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Managing Projects in Outlook

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  • Managing Projects in Outlook

    I was struggling a bit with managing projects and sub-projects in Outlook, and thought I'd share something I found particularly useful: the role field.

    Like most of you, for the 20 & 30k areas of my life, I have multiple projects. I added the Role field to tasks in outlook, and now have a way of keeping an areas' projects grouped together.

    For example, under finances, I have projects related to health insurance, life insurance, $ allocations, stock market investments and real estate investments.

    By filling in the Role field with Financial Freedom, all of the projects are now grouped together.

    Best regards

    Andy

  • #2
    When do you need to see and use such a grouping?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 1happyathlete View Post
      By filling in the Role field with Financial Freedom, all of the projects are now grouped together.
      I have tried doing things like this in the past. The problem is that filling in a text field requires that you remember the exact wording of the phrase. I have yet to figure out how to configure a field (created or existing) as a drop down multi-choice box (like the categories dialog). Were I to be able to do that, it would solve a lot of problems with using Outlook alone.

      Tom S.

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      • #4
        Managing projects in Outlook is a challenge.

        The first problem is that the program really isn't built for it. You can't have sub-tasks so there's no really good way to tie projects together and then use contexts to capture next actions. The second issue is that you can use the netcentrics add-in (which I do) but I don't feel that the review process of those projects is very efficient.

        What I have implemented after a lot of thought and then just out of the natural growth of using the product has been to use three main folders called - Active Projects, Potential Projects, and Completed Projects. Under each of these folders I create a project as necessary and file all of my email correspondence (i.e. support materials) accordingly.

        I am able to easily review this projects list during my weekly review and I can then create any necessary actions based on what comes into my head.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 1happyathlete View Post
          I was struggling a bit with managing projects and sub-projects in Outlook, and thought I'd share something I found particularly useful: the role field.

          Like most of you, for the 20 & 30k areas of my life, I have multiple projects. I added the Role field to tasks in outlook, and now have a way of keeping an areas' projects grouped together.
          Having recently - this winter - fully written out my HOFs, I was planning on tieing all the k's together this spring. I can fully see how this must benefit those who do. Although quite a few of my goals, visions, purposes, and projects fit well together, the task of combining all does seem daunting. Therefore, thanks for this idea.

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          • #6
            For what it's worth dealing with projects is really one of the key components I find useful in Franklin Covey's PlanPlus. That and their today screen. I use kind of a hybrid system right now with GTD on the front end/near term and integrating some of the PlanPlus for Outlook stuff to help organize lists and projects on the backend (think of it as part of my electronic filing/org system). The projects function works well for topical lists as well as true projects with multiple steps and subgroupings of sub-tasks - I tailor it to my needs and required complexity of what I'm working on. This is something to check out if you are really serious about doing something like this in outlook. The newer iterations of PlanPlus for outlook are pretty decent and stable particularly the most recent (I'll not that this has not always been the case). I'll also note that each project task leaves the category field unfilled so you can still specify however it is you want to group it. Tends to work well for me.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Borisoff View Post
              When do you need to see and use such a grouping?
              I use GTD in combination with Tony Robbin's RPM. GTD is fantastic for bottom up, and RPM is fantastic for top down.

              In RPM I have several Categories of Improvement for both personal and professional, such as health, finances, family, etc. I would consider these similar to GTD 50,000 feet.

              I tend to schedule my time in blocks, so that instead of taking a bunch of random actions, I'm focusing on a particular area of my life; therefore, I like to group my projects by area of focus, so I can see them together.

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