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« OnTheRun with Tablet PCs #10 | Main | OnTheRun with Tablet PCs #12- contest winners announced »

January 29, 2006



Thanks for the podcast. Found the link on JK's site. Hopped over. Listened ... and during the cast went to Michael's publisher site and purchased the Outlook book. I now use the GTD plugin and am interested to find out how to improve the system. I wish I could be part of the give away for the Tablet book but I don't own a tablet yet - the book would be a way to find out if I should get a tablet PC ;)


Another engaging show and a great interview with Michael.

Here is my entry for my top Outlook tip: I send and receive a lot of email, as well as attend and set-up several meetings. I do all the meeting management with Outlook, and therefore rely on my inbox to be informed of meetings.

A couple of years ago I found that I was missing some meeting invitations because they were "lost" in my sea of emails in my inbox. Now, I wasn't being very effective or efficient at processing my inbox, but nonetheless, I came up with a way to help ensure that I never missed another meeting invitation.

I did this my customizing my inbox view to format meeting invitation emails very distinctly. Here are the details:

* In the Define Views dialog, choose "Messages", which is the default view for the inbox, then click on Modify.

*In the ensuing Customize View dialog, choose Automatic formatting and then Add, to create a new rule. Name the rule something like "Meetings", then click on Conditions.

*Go to the Advanced tab, then under the Field dropdown menu button, choose All Appointment Fields ... Meeting Status.

*Next, set the Condition to "equals" and the Value to "Not yet responded". Click on Add to List, then click OK.

*Then, Click on the Font button to choose a very distinctive font that will stand out from normal emails. I use 10 pt Verdana Green.

*Click OK to finsih editing the Automatic Formatting rules.

*For extra emphasis, you can also have meeting requests always stay at the top of your inbox. You can do this by choosing to sort by Icon, or if you have Outlook 2003, you can arrange the messages by Type.

After figuring out how to create this automatic formatting for meeting requests, I also added a couple of others that have really helped as well.

First, I create an automatic formatting rule for mail on which I'm only CC-ed, and make these messages appear grey and italicized. This helps me more easily filter messages that may have direct importance and those which may only be for my awareness. I also auto format messages that are to one of my external (i.e. non-work) email acocunts that I also pull in to Outlook, so I can easily separate those emails from my work emails.

These tips have really helped me tremendously, and hopefully someone else can find some use from them.


Another great show guys. This is always one that I listen to as soon as it comes in.

I just bought the "Seize the Work Day" book a few weeks ago and didn't realize that a new edition had come out. I'm really interested in that one as well since I am in a locked IT environment as well.

Here's my outlook tip:

I spend a lot of time in Outlook, but I spend a lot of quality time in Mind Manager. I have taken to using a "master map" inside MM that captures all of my active objectives and projects across both business and personal fronts. I use the Outlook integration with MM to provide a link between my tasks, email and calendar entries that places them in the context of the project to which they are important. Then using the filters in MM I am able to quickly navigate from the top level of all my projects down to individual actions.
The net effect of this is that I am able to group tasks together into collections that make sense and see how much time I am spending on any one project. It also let's me make prioritization decision much more easily as I know instantly what I am deciding not to do.

Raymond Schaff

My favorite feature of Microsoft Outlook is when I prepare a new email to people in my corporate offices, I can enter just a few letters of their name in the "To:" field then press ALT+K and I get a short list of names that match the letters I entered. I think this is an Exchange feature, but it is a feature many people can use. I already purchased the "Seize the Work Day" book Michael wrote, and need a copy of the "Total Workday Control"...

Kevin Thompson

For the "Seize the Workday" contest, the coolest thing I've done so far with my tablet is starting to use Mindmanager and ResultsManager to implement GTD. It really seems to help with the 30-40K feet views.

Aaron Ebata

Anagram helps automatically capture information that can them be turned into a task, appointment, contact or note in Outlook. What really makes it shine on a tablet is using a Strokeit gesture to initiate the capture.

So, if you get an email with important information, you can just highlight the text with your pen, click the pen button and make a gesture - boom - captured!

Brad Bohannon

I use a TPC to control customized audio DSP software for professional sound systems. The tablet lets me walk around a performance venue making equalization, delay and level changes with the pen. When I say "Tablet PC's rock!", I really mean it!

As far as Outlook goes, simply discovering IMAP and getting Outlook configured to work that way on all my machines has been my biggest epiphany with it.

Steve Yalisove

I enjoy your show very much and I have learned a great deal in the past few months about tablet PC's.

I usually use a Mac but I am enamored enough with the teaching possibilities of the tablet that I am willing to use a PC. I synchronize all critical documents using Folder Share (a killer app) and get e-mail on both machines. In general, I apply the same methodology with Outlook as I do with Apple Mail. I don’t mind sorting my mail twice because it doesn’t take much time and it makes sure I don’t miss something. I get about 100-150 messages a day including junk mail. My mail is routed though a server running Bright-Mail that our College of Engineering runs and that, combined with Apple’s Mail program rids me of junk mail with 99% accuracy. Outlook, however, is not so good. I still get about 20 junk messages a day that I have to cull from the in-box.

I am experimenting with the tablet for lecturing. The tablet gives me back the blackboard (now covered by the screen) and allows me to write all over PowerPoint slides, pdf files (using pdf annotator), quick time movies, bring in Mathematica windows, etc., all while using Camtasia to record the lectures. We put the lectures up on our server every day in Flash format and the student’s love it. You can see everything that was on the screen and have it synched to my voice. The students can drag the position bar along at any speed they wish to see any part of the lecture, instantly. I also grade papers with pdf Annotator. It allows me to erase hash comments written in haste and rewrite them much more thoughtfully. I no longer return papers with stuff scratched out. It’s funny how the simplest things make it worth buying a tablet. One of my colleagues said to me “ ... so you spent 2K just to get chalk!” Yet, without the tablet, I could no longer write anything on the chalkboard if I wanted to use any kind of multimedia, let alone record it. The simple things do make a big difference. But I will never give up my Mac.

I wish I knew more about using the tablet for meetings and outlook for improved productivity. I would really like a copy of either book.

My best outlook tips are to do the following:

Turn off all notifications,

Never leave it running while I do other work (try to only open it once an hour at the most),

Make files for @action, @waiting, and @archive

Always keep an empty in-box,

Put the Block Sender command on the tool bar (just as ‘block’) to quickly remove junk mail

MIchael Venini

Great show guys. My entry is most likely different then most others.

First let me ask you a question, ever see the movie, Cast Away? Yup, you know, the movie with Tom Hanks.

Remember Wilson?

Well Wilson is my tablet. No, not the soccer ball, it's a tablet. A Fujitsu P1510D.

He is my little buddy. I keep in in a mini calendar planner, which in turn, allows me to take him mostly everywhere I go. Grocery shopping, yup, he's picking out his own food.

Yes he does have a name. I call him Smalls. Because he's small, get it?

I know you may think this post is a joke, but sadly it's not. He really does have a name, he really does come everywhere I go, and he really is my buddy. And if he could speak, he would say "Hi".

Thanks again for the great show.

Marc Orchant

Thanks for the great ideas. James and I will announce the winners on the show we record today (Sunday) and will send e-mail to the winners to get a shipping address for your book.

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