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.
As bishops and cardinals gather in Rome, one man tells of his years-long attempt to see his alleged abuser put on trial
In early February, Arturo Borrelli handcuffed himself to a pole in front of the Vatican in a desperate plea to the Catholic church to take his allegations of sexual abuse by a priest seriously.
Ten years have passed since Borrelli, 43, opened up about the systematic assaults, including rape, that he says he endured as a child from his religion teacher, who was also a priest at a parish in the Naples district of Ponticelli.
Special forces said to be preparing to storm Baghuz to flush out last Islamic State diehards
They left Baghuz in a convoy of trucks, slowly snaking across the desert as thin trails of black smoke from mortar strikes drifted into the sky behind them.
The Islamic State fighters dangled their legs off the backs of vehicles normally used for transporting sheep. Brightly coloured keffiyehs wrapped around their faces, they stared at Kurdish troops as they passed without saying a word.
Swede, 16, says EU cannot just ‚Äėwait for us to grow up and become the ones in charge‚Äô
The EU should double its climate change reduction targets to do its fair share in keeping the planet below a dangerous level of global warming, the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has told political and business leaders in Brussels.
Flanked by students from the Belgian and German school strike movements, the Swedish teenager said it was not enough to hope that young people were going to save the world.
Empire actor hands himself in after being charged with lying to police when he said he was victim of racist attack in Chicago
The actor Jussie Smollett has been arrested after he was charged with lying to police when he claimed he was attacked and beaten by two masked men shouting racist and homophobic slurs, Chicago police have said.
Smollett, 36, an openly gay actor who stars in the TV drama Empire, ignited a firestorm on social media by telling police on 29 January that two apparent supporters of Donald Trump had struck him, put a noose around his neck and poured bleach over him.
Police warn death toll may rise in ‚Äėhighly combustable‚Äô blaze in old part of Bangladesh capital
At least 80 people have died after a massive fire engulfed apartment buildings that also housed chemical warehouses in the old city of Bangladesh‚Äôs capital Dhaka.
Dozens of people were trapped in the buildings, unable to escape onto narrow streets clogged with traffic, as the highly-combustible stores of chemicals, body sprays and plastic granules erupted in flames. About 50 people were injured, some critically burned.
Meanwhile, Michel Barnier has told a French newspaper that Brexit talks remain at an ‚Äėimpasse‚Äô, and repeated that Brussels will not consider reopening the Withdrawal Agreement or renegotiating the backstop.
‚ÄúThe process is in an impasse at the moment. We are waiting for Theresa May to tell us how she sees things and what she wants,‚ÄĚ he tells La Croix.
A bit more from Corbyn:
‚ÄúThe threat of no deal is something that has deeply exercised people throughout the European Union. They are very worried about the consequences of it.
French president says his party will introduce legislation to combat hate speech online
Antisemitism appears to have reached its worst levels since the second world war, Emmanuel Macron told Jewish community leaders on Wednesday, a day after thousands of people took to the streets in France to denounce hate crimes.
The French government is to adopt the intergovernmental organisation International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance‚Äôs (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and propose a law to stop hate speech being circulated online, the French president said.
Canada‚Äôs PM losing support after claim he pressed minister not to prosecute firm
When Justin Trudeau embraced Canada‚Äôs attorney general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, last year in the country‚Äôs House of Commons, it became a moment emblematic of the powerful friendship between the two, part of the government‚Äôs promise to mend the broken relationship between the government and indigenous peoples in Canada.
Now, Wilson-Raybould is out of her job and Trudeau has found himself on the defensive, fending off accusations that members of the Prime Minister‚Äôs Office (PMO) ‚Äď a powerful body staffed with hand-picked confidants ‚Äď put pressure on Wilson-Raybould to not pursue criminal charges against a large Canadian engineering firm. The scandal has cast a shadow over Trudeau‚Äôs domestic image of commitment to transparent government, potentially harming his electoral prospects.
You see these gravity-defying quiffs everywhere in Iraq‚Äôs capital: on reception staff in the secure hotels, on waiters in cafes and on the youths who gather in Zawra amusement park on Friday afternoons. Often teamed with drainpipe trousers and a fitted jacket, the flashy, ostentatious haircut requires care. It says something of the city‚Äôs new confidence: a rejection of the long years of sanctions and war
The recent court decision against the neighbours of Tate Modern in London belies a much wider problem ‚Äď everyone is constantly being watched
Alexander McFadyen says that he and his family were ‚Äúmore or less constantly watched‚ÄĚ while they were at home. They had to be ‚Äúproperly dressed‚ÄĚ at all times, and even then they were often photographed or filmed, and sometimes spied on with binoculars. McFadyen set out to measure the problem. While working at the dining table, he counted 84 people taking photographs in 90 minutes. This is the reality of living in a glass-walled flat in Block C of Neo Bankside, just 34 metres from the viewing gallery at Tate Modern, which receives up to 600,000 visitors a year.
A neighbour, Claire Fearn, said being watched like that made her ‚Äúsick to her stomach‚ÄĚ. People waved and made obscene gestures at her and her family. Her husband, Giles Fearn, found pictures of their home posted online by strangers. Many of the images are still on Twitter, often with amused remarks about the misfortune of their wealthy owners. (The flats are worth an average of ¬£4.35m each.) Another neighbour, Lindsay Urquhart, visited the viewing gallery and heard someone remark that she and the other residents of Block C deserved to lose their privacy because they were ‚Äúrich bastards‚ÄĚ.
The next 15 megacities #15: The fast-growing South Korean capital is about to wipe out Euljiro, a neighbourhood home to 10,000 shops and 50,000 tradespeople that was integral to the country‚Äôs postwar boom
From the main street, the Euljiro neighbourhood doesn‚Äôt look like much: some shabby retail stores, cold-noodle restaurants, a Starbucks.
Enter one of the small alleys, however, and you‚Äôll find yourself in a kind of manufacturing anthill: thousands upon thousands of shops, each crammed to the rafters with bolts, circuit boards, iron castings, gauges, wires, lights, switches, tools and innumerable tiny objects that defy description.
Hans Leo Maes captures the bridges and stairways that link up the hilly, population-dense city
Hong Kong is known for its flashing lights, neon signs and high-rise skylines. But the architect and photographer Hans Leo Maes documents an alternative side ‚Äď the city‚Äôs interconnecting staircases and bridges.
‚ÄúThe extreme population density in Hong Kong means [structures] are stacked and linked by stairs, often external and very visible,‚ÄĚ Maes says.
The obsession with fasting overlaps with a trend for what is often termed ‚Äėbiohacking‚Äô ‚Äď the idea that your body is a system that can be quantified and optimized
Eating is so last season; these days all the cool kids fast. Fasting diets have rocketed in popularity over the last few years, garnering a number of high-profile fans. Like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, for example, who tweeted last month that he‚Äôd ‚Äúbeen playing with fasting for some time.‚ÄĚ Dorsey explained that he does ‚Äúa 22 hour fast daily (dinner only), and recently did a 3 day water fast.‚ÄĚ The billionaire added that the biggest thing he had noticed after depriving himself of food was ‚Äúhow much time slows down. The day feels so much longer when not broken up by breakfast/lunch/dinner. Any one (sic) else have this experience?‚ÄĚ
I have! I‚Äôve had lots of experience with the various side effects of fasting because I did it a ton as a teenager: it was called ‚Äúanorexia.‚ÄĚ And it wasn‚Äôt fun. It wrecked my health and took me years to recover.
The smash hit Nordic noir tackles the far right, economic anxiety and environmental doom in its second season ... and woolly-jumper porn too
When Trapped first brought ice, intrigue and one of Iceland‚Äôs leading heartthrobs to our screens three years ago, it was hailed as the sleeper hit of the winter. But, as it returned last Saturday to BBC Four, audiences were no longer asleep; in the intervening years the series has been watched by 10 million people in the UK, Germany, France and, of course, Scandinavia ‚Äď and with good reason.
If you‚Äôre yet to discover it, don‚Äôt hang about. The series centres on police chief Andri, played by aforementioned dreamboat √ďlafur Darri √ďlafsson and his colleagues on the force ‚Äď sometimes farcical, sometimes touchingly familial ‚Äď as they investigate some very murky goings-on. In the last series it was murders, corruption, arson and human trafficking that plagued the tiny northern town, Sey√įisfj√∂r√įur, that Andri calls home. Series two sees our beloved grizzly man take on another set of deeply dark happenings that torment Sey√įisfj√∂r√įur and its residents, his family included.
Chiwetel Ejiofor directs and stars in the inspiring real-life story of a teenager who brings electricity to his village in Malawi
Chiwetel Ejiofor has made his debut as writer-director, and the result is exhilarating and rather inspiring ‚Äď a story of success against the odds, of ingenuity and resourcefulness, of a father and son painfully coming to terms with each other. Ejiofor brings a real sensitivity and empathy to this material, as well as some bold, fluent storytelling.
He has adapted a 2013 memoir by the Malawi engineer William Kamkwamba, which told the remarkable story of how as a teenager he provided electricity for his village by designing and building a wind turbine, hooked up to a simple bike-type dynamo. Ejiofor has exercised a little creative licence here and upped the narrative stakes, by making this turbine vital for pumping otherwise inaccessible well water for the drought-stricken village‚Äôs crops, and in doing so battling against his father‚Äôs angry realisation that his kid has done what he could not. But Ejiofor‚Äôs creative interventions are entirely justified. They speak to the larger ideas ‚Äď the pain and confrontation involved in trying something radically new.
Folding tablet hybrid shows Asia, not US or Europe, is leading the way in innovation
Samsung has placed its stake in the ground with its Galaxy Fold smartphone-tablet folding phone that is spectacular in every way, even in price, and pitches itself years ahead of its arch-rival, Apple.
Nearly a decade in the making, everything about the Galaxy Fold shouts next generation. It has a standard 4.6in phone screen on the front, but open it up like a book and you reveal a single large 7.3in screen that literally folds in half. No lines, no wrinkles, no visible crinkles. It‚Äôs a level of luxury and innovation not seen before, and it comes with a truly eye-watering price tag of $2,000. But no one said breaking boundaries was cheap.
Darwin Zerpa is among those who have fled to Peru to get the antiretrovirals he needs. Now he counsels others with the virus
By day it is one of Lima‚Äôs grandest squares. By night the Plaza San Mart√≠n becomes a magnet for nightclubbers and bag-snatchers, as well as a haunt for male sex workers and their clients.
It is here just before midnight that 29-year-old Darwin Zerpa and other volunteers set up shop. Pulling up in an out-of-service ambulance and folding out a table on the pavement, they mark out a spot where passersby can get HIV finger-prick test results in less than 10 minutes.
Campaigners say resurgence of deadly virus threatens despite huge successes of vaccination drive
The unmonitored movement of people across the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan threatens efforts to eradicate polio from the two countries, as the year‚Äôsfirst cases of the virus are recorded in the volatile region.
The Global Polio Eradication Initiative said people travelling through unchecked crossings is believed to be one of the main causes of the spread of the disease in the area.
The state, which styles itself as the Democratic-led ‚Äėresistance‚Äô, has launched 46 lawsuits against the Trump administration
The Trump administration‚Äôs plans to pull millions in federal funding from California‚Äôs high-speed rail project is just the latest antagonism between the president and the state that stands on the opposite end of his party‚Äôs ideological spectrum.
Governor Gavin Newsom called the move ‚Äúpolitical retribution‚ÄĚ for the state‚Äôs lawsuit against Donald Trump‚Äôs declaration of a national emergency, but California and Trump have been at it since before he was even elected president.
Though Trump himself suggested there is no real emergency, courts are unlikely to second-guess a president‚Äôs broad leeway
Many legal analysts who watched Donald Trump declare a national emergency over immigration on Friday thought the president had weak legal grounds for doing so. In particular, many thought Trump hurt his own case by admitting, right there in the White House Rose Garden: ‚ÄúI didn‚Äôt need to do this, but I‚Äôd rather do it much faster.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúThis quote should be the first sentence of the first paragraph of every complaint filed this afternoon,‚ÄĚ tweeted George Conway, a top Washington lawyer and the husband of Trump aide Kellyanne Conway.
Attempt to hustle Japan into a trade deal highlights the problems facing ‚Äėglobal Britain‚Äô
It takes a lot to anger the unfailingly polite, anglophile Japanese. But Liam Fox, the international trade secretary, and Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, appear to have managed it with their ill-judged attempt to hustle Tokyo into a quick-fire Brexit trade deal.
The diplomatic fumble has highlighted rapidly escalating difficulties facing ‚Äúglobal Britain‚ÄĚ ‚Äď the government‚Äôs nebulous vision for life after the EU ‚Äď in forging new business and trade relationships around the world without an agreed post-Brexit strategy.
I had to gain the confidence that always seemed to come naturally to my partner to release my inner handywoman
Last year my partner and I moved into a new house. The whole exercise was exhilarating ‚Äď finally, a place we owned ‚Äď but it also unearthed in me a desperation, a deep frustration. For a long time I‚Äôve wanted to be someone who fixes things, builds things, someone who is capable in practical day-to-day tasks. I own tools, I have ideas and I tinker with my surroundings, but I‚Äôve never felt completely at ease in the tasks that various men in my life seem to take on with no backward glance.
In our just-built house there were so many jobs to do with drills, hammers, caulking guns. My drive to learn by doing was offset by disorientation and self-doubt. I wanted to begin improving our house, but I didn‚Äôt know what sort of screws I needed for the curtain rod brackets, or whether I could just drill straight into the plasterboard. My partner, a man, didn‚Äôt have much more experience in these things than I did, but approached the situation with a confidence and bluster that only confused me more.
Visitors to Dartmoor zoo are being offered the opportunity to take part in its ‚Äėhuman v beast‚Äô challenge, with groups of people playing tug-of-war against a lion as it tries to wrestle meat attached to a rope.
The controversial attraction, which costs ¬£15 per person, has sparked a backlash with more than 2,000 people signing a petition to stop the practice. The petition‚Äôs author, Sue Dally, described it as, ‚Äėcruel and shows a total lack of respect for these beautiful majestic wild animals‚Äô
Barack Obama offered some advice on self-confidence to young men at an event hosted by his foundation in Oakland, California, on Tuesday.
When asked by a member of the audience about his definition of being a man, and how it relates to the LGBT+ community, the former US president said being a man was ‚Äėfirst and foremost being a good human‚Äô before going on to say that ‚Äėif you are very confident about your sexuality, you don‚Äôt have to have eight women around you twerking‚Äô
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets across France in protest against an increase in the number of antisemitic attacks in the country. Recent incidents have included a Jewish cemetery being desecrated with swastikas and the philosopher Alain Finkielkraut being subjected to a torrent of hate speech on the fringe of a gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protest in Paris
Bernie Sanders, the independent senator from Vermont who ran against Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic nomination, has announced his run for the presidency in 2020. Sanders, 77, running as a Democrat, will be up against a more crowded and diverse field this time round
Donald Trump has used a speech in Miami, Florida, to issue a direct appeal to members of the Venezuelan military to back opposition leader Juan Guaid√≥. The influential Venezuelan military has so far remained largely loyal to current president, Nicol√°s Maduro. The US president told the crowd: 'We seek a peaceful transition of power, but all options are open'
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