)
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I had this exact problem about a year and a half ago. I was managing a project that required near constant contact with two teams of people in San Francisco and LA over a three month period. My inbox was getting so cluttered that I spent more time digging through my inbox looking for relevent info than actually messaging my colleagues. My method of resolving may not the most efficient, but it worked for me. First, the Clean Up tool became my best friend, as I often got a number of redundant messages. Second, I searched for information using the Conversation View tool so that messages of the same topic were more neatly arranged for me to dig through without having to manually arrange them myself. Next, I formatted my inbox so that messages that were sent directly to me were highlighted and forwarded messages were not. Lastly, I made a rule for certain, more important, contacts to go directly into their own individual folders so I could monitor my conversations with them separately. I know some of these are the more basic features that I'm sure you've tried, but I hope my experience can help!

Susan - Paralegal School Expert
Left by Paralegal school on Feb 27, 2011 1:02 PM

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