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'white paper' for Outlook?

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  • 'white paper' for Outlook?

    Hi all,

    I started a new job today and will be using Outlook, which I've never used before. I thought I read something recently about a 'white paper' for Outlook that might help me to figure out how to use all of the functions. Does anyone know where I might find this information?

    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    There is no such thing

    There may be a document that describes a lot of Outlook's features but there is nothing of which I am aware that will show you ALL of Outlook's features. There really are a lot.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.

    Comment


    • #3
      Checkout the Products section (books & whitepapers) - David Co. sells a guide to setting up Outlook consistent with GTD methods. If you're familiar with Outlook you can figure most of it out yourself, but for $10 you can buy some coaching.

      Mark

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      • #4
        Originally posted by blythe
        Hi all,

        I started a new job today and will be using Outlook, which I've never used before. I thought I read something recently about a 'white paper' for Outlook that might help me to figure out how to use all of the functions. Does anyone know where I might find this information?

        Thanks for your help.
        Davidco has white paper (actually a downloadable pdf file) which shows how to set up Outlook for GTD. It costs $10, and can be found under "products" on this web site. It is well worth the money, but it is not an introduction to Outlook per se. I am afraid that I have no idea how useful it would be to an utter Outlook novice, but it is detailed and thorough enough for most people who have a little familiarity with Outlook to get a decent gtd implementation going.

        p.s. Outlook has too many features for any one person to use in an effective manner. A lot of them are actually not very useful at all for most people.

        Comment


        • #5
          A couple of recommendations

          Originally posted by mcogilvie
          Davidco has white paper (actually a downloadable pdf file) which shows how to set up Outlook for GTD. It costs $10, and can be found under "products" on this web site. It is well worth the money, but it is not an introduction to Outlook per se. I am afraid that I have no idea how useful it would be to an utter Outlook novice, but it is detailed and thorough enough for most people who have a little familiarity with Outlook to get a decent gtd implementation going.

          p.s. Outlook has too many features for any one person to use in an effective manner. A lot of them are actually not very useful at all for most people.
          I would recommend one of three books to get a start on figuring out how Outlook can work for you. Microsoft Press publishes a Plain and Simple series - heavily illustrated, full color, and broad but not deep. The same press publishes a Step-by-Step guide. It's more technical and goes into greater depth, costs a bit more, and is good if you want a longer-lasting reference. The third is Total Workday Control by Michael Linenberger. It's a different kind of Outlook book but his advice and recommendations on how to set up and use Outlook are very well aligned with GTD.

          Oh... and as to the PS above - I would argue that "a lot of them" are simply not very useful for you. I have used and configured Outlook in a wide variety of business settings over the years. Trust me - Microsoft may be guilty of a number of software sins but engineering useless features is not one of them. They have extensive user feedback and empirical data collected from thousands of hours of customer interviews and usability testing to justify every feature in the program. The problem is that, like much of Office, it's a Swiss Army knife application designed to meet any conceivable need. As a result, there's a lot in there that might seem useless to any individual user.

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          • #6
            'Take Back Your Life' may be of use

            In my quest to read everything GTD-related I came across Take Back Your Life!: Using Microsoft Outlook to Get Organized and Stay Organized by Sally McGhee. It's an in-depth walk-through of her system (similar to David Allen's - see other posts in this forum), but is very Outlook-specific. May be worth browsing through if you see it in a bookstore... Amazon link

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by mochant
              Trust me - Microsoft may be guilty of a number of software sins but engineering useless features is not one of them. They have extensive user feedback and empirical data collected from thousands of hours of customer interviews and usability testing to justify every feature in the program. The problem is that, like much of Office, it's a Swiss Army knife application designed to meet any conceivable need. As a result, there's a lot in there that might seem useless to any individual user.
              This is a little off-topic, but.. the inclusion of all those features which are justified by all that research contributes to both a steeper-than-necessary learning curve for Outlook users and a plethora of security flaws. From my experience, Outlook can be used in a simple and very useful manner, and in many ways it is the best Windows PIM. However, it's also is a victim of design by committee and creeping featureitis, like a lot of microsoft software.
              Sometimes a swiss army knife is so heavy, it makes your pants fall down.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mcogilvie
                This is a little off-topic, but.. the inclusion of all those features which are justified by all that research contributes to both a steeper-than-necessary learning curve for Outlook users and a plethora of security flaws.
                XP and 2003 vesions of Outlook have been out for, what, over five years? These are pretty safe and 2003, properly configured, is damn near idiot proof as far as security.

                Regarding the features, there is no other tool that does everything Outlook can. I often hear that Thunderbird is better or Outlook is bloated. People making these comments completely fail to realize just how much Outlook can do. It is not JUST an email client. If you only want email, don't use Outlook. It isn't perfect (proprietary DB?!? Please stop it!) but it works very well and nobody else on any platform (very much to my chagrin) has anything comparable.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by webagogue
                  I often hear that Thunderbird is better or Outlook is bloated. People making these comments completely fail to realize just how much Outlook can do.
                  But I didn't make those comments. Aside from "tone of voice", I think my comments are compatible with yours. I'm glad you like Outlook a lot, but it will never like you back- it's just software.

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                  • #10
                    Just go ahead and get the white paper

                    I has several false starts with Outlook over the past several years, trying to set it up for my small business, and I always gave up because it was so overwhelming. I didn't know where to start. I certainly didn't want to get one of the 700-page guidebooks and waste time plowing through that.

                    Then I found Davidco and the white paper. That paper simplifies things so you don't get confused by all the details and capabilities you don't really need. I used it to just get the task lists set up. .

                    Then, after you've gotten comfortable with that level of Outlook, you can start incorporating a few of the other things it can do--or not, as you prefer.

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                    • #11
                      thanks!

                      Hi again,

                      Thanks very much for all of the information and opinions provided. I will look everything over.

                      Regards,
                      ~b

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                      • #12
                        Or You Could go to the source

                        microsoft has a basic online training that is free...

                        here --> http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/tr...832721033.aspx

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