Melissa MacBeth fills us in on more Outlook 12 goodness today. She’s been blogging a lot about making Outlook, not just an email client, but a productivity center. I am really, really liking what I’m seeing so far. For example, all of us get and send email…duh. But many times we send email about a particular project and can’t take the next step until we receive a particular response. For example, maybe I’m working on a budget and need Joe’s input before I can finish that budget section. I send Joe and email, asking for the information and then BCC myself with a dummy address I use for just this purpose, something like JeffsWaitingFor@abc.com. When I get this email back, I copy it over into a folder called “waiting for.” Then once a week, or more regularly, I review that list of “waiting for” emails so I’m reminded to check for Joe’s information. If you work on a small number of projects this isn’t really necessary, but as the amount of email and number of projects grow, it’s important to know always know what are the next actions. This is all right out of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” which I’ve been working on implimenting for nearly two years.
Today Melissa posts that this isn’t necessary any more. Now Outlook as a feature that lets you tag email that you’re writing. This is too cool. That is, when I write to Joe for budget information, I click “follow-up” which allows me to set a reminder on when to follow up with Joe about his budget information. The this flagged email message shows up on my task list at the appropriate time. This is awesome if you like to track your mail this way.
The folks at MS are doing really, really good work on Outlook 12. Check out her blog for more details.