A Hard Habit to Break

ist2_2380326_happy_mobile_computing.jpgOne of the more difficult habits to break when using Outlook is hard to change because of how the program is designed.

Here is the typical scenario:

  • Several pieces of email come into the Outlook in-box
  • Each of them share a single characteristic, in that they require about ten minutes of work
  • They have nothing else in common

Here is what I would really want to do, that as far as I can tell is not programmed into the latest version of Outlook.

I really want to assign them to the next scheduled time that I have set aside to reply to disparate emails. I wish I could assign them to a single time-slot in Outlook, and then when the time comes, that I could click on the time-slot and all the emails I need to reply to could come up. This could easily be achieved by allowing some kind of instant tagging in Outlook that allows an email to be connected to a particular kind of time-slot.

Instead, here are my options as I see them, constrained as they are:

  1. I can move the emails into a folder called “For Return Emails Time-slot” and hope that when the next Return Email time-slot comes up I can remember to pull up the folder
  2. I can schedule each individual email as a time-slot of its own, and that makes sense for really complex emails that take, say 45 minutes to reply to. However, 15 emails are difficult to coordinate as separate time-slots
  3. I can leave them in the in-box – which in 2Time is a big no-no. This quickly leads to overwhelming chaos.

None of these actions is perfect, but the best one seems to be the first.