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.
President recognises protesters‚Äô demands but vowed to still liberalise the economy
Emmanuel Macron has vowed to make his style of politics more ‚Äúhumane‚ÄĚ, but insisted he would press on with his project to liberalise the French economy and overhaul its welfare state despite five months of demonstrations by gilets jaunes (yellow vest) anti-government protesters.
In his first press conference in two years as president, Macron promised ‚ā¨5bn (¬£4.3bn) worth of cuts to income tax for lower and average earners as well as pension rises for the poorest and vowed no more schools or hospitals would be closed during his presidency, as he responded to protests.
Recent history shows that people with comfortable lives can easily be drawn towards violent extremism
When police and soldiers in Sri Lanka set out on the trail of the attackers who killed more than 350 people in a series of bombings on Easter Sunday, they did not expect to find themselves in Dematagoda, one of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Colombo.
Within 90 minutes of the attack, as hospitals struggled to cope with the huge number of casualties, the security forces were closing in on a three-storey house with a BMW parked outside.
Biden contacted her earlier this month to express his ‚Äúregret for what she endured‚ÄĚ during the hearing, an attempt to reckon with a defining moment from his past that looms over his present bid for the White House.
Figure comes as rift opens between Northern Ireland Office and MoD over how to deal with historical accusations
As many as 200 former members of the British security forces are under official investigation for alleged criminal actions during the Troubles as a rift opens up between the Northern Ireland Office and the Ministry of Defence over how to deal with historical accusations.
There are at least three prosecutions against British soldiers under way. A former Parachute Regiment lance-corporal, identified only so far as ‚ÄúSoldier F‚ÄĚ, is due to stand trial for murder and attempted murder for his role in the 1972 Bloody Sunday killings. Altogether, it is understood that between 150 and 200 former soldiers and police are under investigation for alleged actions taken during the Troubles.
LGBT campaigners say Brazilian president‚Äôs comments risk inciting hatred
Brazil‚Äôs far-right president, the self-declared homophobe Jair Bolsonaro, has been accused of inciting hatred towards LGBT people after declaring the South American country should not become a ‚Äúgay tourism paradise‚ÄĚ.
‚ÄúIf you want to come here and have sex with a woman, go for your life,‚ÄĚ Bolsonaro reportedly told journalists in the capital, Bras√≠lia. ‚ÄúBut we can‚Äôt let this place become known as a gay tourism paradise. Brazil can‚Äôt be a country of the gay world, of gay tourism. We have families,‚ÄĚ Bolsonaro added, according to the Brazilian magazine Exame.
At least two people reportedly killed in shooting at Qasr bin Ghashir facility near Tripoli
Young refugees held in a detention centre in Libya have described being shot at indiscriminately by militias advancing on Tripoli, in an attack that reportedly left at least two people dead and up to 20 injured.
Phone footage smuggled out of the camp and passed to the Guardian highlights the deepening humanitarian crisis in the centres set up to prevent refugees and migrants from making the sea crossing from the north African coast to Europe.
Court decision blocking fossil fuel activity in swaths of the Arctic complicated administration plans to ramp up fossil fuel extraction
The Trump administration has shelved plans to vastly expand offshore oil and gas drilling in the wake of a recent court decision that blocked fossil fuel activity in swaths of the Arctic.
The administration had opened up almost all US waters to companies seeking to drill oil or gas deposits but this expansion has been halted due to a legal setback, according to David Bernhardt, the interior secretary.
Top watchdog promises to force change following Cambridge Analytica scandal as New York announces new investigation
Facebook broke Canadian privacy laws when it collected the information of some 600,000 citizens, a top watchdog in the country said on Thursday, pledging to seek a court order to force the social media company to change its practices.
US official who was sent to retrieve Warmbier signed an agreement to pay the surprise invoice, the Washington Post reports
The United States was handed a $2m bill from North Korea for the hospital care of American Otto Warmbier, who died soon after his release back to the US in a comatose state in 2017, after being detained for 17 months.
Acting on instructions passed down from Donald Trump, the main US official who was sent to North Korea to bring Warmbier back to the US signed an agreement to pay the surprise invoice he was handed by Pyongyang, according to the Washington Post on Thursday, which cited two anonymous sources familiar with the situation.
Fresh details of plot and cast for the 25th James Bond film have been revealed at an official launch at Ian Fleming‚Äôs villa in Jamaica. With the sea in the background, a platter of pears and papaya in front, Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson as well as new director Cary Fukunaga told radio presenter Clara Amfo that the new film opens with Bond relaxing in ‚Äúhis spiritual home‚ÄĚ.
A tiny nook for an urn can cost up to ¬£180,000. With 200,000 sets of ashes waiting for a resting place, the city is running out of options
‚ÄúPer square foot, it has become more expensive to house the dead than the living,‚ÄĚ says Kwok Hoi Pong, chairman of the Hong Kong Funeral Business Association. ‚ÄúA niche for an urn in a private columbarium in the best position can cost up to HK$1.8m. This is the phenomenon in Hong Kong.‚ÄĚ
A ground burial plot can cost anywhere between HK$3m (¬£300,000) and HK$5m, but in the city‚Äôs congested cemeteries, vacancies rarely become available. Land is so scarce that 90% of the 48,000 people a year who die in Hong Kong are cremated. But increasingly finding the space even to store ashes is becoming nigh on impossible.
With teenage girls a particular target of street harassment, Farah Benis is on a mission to document incidents and raise awareness
CatcallsofLdn is an Instagram account that raises awareness about street harassment using chalk art. Inspired by and working with @catcallsofnyc, founder Farah Benis collects submissions from the public then chalks them onto the pavement in the place where they happened. The hope is that chalking, documenting and sharing images of the words will help to raise awareness of street harassment and ultimately prevent it.
72% of submissions are from under 17-year-olds, 60% of those were wearing school uniforms and 100% of the perpetrators were adult men
Photographer Zhang Kechun travelled across China to document how urbanisation is reshaping the country‚Äôs natural landscapes. The often dreamlike images of his series Between the Mountains and Water depict tiny figures dwarfed by the immense scale of China‚Äôs economic development
The star of Hannibal, The Hunt and new film Arctic doubts frank conversation is possible in the wake of #MeToo. But is he really also sceptical about climate change?
Dogme 95, the notorious Danish DIY film movement that launched the career of ‚Äď among others ‚Äď Lars Von Trier, has been called a lot of things. ‚ÄúRevolutionary‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúamateur porn‚ÄĚ, ‚Äúshit‚ÄĚ (the last one yelled by the critic Mark Kermode at a Cannes screening of Von Trier‚Äôs The Idiots). With its 10-point manifesto targeting ‚Äúdecadent film-making‚ÄĚ, wobbly-cam aesthetic and tendency towards nudity, violence and cruelty, it has inspired rapture and revulsion in equal measure. Though not everyone, it seems, had such a visceral reaction.
‚ÄúTo be frank, I just thought it was silly,‚ÄĚ says Mads Mikkelsen. ‚ÄúSitting down and writing down 10 commandments of how to approach film-making? ‚ÄėThe story is important‚Äô ‚Äď no shit, Sherlock! Seriously? Do you have to write that down? Was it not important before you wrote it down? All these things were common fucking sense to me.
Conservatives have launched inquiry into alleged racist incidents in local party
Portsmouth‚Äôs major political parties are struggling to contain claims they have racially discriminated against local minority ethnic council candidates.
The Conservatives have launched an inquiry into alleged racist incidents in the local party. A leaked letter shows a former council candidate for the party has claimed he was marginalised, bullied and racially abused.
Khalifa Haftar‚Äôs foreign backers have egged him on ‚Äď and civilians are paying the price
The warlord Khalifa Haftar, who controls eastern Libya, has never disguised his ambitions. Once one of Muammar Gaddafi‚Äôs generals, he returned from exile in the US when the dictator fell in 2011, attempted to launch a coup three years later, repeatedly declared his intention to take Tripoli and has said that his country may not be ready for democracy.
So the professions of shock from his backers when he mounted his assault on the western capital, held by the internationally recognised Government of National Accord, cannot be treated with great seriousness. The only real surprise about his advance was its timing. By moving while the UN secretary-general was in the country, to discuss arrangements for a UN-organised conference intended to lead to elections, he destroyed muted hopes of a political solution and underscored his already evident contempt for the process. As the prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, complained, the response of many supposed allies was silence.
A hotel room theft, blackmail and a gym brawl are among the accusations thrown in a very public falling out between two athletics greats who were once friends
A sedate Wednesday morning press conference for this weekend‚Äôs London marathon appeared to be over when Mo Farah suddenly raised his hand and began to speak. Clearly Britain‚Äôs four-time Olympic champion had something to get off his chest. ‚ÄúTraining has gone well, and everything else,‚ÄĚ he said, ‚Äúbut there was a slight problem with my hotel in Ethiopia.‚ÄĚ
Students and faculty at two schools have been exposed as number of US measles cases hits 25-year high
More than 300 students and faculty members at two Los Angeles universities have been placed under a quarantine order, after they were exposed to measles and were not able to verify they had been vaccinated or have immunity.
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), said that as of Wednesday there were 119 students and eight faculty members under quarantine. More than 500 students, faculty and staff may have been exposed to the virus when a student who has been diagnosed with the virus attended classes in early April. The quarantined individuals have not shown that they are immune.
‚ÄėAbsurd‚Äô that US and its closest allies are not leading players in technology, former PM says
Malcolm Turnbull has revealed that he encouraged Donald Trump to ‚Äútake the lead‚ÄĚ and develop 5G networks in cooperation with allies, including Australia, to hold out ‚Äúferocious competition‚ÄĚ from China and to safeguard networks against cyber-attacks.
In a speech in New York overnight, the former prime minister said that in response to concerns China was stealing a technological march he had urged the US president to ‚Äúensure that we had at least one viable and secure 5G vendor from the United States and/or its Five Eyes partners‚ÄĚ.
Former WA premier Colin Barnett warns against Clive Palmer preference deal, while Shorten rebuffs Greens on climate policy. Follow the day‚Äôs news live
Scott Morrison gets a number of questions on Clive Palmer‚Äôs preferences, given he is talking in Townsville, the place where workers lost their jobs and entitlements.
Q: [What about the] preference deal, [with] someone who is facing criminal charges and hasn‚Äôt paid his workers and seems to be buying his way into parliament?
Well, I will let Clive Palmer speak for himself. At the end of the day, Clive Palmer has the view and the people who support him have the view.
I, my team, the party are all talking about it. I‚Äôm not out here talking about the how to vote card, like the Prime Minister said, I‚Äôm wanting people, to put number one next to my name.
Let him answer the question.
That‚Äôs what I‚Äôm doing and that‚Äôs what I‚Äôm out here talkingt o people. I want people to put the number one next to my name. Not anywhere else down the line. I‚Äôm not talking about any other parties. Minor, major, whatever, number one next to my name.
When the parties have finalised what they‚Äôre doing with preferences that will be clear next week. That‚Äôs a matter for once the parties have concluded any discussions they‚Äôre having, but I want to make something really clear. There are no policy elements to any discussions that have been had with mine or parties. None whatsoever. What we‚Äôre interested in doing. I‚Äôm interested in forming a government on the other side of this election. I‚Äôm going make sure I do everything I possibly can to ensure that we‚Äôre able to form that government.
Asked about Labor‚Äôs doubling of the domestic violence budget, Scott Morrison says when he was social services minister he ensured funding going as a priority to families.
Arrests and prosecutions remain thin on the ground despite 62% rise in reports of suspected labour exploitation
More than 7,100 suspected victims of modern slavery were identified across the UK in 2018, with Romanian nationals comprising the largest victim group, according to a national helpline.
Labour exploitation ‚Äď the majority of which was identified in car washes, beauty parlours, construction sites, hotels and on farms ‚Äď accounted for the largest number of suspected modern slavery cases, with London the location for the highest number of suspected victims (1,477), found the helpline‚Äôs second annual assessment, published on Thursday.
In Mozambique, where many people rely on crops to live, Idai‚Äôs impact on two key agricultural areas has been devastating
Marie Jose stares out at her field of broken maize stalks, the cobs yellow and mouldy from days of excessive water followed by weeks of extreme sun. She should have harvested them last month, but Cyclone Idai struck her village in Buzi district, in central Mozambique, and destroyed them all.
She is still dealing with the trauma of losing her grandparents and niece to the tropical storm. ‚ÄúThey couldn‚Äôt hold on in the trees where we were sitting and the wind pushed them into the water,‚ÄĚ she says. Their bodies are still missing.
Toxins from old computers, fridges and other electronic goods are polluting chicken eggs in an area where 80,000 people live
Some of the most hazardous chemicals on Earth are entering the food chain in Ghana from illegally disposed electronic waste coming from Europe.
According to a new report by two environmental groups tracking the disposal of e-waste, chicken eggs from the Agbogbloshie slum in Ghana‚Äôs capital, Accra ‚Äď where residents break up waste to recover metals ‚Äď contain dangerous levels of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), among other harmful substances.
Campaigners move to end misconceptions about emergency contraception in country where morning-after pill is outlawed
A pioneering grassroots campaign to legalise emergency contraception is launched in Honduras this week amid ongoing false claims by church leaders, senior doctors and conservative politicians that the medication causes abortions, infertility and cancer.
Honduras is the only country in Latin America where emergency contraception is banned, forcing desperate women, including rape victims, to buy expensive and unregulated contraband pills on the black market.
Well-educated and wealthy, new details emerge about the nine suicide bombers
According to Sri Lanka‚Äôs defence minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, there were nine suicide bombers in total ‚Äď mostly well-educated and from wealthy families. Eight have been identified and one of them was a woman, he said, though Sri Lankan authorities have refused to officially name any of the attackers yet.
Preventing Iran‚Äôs oil from reaching the market will raise oil prices and US business costs
The past two and a bit years have shown that it is naive to expect Donald Trump‚Äôs strategic and economic policies to demonstrate coherence. Even so, the lack of joined-up thinking in the decision to end the waiver against sanctions from nations that buy oil from Iran takes some beating.
Local group National Towheed Jamaat would have needed help to mount such a complex operation
Three days after the bombings of churches and luxury hotels that killed over 300 people in Sri Lanka, Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the atrocity.
The claim was not unexpected. The bombings ‚Äď multiple suicide attacks designed to cause mass casualties among Christian worshippers on Easter Sunday and among tourists too ‚Äď had all the hallmarks of an Isis attack. The group needs to prove its capability and relevance after suffering defeat in its core heartland in Syria and Iraq. It still commands support among a network of sympathisers across the Islamic world. It had the motives and the means.
CCTV video shows two suspected attackers in Sri Lanka's Easter Sunday bombings carrying backpacks into the Shangri-La hotel in the capital, Colombo, before the blast.
The bombings, which killed 359 people and injured 500, shattered the relative calm that has existed in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka over the past decade and raised fears of a return to sectarian violence.
Barack Obama's former vice-president has entered the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. It is his third presidential campaign ‚Äď after two unsuccessful attempts at earning the nomination in 1988 and 2008. He joins a crowded and diverse field. If successful, the 76-year-old would become the oldest person to be elected president in US history
Two Florida sheriff's deputies have been suspended after a video showed them pepper-spraying and punching a 15-year-old black student. The video, which was widely shared on social media last week, shows the two officers slamming Delucca Rolle to the ground and smashing his face into the concrete several times. Rolle‚Äôs family say he was picking up a cellphone that a classmate had dropped when one officer pepper-sprayed and jumped on him
Kim Jong-un has arrived in Vladivostok by train before talks with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Kim is expected to seek Russian support over western sanctions and his negotiations with the US over North Korea's nuclear programme
New footage has emerged appearing to show a suspected suicide bomber entering St Sebastian's church in Negombo. The subsequent explosion was the deadliest of the series of coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 50 people. The footage was broadcast widely on Sri Lankan news channels
The Massachusetts congressman Seth Moulton has become the 19th person to declare their intention to seek the Democratic presidential nomination. Watch the decorated Marine Corps veteran talk about his fame in Iraq, his attempt to stop Nancy Pelosi's re-election as House Speaker and what makes him stand out in a crowded Democratic field
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