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Michael E. Angier

By Michael Angier


Productivity Using a PIM

I recently helped a friend increase his focus and productivity by a factor of two. Yes, that's right. He feels his ability to manage his life has easily doubled in the past month. He's excited. He's directed. And he feels in control.

It wasn't some magic formula. It wasn't genius on my part. It was simply selling him on the value of using MS Outlook and using more of it than most people use.

Note: Please don't email me with complaints about Outlook and/or opinions about how or why other Personal Information Managers (PIMS) are better. Outlook isn't perfect. None of them are.

But effectively using a program that almost everyone has (it's part of MS Office) will make a significant difference in personal and professional effectiveness.

Personally, I can't imagine my life without Outlook.

Space does not permit me to tell you exactly HOW to use it--or even all the reasons WHY you should. Just trust me. I have no reservations whatsoever in advising you to maximize the use of this inexpensive program. If it wasn't already available for under $100--and included with MS Office--I would pay several thousand dollars for it.

Those who use Outlook, use it primarily for email. But it's actually six programs in one: Email, Calendar, Contacts, Task Manager, Journal and Notes. And all of them work together so you can easily get a handle on what's happened, what's happening and what's going to happen.

If you don't have Outlook, get it today. Because every day you don't have it is costing you. It's costing you in productivity, and its costing you in stress.

If you already have it, learn how to use it effectively. Get "Outlook for Dummies" or some other book on the program. With a little bit of study and some practice, you'll see your productivity soar. Even if you use only 50% of this program, you'll still be way ahead of most users. My estimate is that most of those who use it employ less than a fifth of its potential. Tap into 75% of its capability and you'll be a master.

My Outlook interfaces with my Palm Pilot, which enables me to access my 1500 contacts as well as my schedule when I'm not in front of my computer. It also serves as an added backup to this essential information.

Outlook also helps me to work more cooperatively with others in coordinating meetings, conferences, tasks and contacts. It allows me to operate a worldwide organization with no employees. And this time of year (summer) I do it part time.

Being more productive is an essential part of being your personal and professional best. In my opinion, using Outlook is an essential tool to help us do just that.



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Last Updated 07/20/2004