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.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are presenting a united front in defending their progressive vision for the country.
The team effort is notable given that Warren has pulled ahead of Sanders in recent polls.
Joe Biden went after Elizabeth Warren by saying that he helped secure the votes to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which the Massachusetts senator was citing as one of her accomplishments.
Asked to respond, Warren said she was so grateful to Barack Obama for making the CFPB a reality, prompting some gasps in the press room here in Westerville.
Six adults removed from house and man, 58, arrested
A group described by local media as a man and his adult children have been found after spending several years living in the cellar of remote farmhouse in the north-eastern Dutch province of Drenthe âwaiting for the end of timeâ.
The group of six were discovered after the oldest son, 25, visited a local bar, the Kastelein cafe. On the first occasion, 10 days ago, he âordered and drank five beers on his ownâ, the owner, Chris Westerbeek, told broadcaster RTV Drenthe. When the man reappeared last Sunday, he âlooked confusedâ, Westerbeek said. âHe was unkempt, with long tangled hair. We got talking. He said he had run away and needed help, and that he had never been to school. Then we called the police.â
Soldiersâ presence underlines Moscowâs role as power broker after evacuation of US personnel
Russian units have begun patrolling territory separating Turkish-backed Syrian rebels from the Syrian army around the flashpoint town of Manbij in north-east Syria, in a clear sign that Moscow has become the de facto power broker in the region after the evacuation of US troops.
Oleg Blokhin, a Russian journalist usually attached to mercenaries in Syria, posted a video on social media on Tuesday from a deserted US military base in the village of al-Saadiya, near Manbij.
Charlotte Charles says president dropped âbombshellâ as grieving parents visited White House
British parents grieving their teenage son have told how, during a visit to the White House on Tuesday, Donald Trump dropped the âbombshellâ that the woman who allegedly killed him in a road crash was waiting for them in an adjoining room.
Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn turned down the rushed offer to meet Anne Sacoolas, who is married to a US diplomat, describing it as ânot appropriateâ with no mediators or therapists present.
NBA star said freedom of speech can carry âa lot of negativeâ
Relationship between NBA and China is under strain
Protestors in Hong Kong have burned LeBron James jerseys after the NBA star said that freedom of speech can lead to âa lot of negativeâ.
James made his comments after the fallout between the NBA and China over the anti-government protests in Hong Kong. The lucrative relationship between the league and China has been damaged since the Houston Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, tweeted in support of the protestors earlier this month. Morey subsequently deleted the tweet but China has threatened to cut ties with the NBA, and some Chinese companies have backed out of broadcasts and sponsorship deals.
Long-time foes North and South Korea played a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, their first football match in the North in 30 years, but no fans were allowed in the stands and Pyongyang refused to broadcast the game live. There were also no goals.
The last time the two sides met in a World Cup qualifier was in Seoul 10 years ago, when the North lost 1-0 before accusing South Korea of poisoning their playersâ food ahead of the match.
Green growth and âhedonistic sustainabilityâ have helped keep the public on board as the Danish capital seeks to reach its goal by 2025 â and so far itâs all going according to plan
âWe call it hedonistic sustainability,â says Jacob Simonsen of the decision to put an artificial ski slope on the roof of the ÂŁ485m Amager Resource Centre (Arc), Copenhagenâs cutting-edge new waste-to-energy power plant. âItâs not just good for the environment, itâs good for life.â
Skiing is just one of the activities that Simonsen, Arcâs chief executive, and Bjarke Ingels, its lead architect, hope will enhance the latest jewel in Copenhagenâs sustainability crown. The incinerator building also incorporates hiking and running trails, a street fitness gym and the worldâs highest outdoor climbing wall, an 85-metre ânatural mountainâ complete with overhangs that rises the full height of the main structure.
âIf cities are invited to be at the table, I believe they will help accelerate the work that needs to be doneâ said LA mayor Eric Garcetti
US mayors are seeking to go over President Trumpâs head and negotiate directly at next monthâs UN climate change conference in Santiago, they said as they met in Copenhagen for the C40 World Mayors Summit.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who rallied US mayors to commit to the Paris climate agreement after Trump announced his intention to withdraw the country in 2017, said he would ask the UN secretary general, AntĂłnio Guterres, on Thursday to give American cities a new role in UN climate talks.
âIâm going to bring it up with the UN secretary general,â Garcetti said. âIf cities are invited to be at the table, I believe they will help accelerate the work that needs to be done. Hopefully, we can do it in concert with our national governments, but [we can do it] even where there is conflict.â
Garcetti, who was announced on Wednesday as the next chair of the C40 group of global cities, said he would use his position to seek âa more formal role in the deliberationsâ at the conference.
âThe United Nations works directly with cities all the time ... so they shouldnât feel feel scared about jumping down to that local level,â he said.
She has barely ever been in a car, and never eaten meat or flown. Now 31, she lives on the 15th floor of a city centre tower from where she can just see the ocean 500 yards away on one side and the suburbs and informal settlements sprawling as far as the eye can see on the other.
Life is OK in this megacity. She earns the exact median income and is as green as she feels she can be: she has no children yet, her carbon footprint is negligible, and her apartment, built in the early 2000s, has been retrofitted for climate change with deep insulation, its own solar air-con and heating systems.
As developers aim to turn Franceâs busiest train station into a gargantuan airport-style mall, Parisians fear for the local neighbourhood â and the stationâs soul
âWhen you tell people in Paris you live near the Gare du Nord, they usually grimace,â sighed Sarah, a French academic in her 50s who has lived on a narrow, traffic-choked street next to Europeâs busiest station for 30 years.
âArchitecturally, the station building is superb. But neighbourhoods around stations are never easy, wherever they are in the world.â
Ambush the latest in string of brazen attacks by Mexicoâs drug cartels, as President Amlo defends strategy to halt the violence
With an AR-15 assault rifle in his hand and six spare magazines across his chest, the burly policemen looked nothing if not intimidating as he prepared to attend a memorial service for 13 fellow officers who were killed in an ambush in western Mexico on Monday.
Business and city leaders warn of economic damage of cancellation and call for 2012 Olympics-style authority
A review of HS2 by northern business and city leaders has called for control of construction of the high-speed railway to be devolved to the north and Midlands â and warned that its possible cancellation would leave no viable alternatives for transforming their economies.
The Northern Powerhouse Independent Review (NPIR), established to inform or pre-empt the governmentâs own review of HS2, recommended a new body, HS2 North, be established to integrate HS2 with proposed Northern Powerhouse Rail links.
Charges laid in regards to racist chanting during England win
Prime Minister describes events in Sofia as âstain on footballâ
Boris Johnson has joined demands by anti-racism campaigners for Uefa to take strong action after the racist chanting that marred Englandâs Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria on Monday night.
European footballâs governing body has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) for racist behaviour of its supporters after the incidents at the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, in which some home fans made monkey noises at Tyrone Mings, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford in the 6-0 victory for Gareth Southgateâs side.
The Republican senator Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris van Hollen are expected to launch a bipartisan bill on Tuesday aimed at forcing the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan, to halt his military campaign in north-eastern Turkey, amid reports of widespread human rights abuses and the release of Isis militants who had been detained there.
Head of activist group acknowledges it did not meet its election aims, but says he is still proud of achievements; Dutton vetoes medevac transfer; Frydenberg responds to IMF; and Malcolm Turnbull defends Snowy 2.0. All the dayâs events, live
This from Jim Chalmers this morning, is probably a good indication of where we will see Labor head this question time, me thinks:
Last night the IMF substantially slashed their expectations for growth in the Australian economy. These new numbers absolutely torpedo what was left of the Morrison Governmentâs economic credibility. The Australian economy is floundering and the IMF is slashing its forecasts for Australia because Morrison and Frydenberg donât have a plan to turn things around. For months now Josh Frydenberg has been pretending that the economy here is strong and that the policy settings are right, but what the IMF proves is that neither of those things are true.
The IMF is ringing the alarm bells on the Australian economy but Morrison and Frydenberg are too out of touch to hear them. What we need to see from the Government is a plan to turn around an economy which is floundering on their watch. The Australian economy is floundering and people are struggling, and the Morrison Government is just sitting on its hands doing nothing. They donât have a clue what to do here and so theyâre doing nothing. They canât continue to leave all of the heavy lifting to the Reserve Bank. The IMF makes the point in their report that thereâs been too much emphasis on interest rate cuts and not enough fiscal policy or budget changes from governments, including our own. Morrison and Frydenberg need to listen to the alarm bells which are being rung by the IMF.
We are getting close to question time ... I donât even need predictions today. It will all be economy, economy, economy. There is no way it can be anything else.
Unicef report finds poorest children at greatest risk, while price of healthy food in rich nations drives food poverty
At least one in three children under five are either undernourished or overweight, and one in two lack essential vitamins and nutrients, the UN childrenâs agency has warned.
The Unicef report laid bare the alarming rate at which poor diets and a âfailingâ food system are damaging children, saying that âmillions are eating too little of what they need and millions are eating too much of what they donât need: poor diets are now the main risk factor for the global burden of diseaseâ.
A third of workers in study experienced dangerously high body temperatures, despite working ban during hottest periods
Migrant labourers working outdoors in Qatar face âhighâ or âextremeâ risk of heat stress for more than half the working day during the four hottest months of the year, according to a UN report.
The findings come just weeks after the Guardian revealed that hundreds of workers may be dying due to exposure to Qatarâs intense summer heat.
Global hunger index finds countries affected by drought and conflict in sub-Saharan Africa have seen biggest increases in undernourished people
The climate crisis is driving alarming levels of hunger in the world, undermining food security in the worldâs most vulnerable regions, according to this yearâs global hunger index.
The annual report, a rankingof 117 countries measuring hunger rates and trends, shows progress since 2000 but warns that the world still has a long way to go to reach the zero hunger target agreed by world leaders by 2030.
Children taken to safety in Raqqa after hundreds of people fled camp holding Islamic State affiliates in northern Syria
Three orphans believed to be British citizens have been evacuated from an area in northern Syria that was the focus of recent attacks by Turkish troops and their allies.
The Guardian understands that the three children, Amira, 10, her sister, Hiba, eight, and their brother, Hamza, were evacuated from a camp for people associated with Islamic State in Ain Issa on Sunday. They were part of a group of 24 children taken to safety by the UN refugee organisation.
Exclusive: Upmarket brand, which has just launched UN partnership, opens investigation as female labourers in Bangladesh factory say they suffer regular abuse
Lululemon, an athleisure brand whose ÂŁ88 leggings are worn by celebrities and Instagram influencers, are sourcing clothing from a factory where Bangladeshi female factory workers claim they are beaten and physically assaulted.
The Canadian brand recently launched a partnership with the United Nations to reduce stress levels and promote the mental health of aid workers.
Twelve Democratic 2020 presidential candidates will share the stage in the perpetual swing state on Tuesday
The Democratic 2020 presidential candidates will gather once again on Tuesday night to face off in their fourth debate, this time in the perpetual swing state of Ohio.
Twelve of the candidates have qualified to participate, and they will all share one stage â marking the most crowded debate stage of this election cycle so far. But the dynamics of the race have changed since the candidates last met in September, and some of the contenders face the prospect of this being their last debate.
UK lawyers say more women are coming forward, but are police and prosecutors ready?
The clearest impact of the #MeToo movement on the British justice system has been a sharp rise in the number of complaints made to police of rape and sexual assault over the past two years.
That surge, however, has coincided with a chaotic response by police and prosecutors, who have been engulfed in problems over disclosure and allegations they have refined their approach to the crime in order to improve conviction rates, although this has been denied by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Analysts say tactic of cooperation against nationalist parties appears to be working
A narrower-than-expected win for Polandâs ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) and a serious setback for Hungaryâs governing Fidesz show eastern Europeâs illiberal nationalist parties are not entirely invincible, analysts and commentators have said.
âIt looks like this may be a small step in the right direction â but itâs clear the opposition still has an awful lot of work to do,â said Agata GostyĆska-Jakubowska, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Reform.
A close ally is abandoned, and Isis is regrouping. The speed of the unravelling is breathtaking
In the week since Donald Trumpâs fateful phone conversation with Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan, the US has entirely abandoned the Kurds, its most effective allies in the Middle East, and with them a Syria strategy that was five years in the making.
The Islamic State flag has been raised once more and the last vestige of US credibility as a reliable partner lies crushed under Turkish tank tracks. It has arguably been the worst seven days for US foreign policy since the invasion of Iraq.
Residents of Drenthe, a province in the north-east Netherlands, reacted to the discovery of a group of people believed to have spent years living in the cellar of a remote farmhouse 'waiting for the end of time'.
Six adults were removed and being taken care of, police confirmed, while a 58-year-old-man who was renting the farmhouse was arrested after refusing to cooperate with their inquiry.
Native American tribes from up and down the west coast came together in San Francisco Bay to celebrate Indigenous Peoplesâ Day on 14 October. Starting at dawn people paddled traditional tribal canoes around Alcatraz Island â the famous former prison site which was occupied by Native Americans from 1969-71. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the historic act of resistance that launched the modern era of indigenous rights
Protesters took to the streets of Barcelona and other parts of Spain after the supreme court jailed nine Catalan separatist leaders for sedition over their role in a failed independence bid in 2017. Three main streets in Barcelona were blocked, as was train and metro access to Barcelona airport
Japanâs Typhoon Hagibis made landfall south of Tokyo on Saturday evening with heavy rain, which flooded the city and surrounding areas. The death toll has reached 36 and many people are still missing. Emergency workers swung into action, with helicopters plucking people from flooded buildings and police swimming through waters looking for missing people
Rescue efforts have begun in Japan following Typhoon Hagibis, which flooded Tokyo and surrounding areas and left at least 25 dead and 15 missing.
Hagibis, one of the strongest storms to hit Japan in decades, made landfall south of Tokyo on Saturday evening and moved northward. It brought torrential rain and ferocious winds, causing widespread damage
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