Campaign for an empty in-box

If you cannot do something with an email straight away, then file it, flag it, drag it, or delete it.

Dragging e-mail to the To-Do Bar or Calendar

I recommend you predominantly use dragging as a method for organising e-mail.

The key principle is to empty your inbox, centralise your action list, and having all the data you need to complete an task attached to the task, and dragging facilitates this.

You can drag an e-mail message from the Inbox directly onto your To-Do Bar or onto your calendar as an appointment.

Dragging e-mails enables you to remove them from your inbox and puts them in your To-Do Bar as a task; from here you can respond to them as you would an e-mail which is really useful.

Dragging an e-mail on the To-Do Bar into a Planning or Action Category

Figure 6. Dragging an e-mail on the To-Do Bar and allocate a Category.

To drag an e-mail into your one of your Categories on your To-Do Bar follow these steps:

  1. Right-click and drag the e-mail to the Task icon in the Folder List.

  2. From the shortcut menu, choose Move Here As Task With Attachment.
  3. In the Task window, the e-mail Subject line appears in the Task Subject line, and the e-mail is inserted into the task as an envelope icon.
  4. Review your subject line to ensure it says want you want and if not you can change it.
  5. Click Categorize on the ribbon and select the appropriate Category.
  6. Click Save and Close.

You can just as easily drag and drop e-mails onto your calendar as you can the To-Do Bar.

To drag an e-mail onto your Calendar, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click and drag the e-mail message to the Calendar icon.

  2. On the shortcut menu, click Move Here As Appointment With Attachment.
  3. In the appointment window, the e-mail Subject line appears as the appointment Subject line, and the e-mail is inserted into the appointment as an envelope icon, as shown in Figure 7.
  4. Dragging an e-mail message to the Calendar

    Figure 7. Dragging an e-mail message to the Calendar.

  5. Review your Subject line to ensure it says want you want, and if not, you can change it.
  6. Click Save and Close.

Inserting an e-mail message or document into an existing task

One of the great things about Tasks is that you can insert files and contacts and e-mail messages into them, making it easy to have the supporting information you need to complete your task.

You have a choice when inserting e-mail messages into Tasks.

If the information you need is in an attached document in the e-mail message, you can either insert the entire e-mail message, which includes the attachment, or you can insert the attached document only.

If you don’t need the body of the e-mail message and only need the attached document, you can first save the document in your My Documents, and then link the document to the Task.

This way, the document is in two places. When you delete the Task, you’ll still have access to the document in your My Documents.

Or if you want the e-mail message and the document, you can insert the message into the Task and the document will go with it.

To insert an e-mail message or its attachment into an existing Task, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click an existing Task.

  2. In the Task, click the Insert tab, and choose Attach Item from the ribbon.
  3. In the Insert Item dialog box, select Inbox.
  4. Locate the e-mail message that you want to insert, and click it once to select it.
  5. In the Insert Item dialog box, in the Insert As section, select either Text Only or Attachment, as shown in Figure 8.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Inserting an e-mail message into an existing Task

    Figure 8. Inserting an e-mail message or an e-mail attachment into an existing Task.

Inserting an e-mail message or document into an existing calendar appointment

Some of the e-mail you receive will be information that you’ll want to have handy during meetings or phone calls.

When you insert an e-mail message into an existing appointment, you have two options: you can insert the text, or you can insert the entire e-mail message.

When you include the whole e-mail message in an appointment, you can open the message and respond to it or just view the information in it.

When you insert the text of a message only, you can’t respond to the message, but you can see the text. This is useful in relation to using a PDA. When you synchronise with a PDA, the text of the message shows up in the appointment so that you have it available. If you insert an e-mail message, you cannot open the message from a PDA.

To insert an e-mail message or its text into an existing Calendar appointment, follow these steps:

  1. Double-click an existing Calendar appointment.

  2. In the appointment, click the Insert tab, and select Attach Item from the ribbon.
  3. In the Insert Item dialog box, select Inbox.
  4. Locate the e-mail message that you want to insert, and click it once to select it.
  5. In the Insert Item dialog box, in the Insert As section, select either Text Only or Attachment, as shown in Figure 9.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Inserting an e-mail message into an existing Calendar appointment

    Figure 9. Inserting an e-mail message or the text of a message into an existing Calendar appointment.

Flagging

Flagging an e-mail message creates a synchronized link between the item in the Inbox and the To-Do Bar; it does not create a Task or an appointment, and the e-mail message stays in the Inbox.

A flagged e-mail message in Carol's Inbox

Figure 10. A flagged e-mail message in the Inbox.

If you are going to be flagging e-mail, I suggest you have the Flag Status Field and the Category field showing in your Inbox as shown in Figure 11. To add these fields, follow these steps:

  1. In the Inbox, right-click the Subject heading, and then click Customize Current View.

  2. In the Customize View: Messages dialog box, click Fields.
  3. In the Select Available Fields From section, choose All Mail Fields To Add Flag Status. Choose Frequently-Used Fields from the Select Available Fields From section to add Categories.
  4. Adding the Flag Status and Category fields to the Inbox

    Figure 11. Adding the Flag Status and Category fields to the Inbox.

To flag and categorize an e-mail message onto the To-Do Bar, follow these steps:

  1. In the Inbox, click the Flag Status field of the message, and the flag will turn red.

  2. In the Inbox, right-click the Categories field of the message, and then select a category. This e-mail message will show up on your To-Do Bar under the category you selected with no due date. See Figure 12.
  3. Flagging and categorizing an e-mail message onto the To-Do Bar

    Figure 12. Flagging and categorizing an e-mail message onto the To-Do Bar.

The advantage of dragging instead of flagging

Dragging is not as intuitive as flagging, but dragging provides you with some very strong advantages.

  • You can drag e-mail to the To-Do Bar as well as to the Calendar.

  • You can create Tasks that capture relevant supporting information needed to complete it.
  • You can empty the Inbox by moving emails to their relavent actions.
  • You have only one location for storing your To-dos.
  • If you delete a flagged e-mail message by accident, you remove it from the To-Do Bar without notification or warning.

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