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How do I use color categories in Microsoft Outlook 2007-2010?

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in The Office Tech Pro

The nice thing about categories in Microsoft Outlook is that they can be and do just about anything you want them to be or do. Here are three suggestions to let categories help you order your computer world using color categories in Outlook.

Identify Who’s Who…

As an entrepreneur, I’ve always used them to identify my key clients so I can quickly get to all correspondence, calendar items or tasks that relate to a single client. It also gives me a reality check on how much time I’m spending on clients that perhaps do not contribute a proportional cash flow to my bottom line. (HINT: Is where you are spending your time, bringing you the most reward?)

…And What’s What?

Recently, a webinar participant Connie Kellum inspired a way to look at categories for tasks that I had not previously considered: work type. For example, tasks for you may fall into categories like call, file or do. If you’re schedule is somewhat fluid (read “I work nights, weekends and holidays.”), there are just some tasks that do not lend themselves to the time or days you work, like calls. Other tasks are dependent upon you being in a certain location. If you can sort your view by category, you can easily plan your time around those types of tasks that are appropriate for the hour and location at which you are working.

Priority Plus

High, medium and low seem to work for a lot of professionals when dividing up their work. But, for some, this is not quite enough detail by which to prioritize. Here’s a suggestion using a color scale like red to yellow. Considering “deadline driven” and “income generating” as the “heat” factors, an item that is both income generating and deadline driven (usually meaning that someone else is depending upon your work to do their work), would be red. An item that is income generating, but not deadline driven might be orange. And, an item that is only deadline driven can be yellow. Of course you can vary the characteristics and their importance to suit your own unique needs.

Speaking of colorful things, attend our Advanced PowerPoint webinar tomorrow June 7, 2011 at 1PM eastern. Click here to register and learn all about how to really make your presentations stand out.

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