Get More Done with Categories (in Outlook)

If you have lots of things to do, like most of the human race, it can be difficult for our little brains to remember it all. Some people will pride themselves on never forgetting a thing, but is it really necessary to use up all this mental RAM in your brain, wouldn’t it be better to write it down and not have to think about it constantly. Writing it down in a traditional To Do list has it’s advantages over the mental storage option, but it also has many disadvantages. A traditional To Do list has to be carried with you at all times, it has to be re-written regularly, and can get confusing when priorities change.

Using Outlook to record your tasks overcomes these disadvantages and also comes with many other benefits. If you already use your task list in Outlook you will be familiar with entering tasks. If not a task can be entered in one of the following ways; Go to Tasks by pressing Ctrl 4 and click on New Task, or to go directly to a new task by selecting CTRL + SHIFT + K. Once you have entered all the tasks that need doing, you can organise the tasks into lists or categories. So take for example you have a couple of phone calls to make this week, you can create a category called “Phone”. If you have things to buy online you could have a category “Online Purchases”, Project names, colleagues names, website tasks etc, there are countless possible categories you must decide what ones work for you.

The benefits of putting your tasks into categories are the following

Reduced Stress: If you were to use a traditional To Do list every time you look at it you can become overwhelmed with the amount of items that still need to be done, you are reminded of all tasks even when you have no intention or time to complete them. If you categorise your tasks you will not be thinking about what you have to buy online while you are busy making phone calls or sending emails.

Increased Focus: When using a traditional To Do list you are more likely to be distracted by the tons of other tasks that still need attention, again with categories this is not possible as you will only go to the different categories when you are ready to complete the work in that category, allowing you to maintain your Focus as much as possible.

Tasks are easily Updated: You won’t have to rewrite your entire To Do list because you task changed, or has been completed

Tasks can be reassigned: If you want to delegate a task this can be done easily in Outlook by opening a task and clicking on Assign Task on the Toolbar.

Synchronise with Smart Phone Tasks can be synchronised with your Smart Phone meaning you have your task list with you at all times.

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