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Seb Anthony

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technology based time saving tips wanted


I was recently told that you can set up a special inbox into which all email will go if you are a cc or bcc addressee; the guy that shared this reckoned it saves him a load of time because it keep out the stuff that is PROBABLY junk.....
what other time savers do people use that relate to their pc, laptop, mobile, desk phone or other technology?
rus slater

5 Responses

  1. time savers
    Hi Rus there are a couple of things that I do which I find useful….

    I have set up the filter you describe about Cc and Bcc and check the folders once a day and they are set to auto delete each Sunday

    I also “tag” the emails I send out in the following way….

    I make the subject line as informative as possible and use extensions at the end such as [action] [information] [please read] etc etc which tells someone what they should do with the email. Once you start doing this you start getting it done back to you so its easier to ascertain what is important etc.

    I also have lots of numbers in my mobile phonebook and if I think you are an important contact you will get a place. Therefore if i get a call and the number doesnt display a name I normally send it to voicemail as its probably an unsolicited call. I can then filter who i speak to and spend my time on.

    I have many more but I find this website to BE one of my time stealers so thats all for now!

  2. Some ideas (I don’t do all of this myself though…)
    Filter by sender – if you know someone wastes your time send them to a different inbox, if you have important clients send them to READ NOW folder or similar, and so on…

    Use Outlook calendar share options to ensure that people know where you are when booking meetings (yes it says you are busy without – but is that busy in the office or busy on the other side of the world?)

    Define your availability time at the bottom of your e-mails, and on your answerphone – sooner or later people only disturb you when they need to, and when you can actually pay attention.

    Load all your contacts into Outlook – and then blast them to a new mobile when you buy one (and export them to a new PC when you buy one of those too).

    Check e-mail 3 times a day only, once in the morning, once at lunch, once at the end of the day. Don’t constantly interrupt your work because you are worried you might miss something.

  3. E-mail management

    I do training in e-mail management and would agree to use filters and rules to auto-file subscription e-mails (such as from Training Zone) to their own folders.
    Secondly, would definitely agree with the comment to only check e-mails twice or 3 times a day and turn off the e-mail notification alerts.
    Thirdly, integrate Mail with Calendar and Tasks so you keep all the e-mails and attachments with their relevant Appointment or Task (e.g. Agenda and papers saved in the meeting on Calendar).
    Best wishes

  4. Productivity Tips
    There are many possible tips on time management and workflow which is something you need to work on continuously.

    I have been specifically researching this topic and thanks to technology there are many areas we can improve on.

    Here are some concepts:
    1. Use a consistent knowledge management system, so you know exactly where a new piece of information has to go. For example set a mind map, or a use notes in Outlook, or Word Doc or whatever works for you as long as you know in 2 seconds where you should put a new piece of information, whatever that may be.

    2. Use the two minute rule advocated by David Allen. If an action takes less than two minutes, do it there and then. No point to file it and come back to it later because the overhead is longer than actually doing the task. This saves time, a lot.

    3. If you don’t have to do it then don’t. Sounds really simple and obvious but just about everyone falls into the trap of checking things out only realising at the end that nothing would have changed if they haven’t spend time on it. One less task to do means you save time and you can get another real task done potentially saving you twice as much.

    4. Sync all your emails, tasks, contacts and soon your entire settings and files across all your devices (home computer, mobile, work computer, laptop and so on) so when you change something you let the machines to take care of the rest.

    5. Setup automatic actions based on emails. For example, if you ordered something from Amazon and got a confirmation email, use that to create an Action automatically scheduled for 7 days later to remind you to check if the parcel has been delivered. The more you off load from your mind to machines the more you can think of other things.

    6. Setup automatic reminder for yourself. In other words get the machines to check on you. For example I have a periodic reminder that comes up on a regular basis to remind me of this, “Are you inventing things to do to avoid the important task”. I look at it and I ask myself the same question and I go from there, sometimes feeling guilty 🙂

    There are many more tips and tricks, but I think I shall stop at this point.

    Many of these concepts are thoroughly explained in our
    time management course. Feel free to ask me if you want to know more about it.

  5. thanks to all
    Thanks for your input folks, it has been helpful
    I’m also looking at the technology of mobile phones and desk phones in that these (and computers) nearly always have timesaving functions that we never set up or use….


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