Now that the air is getting fresher and our days longer, it’s time for (you guessed it) Spring Cleaning! When most people think of spring cleaning, they think of organizing garages and cleaning out the kitchen pantry, but we want to challenge you to clean areas you don’t immediately think of that may be hurting your productivity.
For the first phase of our three-part Spring Cleaning series, we want to address a program that many of us use throughout the day – Microsoft Outlook. Even though Outlook is a fantastic productivity tool, the reality is that it often gets neglected. Here are a few tips to get your started cleaning your Outlook:
- Take a look at the number of rules you have in place. Too many can slow Outlook down, so ensure you need all of them.
- Check your Drafts folder for any drafts that are no longer needed and can be cleared.
- If you haven’t done so in a while, empty your Deleted Items folder.
- Are the appointments, meetings, and tasks on your calendar current? Are there any recurring appointments that are no longer applicable? Take a few moments to clean these items up.
- Review your contacts: is your information current? Delete or merge duplicate contacts.
- Add any new contact information you have been meaning to include (from business cards, scraps of paper, emails, etc.).
- There is great satisfaction in crossing tasks off our to-do list, but after a while, these old tasks become clutter. Delete tasks that you have already completed.
- Are you flag happy? Remove flags that are outdated or no longer require a follow-up task.
- Go through your notes section to delete those that are no longer relevant.
- If your notes could use some better organization, go through and categorize them or create folders to sort them into.
Clearing out your Outlook should take no more than 30 minutes, but if it requires more time, set aside 15-30 minutes each day until you feel refreshed. Stay tuned next week for the next two parts in our Spring Cleaning series!