How do you focus on your urgent e-mail and organize the rest for your review? Think about how you handle your paper mail. You probably sort your paper mail quickly before you read it to figure out what to look at first, what to read later, and what to throw away. Here are some similar ways to automatically process and prioritize your electronic mail for better and faster results:
(Although the following tips refer to Microsoft Outlook, many of these features are similar to those found in other mail systems. For specific how-to steps, and more e-mail and Outlook tips, visit The Software Pro website.)
1. Color Code to Identify Key Messages
Color code priority messages to quickly identify e-mail from your most important contacts such as management, staff, or team members. To apply colors in Microsoft Outlook, highlight a message from a contact, choose Tools > Organize, select the option Using Colors and pick how you want to color-code your incoming messages from the specific contact.
2. Streamline with Categories and Folders
Stop using your Inbox as a reference system filled with messages that don't require an immediate action. To further organize your messages, create categories and folders with useful labels such as Team Members, Projects, Personal, and others. The Categories feature in Microsoft Outlook, for instance, helps to organize and view active messages into groups within your Inbox. Create and use e-mail folders to store messages that you have already handled and wish to keep for history or folders for e-mail that contains informational reading and general reference.
Note that folders and categories sort in alphabetical order which is not likely to place your priority items at the top. Adding a letter or number at the beginning of a label, such as a-Team Members and b-Projects, will sort these towards the top of your Inbox.
3. Filter with Rules
Rules are instructions or filters that automatically categorize, organize, and prioritize messages based on conditions that you set. As new messages are received in Microsoft Outlook, right-click on the message and left click on the command Create a Rule to apply a category or move the message to a folder. If all you do is apply rules, you may be able to get through e-mail in half the time it took before.
4. Learn Easy Navigation
Stop wasting time by moving in and out of each message and start applying simple navigation tricks. In Microsoft Outlook, for instance, you can move in your Inbox with the up or down arrow key to select a message. Then press [Enter] to open the message. To move to the next message directly from the current e-mail, look for toolbar buttons with arrows or press [Ctrl] + > for the next message and [Ctrl] + < for the previous e-mail. Press [Esc] to close the active message.
5. Sort to Find Messages
To quickly sort your e-mail messages, click once on a column heading for the new order you want such as sender, subject or date. For instance, to sort messages by the sender, click once on the Sender heading. By clicking twice on a column heading, the sort order changes from ascending (A-Z) order to descending (Z-A) order. By the way, the abbreviations RE and FW in the Subject line are ignored when you sort messages alphabetically by subject.
Implementing these ideas for overcoming e-mail overload can help you become more productive and free you from your Inbox.
Dawn Bjork Buzbee is The Software Pro? and a certified Microsoft Office Expert and Microsoft Office Specialist Master Instructor. Dawn shares smart and easy ways to effectively use software and technology through her work as a speaker, trainer, and consultant. Visit www.SoftwarePro.com">http://www.SoftwarePro.com for great Microsoft Office software tips and tricks or to contact Dawn.
US president faces criticism for calling off Denmark trip after he is told Greenland not for sale
The Danish prime minister has said she is surprised and disappointed that Donald Trump has called off his planned visit to the country over Copenhagenâs refusal to sell Greenland to the US.
Mette Frederiksen said the US presidentâs decision would not affect strategic, military or commercial cooperation between their two countries. She had previously said his Greenland proposal was absurd.
Rolling coverage of the dayâs political developments as they happen
This is from my colleague Jennifer Rankin in Brussels.
Donald Tusk will meet Boris Johnson at the Biarritz G7 summit on Sunday.
Ahead of the G7, Tusk will meet Michel Barnier on Thursday.
Speaking during his visit to the port of Holyhead Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister in charge of no-deal Brexit planning, was also asked what he thought the chances of no deal were. He replied:
Different people put a different statistical likelihood on it. My view is that there is a chance that it might happen therefore we need to be ready for it and many of the things that we would do anyway as we leave the single market and the customs union we would do or need to do in the event of leaving without a deal.
There are a series of particular facilitations and easements that can be introduced alongside technology which can help ensure that we have as effective a flow of goods over the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland border as businesses will need.
It all depends on the willingness of the EU, in particular the European commission, to commit to making sure that some of the work thatâs already being done is expedited.
If the EU commit to this approach then itâs perfectly possible for us to have a transition or implementation period and then to work on all the steps that are required in order to give confidence that we can continue to have a solution of the island of Ireland that works in everyoneâs interest.
Incident is believed to be first clash with insurgents since revocation of special status
A suspected militant and a police officer have been killed in a gun battle in Indian-administered Kashmir in what is believed to be the first clash with insurgents since the revocation of the territoryâs special status.
Tensions remain high in the region, where there is a heavy security presence on the streets and a continued block on mobile and internet services. In Kashmirâs main city, Srinagar, posters appeared overnight urging people to defy a ban on public gatherings and join a mass march after Friday prayers this week to protest against Delhiâs decision to strip the region of its autonomy.
Police say they caught him filming on Metro after allegedly uploading videos for a year
Police in Madrid have arrested a man accused of filming the intimate parts of more than 500 women without their consent while they travelled on the Metro.
The accused made the videos, a practice known as upskirting, using a mobile phone concealed in a backpack. Police say he then uploaded at least 283 of these videos on to pornographic sites where they were viewed millions of times. Police have identified 555 victims, some of them underage.
Upcoming review out of Tokyo will reportedly say missile programme poses âserious and imminent threatâ
Japanâs government will reportedly state that North Korea is capable of miniaturising nuclear warheads in a forthcoming defence report, it has emerged.
Tokyo will upgrade its estimate of the regimeâs nuclear capability, having said last year only that the technical feat was a possibility, the conservative Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said on Wednesday, without citing sources.
Presidentâs remarks seemed to refer to a perception that Jewish Americans have a dual loyalty to both America and Israel
Donald Trump used an apparently antisemitic trope when accusing Jewish Americans who vote for Democrats as showing âeither a total lack of knowledge or great disloyaltyâ.
The remarks came as part of a barrage of disparaging comments that threaten to re-ignite an ongoing feud with the Democratic congresswomen Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. They seemed to refer to a perception that Jewish Americans have a dual loyalty to both America and Israel.
Texas lawsuit says school personnel drew on the studentâs scalp after it was deemed his haircut violated the dress code
Parents of a black teenager in Texas are suing their Houston-area school district after three white middle school personnel used a marker to blot out a design on their sonâs scalp.
The federal civil rights lawsuit was filed Sunday against the Pearland independent school district (ISD) and the three staff members of Berry Miller junior high who used the marker to color the studentâs scalp.
Sony expresses disappointment over push by Disney â the parent company of Marvel â for greater share
Sony Pictures, the studio that owns the rights to comic book character Spider-Man, has spoken out about the split with Disney that will see the webslinger booted out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A statement released by Sony on Tuesday night said the company was âdisappointedâ by Disneyâs demand for a greater stake in the Spider-Man films and by its proposal to scale down the involvement of Marvel president Kevin Feige in the movies.
From power cuts to infrastructure failure, the impact of climate change on US cities will be huge â but many are already innovating to adapt
Between record heat and rain, this summerâs weather patterns have indicated, once again, that the climate is changing.
US cities, where more than 80% of the nationâs population lives, are disproportionately hit by these changes, not only because of their huge populations but because of their existing â often inadequate â infrastructure.
In the Netherlands, where there are more bikes than people, serious money is being spent encouraging even more people to get on their bikes
In a nation with more bikes than people, finding a space to park can be a problem. The Dutch city of Utrecht is unveiling an answer at its railway station on Monday morning: the worldâs largest multistorey parking area for bicycles.
The concrete-and-glass structure holds three floors of gleaming double-decker racks with space for 12,500 bikes, from cargo bikes that hold a family to public transport bikes for rent.
To protect itself from destructive flooding, the city has built a park designed to store and recycle rainwater
In Alicante it never rains but it pours. The city in southeast Spain goes without rain for months on end, but when it comes itâs torrential, bringing destructive and sometimes fatal flooding.
Or at least, it used to. In San Juan, a low-lying area of the city, authorities have built a new park with a twist. Called La Marjal, it serves as a typical recreation area and a nature reserve â but its primary purpose is to store, and then recycle, rainwater.
Guardian readers from Greenland share their reactions to Donald Trumpâs idea to buy the country
While it looks on the surface like Trump is just drawing attention away from the rest of his ridiculous presidency with his comments about purchasing Greenland, I think that the US government does sincerely want access to our resources. The former is just asinine, but the latter is quite scary, neither of them are appreciated or welcome. If in my lifetime I see a Trump Tower in Nuuk, I should hope that global warming causes the ice underneath it to melt and send it to Atlantis, where it belongs along with the rest of Trumpâs fantastical delusions. J, Nuuk
Bombing believed to be linked to Timothy Mtamboâs role at forefront of mass protests over alleged rigging of elections
The home of a leading human rights activist in Malawi has been petrol bombed in what is believed to be a targeted move to stop mass demonstrations planned for next week.
Three bombs were thrown at the car and home of Timothy Mtambo, the chairman of Malawiâs Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), and the executive director of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRC).
So what do people in Denmark think about Trumpâs decision to call off his trip to the country?
Not much, it seems â with one former Danish foreign minister comparing Trump to âa clown in a circusâ.
Donald Trump here, quoting right-wing conspiracy theorist Wayne Allen Rootâs comments describing Trump as the âKing of Israelâ and âthe second coming of godâ.
âThank you to Wayne Allyn Root for the very nice words. âPresident Trump is the greatest President for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world, not just America, he is the best President for Israel in the history of the world...and the Jewish people in Israel love him....
....like heâs the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God...But American Jews donât know him or like him. They donât even know what theyâre doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense! But thatâs OK, if he keeps doing what heâs doing, heâs good for.....
.....all Jews, Blacks, Gays, everyone. And importantly, heâs good for everyone in America who wants a job.â Wow! @newsmax@foxandfriends@OANN
Shocking act in Tepexco is just one example of wider malady blighting countries from Bolivia to Brazil
Socorro MuĂ±oz fled indoors as the laurel-lined square outside her shop became a public execution ground one sunny afternoon in early August.
âI didnât want to see,â the 62-year-old storekeeper explained as she relived the moment a tide of Latin American lynchings swept into Tepexcoâs picturesque Plaza de la ConstituciĂłn, leaving seven alleged kidnappers dead.
Jadestone CEO says it could cover the cost of cleaning up a major spill, even though company has never made a profit
The new operator of the site of Australiaâs worst ever oil spill has dismissed concerns it might not have the financial capacity to clean up should disaster strike again.
Ten years ago on Wednesday an estimated 40 million litres of oil leaked from a faulty rig in the Montara field, in the Timor Sea, and for 10 weeks spread over tens of thousands of square kilometres of ocean.
Corruption watchdog accused of promoting âtoxicâ workplace culture that silenced critical voices
Anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International has been accused of promoting a âtoxicâ internal environment of bullying and harassment, making it the latest high-profile charity to come under fire over its workplace culture.
Seven current and former staff members said the organisation had âfailed in its duty of careâ to staff. They accused managing director Patricia Moreira of promoting a culture that enabled âbullyingâ, silenced critical voices, and used âgagging ordersâ â confidentiality clauses in termination agreements, especially at the charityâs headquarters in Berlin. Leaked internal emails and documents including a staff survey corroborate their accounts.
Climate emergency and population growth blamed for deteriorating water quality, with âcocktail of chemicalsâ changing as countries become richer
The planet is facing a mounting and âinvisibleâ water pollution crisis, according to a hard-hitting World Bank report, which claims the issue is responsible for a one-third reduction in potential economic growth in the most heavily affected areas.
The study, which assembled the worldâs largest database of water pollution, assesses how a combination of bacteria, sewage, chemicals and plastics suck oxygen from water supplies and transform water into poison for people and ecosystems.
US-Taliban agreement will not be successful without involvement of government and citizens, say Afghan womenâs rights groups
Afghanistan could âreturn to chaosâ with the wrong peace deal, say womenâs rights groups in the country. A poorly negotiated agreement without proper representation of Afghan citizens and a clear counterterrorism strategy would place the democratic gains of the past 18 years at risk, says Suraya Pakzad, founder of the Voice of Women Organisation.
Talks between the US and the Taliban are running alongside campaigning for twice-postponed presidential elections, now due to take place on 28 September.
By cancelling his state visit to Denmark, the US president has again showed his thin skin
Donald Trumpâs abrupt decision to cancel his state visit to Denmark after it rejected his unsolicited offer to buy Greenland at a knockdown price took most people by surprise, not least his own ambassador.
âDenmark is ready âŠ Partner, ally, friendâ, tweeted Carla Sands, the neophyte US envoy to Copenhagen who was previously an actor and chiropractor. Hours later, it was off.
President could call snap election, seek new coalition or install caretaker government
âThis government ends here,â said Giuseppe Conte, as he announced his resignation as Italyâs prime minister on Tuesday. After almost two weeks of twists and turns, what happens next is far from clear.
The president, Sergio Mattarella, is now calling the shots in a crisis triggered when Matteo Salvini pulled the plug on the Leagueâs tenuous relationship with the Five Star Movement (M5S) in an attempt to capitalise on his popularity and become PM.
Instead, as incoming Pacific Islands Forum chair, Vanuatu has a message for Australia: we ask that Australia prepares well ahead of the next forum meeting in 2020 and comes to the table ready to make real, tangible commitments on climate change.
Dozens of inflatable mattresses cartwheeled across a park in Denver, Colorado, on Saturday as strong winds whipped through the neighbourhood. Robb Manes, who filmed the bizarre spectacle, described it as the âgreat mattress migration of 2019â. According to local reports, the mattresses had been set out for an open-air film screening called the Bed Cinema later that day
Conte has told Italy's senate he is stepping down because of a decision by the far-right League, which is led by the interior minister, Matteo Salvini, to pull the plug on its populist alliance with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement. Conte says he will officially inform the country's president, Sergio Mattarella, of his decision later on Tuesday.
A young woman who was suspected of having an abortion and charged with homicide after having a stillborn child has been acquitted by a judge at a retrial in a case that drew international attention to El Salvadorâs strict abortion laws. Evelyn Beatriz HernĂĄndez, now 21, had served 33 months of a 30-year prison sentence when her conviction was overturned in February for lack of evidence
US representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib call on their colleagues to visit Israel in an emotional press conference on Monday, following the countryâs decision last week to deny them entry after pressure from Donald Trump. Omar said it was important that Trump and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, should not 'succeed in hiding the cruel reality of the occupation from us'
The Democratic presidential candidate offered a public apology on Monday to Native Americans over her past claim to tribal heritage, directly tackling an area that has proved to be her biggest political liability. 'Like anyone who has been honest with themselves, I know I have made mistakes,' the Massachusetts senator said at the start of her appearance at the forum in this pivotal early voting state
Donald Trump confirmed on Sunday that he was considering an attempt to buy Greenland. His interest in the largely autonomous Danish territory was met with indignation in both Greenland and Denmark, with the Danish prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, echoing the words of her Greenlandic counterpart, Kim Kielsen: 'Greenland will not be sold.'
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