Recently, I was listening to a podcast from David Allen, the man behind the “Getting Things Done” methodology, and he recommended (paraphrase) “…to be more effective, Outlook users should start their app in calendar mode. ”
It’s true. Each morning, I find myself getting side-tracked by the inbox when I should first be looking at the “hard landscape” of the calendar first. An hour can easily pass while I process my inbox before I realize what the rest of my day looks like, that’s just wrong – and I knew it. When I heard this tip, I had one of those slap-your-forehead moments and said “Of course!”.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Locate your OUTLOOK.EXE file on your hard drive. Typically it’s under C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office somewhere. You can use Explorer’s search feature to locate it precisely.
- Once located, right click and use the Send To> Desktop to create a shortcut on the desktop. If you already have an Outlook icon, be sure you note which one just got added. You may not be able to edit the correct properties of the default icon.
- Now, locate the icon on the desktop
- Right click and select “Properties”
- Choose the Security tab and locate the “Target” field. At the end of the value in that field, add:
[space] /select outlook:calendar
- Click OK to save your changes
- Try the new icon
Once you are done reviewing your calendar, use the normal means to go to your inbox and start processing. Congratulations, you just became a little more effective.
(I typically launch Outlook from the Quick Launch bar since my desktop is usually obscured by one app or another.)