5 Tips to Make Outlook a Project Management Software
Do you find it difficult to maintain your project’s momentum with the constant stream of emails?
If you’re struggling with email overload and can’t find the right project management software to streamline your processes, you might consider turning MS Outlook, the most widely used email program in the world, to a supercharged platform to project manage.
Top five Outlook hacks:
1. It wasn’t me. It was my alias
Emails can quickly consume your entire day. They will eat up your time and attention. Project aliases in MS Outlook can be a great way of controlling your email flow. It instantly removes the stress caused by the overwhelming amount of daily traffic.
Aliases can be a great way of keeping track of developments as soon as they happen. It is easy to mix up requests for project status updates and project requests with unrelated traffic. This can lead to important information getting lost. Aliases allow you to manage your rules and push traffic into specific folders. You can choose when and how to deal.
Don’t be afraid to break down your work in sections that are most suitable for you. Sub-folders are your friend. They can be thought of as separate departments that manage specific parts of the project with specific responsibilities. Emails can be subdivided for as long as you like, but it is a good idea start by seperating your emails by project, key deliverables and responsibility.
2. Pimp my inbox
Outlook’s vast collection of plug-ins is one its most powerful features.
It is important to make use of all the capabilities of MS Outlook plug-ins in order to repurpose them into project management tools. There are many applications that can be used for serious business. These include email dedupers and message recovery as well as auto-schedulers, alerts and alerts.
Why email someone when you can videoconference them on Google Hangouts! You can even chat face to face from your desk!
3. Take responsibility
MS Outlook allows you to be your own project manager. You are in complete control of your email traffic.
You can pay more attention and take care of your inbox like a newborn baby. It takes up more time each day and doesn’t stop.
I will be loud: Mailbox Zero status does not work! It will ruin your day, and take over your life. Don’t believe the myth that productivity will come naturally if you spend an hour scouring your inbox every day. It won’t. It is not a good idea to share email responsibility with other project participants. If you shift the responsibility of ‘Aoactioning” any task onto someone else, it can make it difficult for them to see the larger picture or care less. By responding to your emails, you can help the project move forward and take more control. Trust me, your emails won’t take more than an hour to respond. If they don’t, email might not be the right communication tool.
4. Get back your productivity
Project stress can be caused by not only meeting deadlines but also feeling stressed.
It’s tempting to make MS Exchange an integral part of your daily life, sharing updates and data and creating project notes. Many people rely on this collective responsibility to protect their vital data.
If your project is deleted, it’s wrong to depend on others. Instead, forward your project to a backup email address so you can forget about it.
Mail servers store your inbox at night and ease all your worries. They do more than that.