Effective Time Management, Using Microsoft Outlook – #bookreview

Effective Time Management: Using Microsoft Outlook to Organize Your
Work and Personal Life
By Lothar Seiwert and Holger Woeltje
(Microsoft Press, list price $29.99, paperback; digital list price $23.99, Kindle)

To be honest, I never have liked Microsoft Outlook.

My first frustrating and confusing experiences with Outlook several years ago left me convinced that I had absolutely no reason to quit using paper desktop calendars and separate email programs.

But after reading Effective Time Management: Using Microsoft Outlook to Organize Your Work and Personal Life, I have decided to put Outlook back on my PC. I am now giving it another chance to help me exert some semblance of control over the events, meetings and messages in my days and nights.

The book’s authors, Lothar Seiwert and Holger Woeltje, are “two highly experienced time management experts from Germany, the largest national economy in Europe.”

Effective Time Management is nicely organized and well written. It also has an adequate number of screen shots, tips and step-by-step lists to help you get a handle on Outlook, even if you are, like me, a newcomer to its latest version.

Their 248-page book is divided into seven chapters. And, while the focus is on using Outlook 2010 to help you improve your time management skills, the authors helpfully include how-to steps for Outlook 2003 and 2007, as well.

The chapters are:

  1. How Not to Drown in the Email Flood
  2. How to Work More Effectively with Tasks and Priorities
  3. How to Gain More Time for What’s Essential with an Effective Week Planner
  4. How to Make Your Daily Planning Work in Real Life
  5. How to Schedule Meetings So They Are Convenient, Effective, and Fun
  6. How to use OneNote for Writing Goals, Jotting Down Ideas, and Keeping Notes
  7. How to Truly Benefit from This Book

The book’s one appendix is a list of recommended readings that deal with time management and keeping your productivity energy level high. And the 14-page index is well-detailed.

Seiwert and Woeltje recommend that you use Outlook to “plan your professional life and private life together…so that you avoid conflicting appointments…unless private planning is prohibited on your office computer or you don’t have access to it on the weekend or in the evening.”

They also recommend that you follow “the Kiesel Principle” so you can “gain more time for what matters most each week,” in your work life and your personal life.  “Take about 30 minutes to plan your week,” they explain. “Initially, it might take you longer, but after a few weeks, you will get used to it and it will become routine.”

It’s all about achieving a healthy balance in life – and using Microsoft Outlook to help you get there and stay there.

Si Dunn

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