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Outlook productivity tip - transform e-mail into action

Melissa Macbeth of Microsoft has been blogging on the topic of time and task management in Outlook - a subject near and dear to my heart. I co-wrote a training class for Microsoft Learning on the topic with Jeremy Wright last year and have been discussing Outlook as a productivity platform for years.
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Written by Marc Orchant on

Melissa Macbeth of Microsoft has been blogging on the topic of time and task management in Outlook - a subject near and dear to my heart. I co-wrote a training class for Microsoft Learning on the topic with Jeremy Wright last year and have been discussing Outlook as a productivity platform for years in my blogs and other writings. Melissa shows in a post on her blog how Outlook 2007 makes the process of transforming an e-mail into a calendar item an easier proposition in the new version by dragging an e-mail message directly onto the date you wish to create an appointment in the Date Navigator in the new To-Do Task Bar in Outlook.

Here's a tip how you can do this - today - in the version of Outlook you're currently using. Get Anagram. I've often referred to Anagram as one of the two utilities that actually makes my PC smarter (the other is ActiveWords). Anagram is an intelligent text parser that can capture any text you select and figure out what kind of Outlook object it should create - a new contact, task, or appointment. It's amazingly good at figuring out what you want and, in the rare instance when your selection is ambiguous enough to cause it to question what you intended, it takes a single click to finish what you've started.

I have saved dozens, possibly hundreds, of hours of typing over the years thanks to this utility. Everything gets copied to the appropriate field instantly. No retyping. No copy and paste.

Anagram works in all versions of Outlook from 97/98 through 2003. Anagram also works with the Palm Desktop personal information manager and with Salesforce.com or NetSuite on a subscription model ($6.95 per month). A generous 45-day evaluation is offered. Pricing is as follows:

"One-time USD $29.95 per copy. You may purchase a second copy to be used on an alternate computer (e.g. at home instead of at work) for USD $12.95. To use one copy of anagram™ with both Outlook® and Palm™ Desktop at the same time you may purchase the second feature at USD $12.95."

What's really great about Anagram is that you can select text anywhere - on a web page, in a Word document, or in an e-mail message - and have it instantly added to an new object in Outlook. If you use Outlook (or one of the other supported applications) try it. I suspect you'll purchase a license long before the trial period expires. 

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