Tips for using multiple email accounts in Outlook

I have seven email accounts! I’m strive for Inbox Zero…or maybe that should Inbox 0000000. Here are my top tips for dealing with multiple email addresses:

# 5 – Keep it Simple with Favorites

In the video, you’ll see that I use my Favorites and hide everything else. Before I figured out Favorites, I would scroll from email account to email account…usually dreading what I might see or becoming distracted. If you’re like me, reduce the clutter with favorites.

#4 – Use the To-Do Bar

Often when I’m working, I feel like I need the assurance of when meetings are either today or tomorrow. With the To-Do Bar, I can see my calendar and upcoming meetings without actually going to my calendar. It saves me a click and a chance of becoming distracted. The To-Do Bar shows up just to the right of your email…if you have it turned on (View menu). I use the To-Do Bar to show my calendar. If I used Tasks, I would also show those as well.

#3 – Get rid of the Reading Pane

I’ll read my email when I’m darn well ready to read it. If the Reading Pane is on (View menu), I have a tendency to start reading an email and then putting aside to really read it later. That usually starts the beginning of my email “pile” that just keeps growing. I do use the Message Preview (1 line) to help me know what the email is about before I open it to read.

#2 – “Merge” the Calendars

With multiple email accounts come multiple calendars. I usually just put everything on my work calendar and never used my Google calendar. You can open up multiple calendars (check boxes on the left). An arrow shows up next to the calendar allowing you to “merge” them. I show this in the video.

As slick as that is, the calendars aren’t really merged and only the default calendar shows up on the To-Do Bar. What I started doin this week is dragging meetings from my Google or other accounts into my default calendar. Not sure how well this will work, but, one day into the experiment, I’m happy with it.

#1 – Zero out your Inbox

Outlook is for communicating and calendaring, not storing. If you have an email you want to save, drag it to a folder on your desktop. Better yet, print it as a PDF and store it. It’ll then be searchable with all the rest of your files. It is very satisfying to see a zeroed out Inbox. One of the things I show in the video is how to have Outlook report the Total Number of emails in an inbox…not just the Unread. This can be very motivating.

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