A few readers asked me to show some screens of my approach in Outlook. (I haven't used images in my blog before, so this is a good post to give it a shot.)
My Outlook Folders
Here's what I see when in my Outlook folders.
Notice how I cluster my scannable action folders (Outcomes, To Dos and Daily Status) and my reference folders (Notes, Quick Stuff and Thoughts.) The reference folders are my Collection Pools. The folders are physically stored in my local Outlook.PST folder I named "Admin." I then dragged the folders up to "Favorite Folders" since I use them daily.
I use Posts in Outlook for my Scannable Outcomes. This is what I see when I click my Outcomes folder:
Each post represents a key project. In each post, I list the outcomes and actions (like a mini queue.) I can scan each post very quickly using the Outlook preview pane.
My To Dos
I use Posts in Outlook. Here's a shot of leveraging the pre-view pane for my To Dos. This is what I see when I click my To Dos folder.
Keys to Results
- Factoring action from reference helps get results.
- Consolidating reference information to a few collection pools helps simplify storing information.
- Using scannable indexes for action is a low-overhead way to figure out next actions.
- Using scannable outcomes shows me everything on my radar at a glance. It's ultimately my portfolio of results and a quick view of where I spend my time and energy. It continuously reminds me that I need to balance areas in my life. When my portfolio is not compelling, I know it's time for a change.