Sweeping OUT my Inbox
by Jane Cage, COO, HTS

Do you live in your inbox? I do - and sometimes it gets a little crowded. I find myself using messages as a to-do list and a record of communication. When I can't figure out where an important piece of information should really live, I email it to myself. There are times when there are more messages FROM me TO me than any other sender in my Inbox. I'm glad to say that Office 2010 is helping me to change all that. What is making the difference? First, Outlook 2010 has some great new features that have made me more productive and more organized. Second, Microsoft OneNote ships with every version of Office 2010. Here's what makes it all work:

First, the Outlook features. Viewing messages by conversation has been the single most helpful feature in wading through my inbox - no longer do I have to follow a thread of emails through many lines. Every related email appears together. Once conversations are grouped together, CLEAN UP comes into play. Clean Up removes "redundant" emails from conversations, folders and subfolders? What is a "redundant" message? If the message is completely contained within one of the replies, the previous message is deleted. Now, I only have to read one email and I know that I am seeing the entire string.

Second, OneNote - OneNote is a free-form information tracker that lets you track and store text, images, video and audio. I can clip information from any internet screen and paste it into One Note with a reference link back to the site. OneNote links to Outlook so that I can store meeting preparation notes, create tasks and to-do lists, and lets me organize info in any way that is logical and convenient to me. If you have never used it, you should give it a try.