Microsoft Outlook is a go-to organizing tool. If you use it right it can save you time and stress. Use this article as a piece of a series of articles that will help guide you as begin organizing your Microsoft Outlook.

The Pesky Problem

You need to record to-dos on to your calendar, but you end up collecting scraps of paper everywhere as you jot things down to later transfer to your calendar. You want to accomplish three big things:

• Get rid of all those scraps of paper on your desk, in drawers, and lining your pockets

• You want to have a clear list of what it is you need to accomplish today, and have an easier time planning your day.

• You want to be able to see what the next action step you need to accomplish is. Making it easier to cross things off the to-do list.

Getting Your Email Calendar

Your calendar can help you reduce stress and get through your day without missing any important to-dos. When you get to organizing Microsoft Outlook you will find that your email calendar is a safe and reliable place to keep a number of important tasks. This means you won’t have to worry about forgetting daily tasks (or losing important slips of paper).

Keeping Track of it All.

Your email calendar is a great place to organize and record these everyday activities:

• All of your important meetings and appointments
• Follow-ups with clients or on important projects
• Calls you need to make
• You can set an all-day event reminder for time carved out for meetings, conferences, or other events
• Block out time to work on specific projects
• Life events: Birthdays, anniversaries, ect.

Make it Easy to Read.

What does my email calendar look like? Outlook gives you choices! You can view the day, week, or month. When you are organizing Microsoft Outlook you set your default view to what works best for you.

A Quick Tip: You can set your default view to Work Week. Then customize your view to show Monday through Friday. This will give you a great view of what you have to accomplish during the week.

Organizing your Microsoft Outlook calendar can be even better accomplished through the use of the color coding system. Don’t use so many colors that it becomes overwhelming and hard to read, but a sensible use of color can be very helpful. You’ll be able to see what your day, week, and month hold at a glance and where your priorities are.

Effectively Using Your Email Task List.

Your email also contains a task list. You may be confused about what the difference between your email task list and your email calendar. Your calendar is for active tasks, items you are committed to doing, they have specific timelines and due dates. Your task list is for an inactive list, things you intend to do, they don’t yet have a specific timeline or due date.

Using your task list for everyday tasks can create a HUGE list of tasks. This frequently means that you only do the first couple things on your list and to-dos further down the list just keep going further and further down the list.

What are some good examples of items that work for your task list? Ideas for future projects, family and friend gift ideas, music or bands you would like to find and listen to, books you want to read, your mission and vision for your business. Think of your task list as a place for long term brain storming.

A Word of Warning About Your Phone

Another great reason to keep your daily tasks in your email calendar instead of task list, your phone may not sync with the task list. Some phones, like the iPhone, do not currently sync with task list. This means when you are away from your computer you would be disconnected from your daily to-dos, a sure way to miss something!

You’ll never regret organizing your Microsoft Outlook so your calendar and task list are handling the jobs best suited to them. It will help reduce stress and get your day running smoother.

Author's Bio: 

Sherry Borsheim has been creating business organizing systems to help businesses and individuals get organized for over 23 years. She specializes in organizing Microsoft Outlook, and streamlining paper, email, time and space issues. Sherry is president of the International Association of Business Organizing which provides like-minded female business owners with the tools they need to grow their businesses, get organized, and be highly productive. To learn more and get instant access to YOUR free business organizing toolkit go to