Client Feedback – Productivity with Outlook

Hi Geoff, the biggest change I’ve implemented that has had an immediate impact is the use of tasks and removing the reading pane from my mail view. I find I’m only opening emails once and actioning them on the spot rather than previewing, thinking about it, coming back to it later. The other big impact has been turning off the pop up notifications. I didn’t realise how much of a distraction they were and now when I check my inbox I’m able to dedicate time to “processing” emails rather than having a quick, pointless preview. Thank you once again for running such a great course. Rohan – City of Boroondara – August 2018


Hi Geoff, I can say that I am still operating my Outlook as it was set up with your help during our course in April. In short, I’m really happy with the set up! The ‘to do’ list is an active part of my daily planning and it really is working for me, an absolute breath of fresh air that I truly see the benefits of using it. My inbox maintains around only 12 emails which is manageable. I still have the email pop up email reminder and reading pane turned off.

I am using my calendar a lot more now and I also have some rules set up which has greatly reduced the inbox with unimportant emails that I can view in another folder when I choose to.
Overall, I have received a lot of benefit from your course and will maintain my Outlook learnings from here on permanently. Thanks for your help, much appreciated.  Detective Sergeant – WA Police April 2018


Hi there Geoff, Thank you for introducing the Task bar to me, I love it and will be using this for the rest of my life. Other than that, have slowly started to use one note and have now implemented my Calendar more to my everyday work schedule. Many thanks for showing me the way. John, CSR Bradford. April 2018


Hi Geoff, I don’t know about anyone else, but this has helped me tremendously. My email was always reasonably organised, but now, it’s amazing. I currently have five emails in my inbox (including this one), which is incredible seeing I used to have nearly 200. I’ve used colours in Outlook for many years, but have improved how I use the colours and other conditional formatting. I am now using the task list fully, so I know exactly what I have to achieve. Coupled with opening Outlook in the calendar (and leaving it open on a second screen) allows me to know what I’ve got coming up at a glance.

I use some rules, and started a new one to send certain emails to a different folder, but found this wasn’t working for me as I wasn’t noticing the email sitting there, so I’ve canned that one, but I can go back again should I want to later. All in all, it was a fantastic course, one which a previous student recommended to me and I’m grateful she did.Steve – Sergeant, WA Police – Oct 2017


Hi Geoff

Wow what a difference the course made for me… I was very excited to go back to the office and set up my outlook with some of the new things I had learned. So now my Inbox is colour coded so I only am interested in what is in it for me (we have a group email that we all get) so it depends if you’re on email duty. This is saving me valuable time in deciphering if I am to action the email. I have even created a template for the team to use. And have so many more that we are going to set up, then we are all on the same page and there is one source of truth. Sensational!!  

I have recommended your course to others and have found it absolutely invaluable.Colleen, Employee Services Officer. TAFE NSW July 2017


Hi Geoff, my life is forever changed lol. I have put into place a few of the things I felt would immediately make a difference and they certainly have:

  • My calendar is far more organised with the colour coding
  • I am being far more disciplined and not checking email every time one comes in
  • I am assigning time to read and answer email and if I need to come back to something I am flagging it for my task list which has stopped me having to search for it every time. 
  • I am using the tasks much better and attaching the relevant documents needed for the task!! 
  • The reading folder is awesome and I am taking 30 mins every day to make sure that I read the newsletters and delete the ones that aren’t relevant instead of keeping them all  
  • I have started using notes which makes a difference to the amount of email I need to keep
  • I am deleting heaps of old email where the information can be stored elsewhere

That’s all without having to go back to the productivity with outlook manual. There are still some other things I’d like to try over the next couple of weeks. I really appreciate the time you spent with us. It was invaluable to me. Helen – Coordinator NSW Health, May 2017


Hi Geoff,

I cannot explain how I did my job without using my to-do task list! I use it all day, I constantly flag emails for follow up and only ever seem to have 10 emails in my inbox. I do tend to move tasks about but at least things don’t get forgotten. My life has changed, I even use it at home! Kylie – Local Government Administration


Hi Geoff,

Seems to be working very well for me. Since the course I don’t have any emails that I’ve received that are still sitting in my inbox and things are being actioned straight away. Also I am using the tasks tab quite regularly and I’m finding that I’m not forgetting things as much as before because items won’t go away until they are finished. Thanks for the help, it’s been very valuable.  Daniel , Team Leader in Local Government 2016


Hi Geoff,

All is going extremely well here. I must say that that was the most useful training that I have ever done. The tasks have completely changed how I save and organise all the small contracts I look after. Thanks. Phil – Surveillance Officer, Local Government. 2016


Good morning Geoff,

The training was amazing – a big thank you. I have really focused on using the (Outlook training) manual each day to try and tweak & make improvements. I am currently in the process of “filing emails” with the target of only having a “screen” of emails by COB this Friday.  The most powerful thing I have done is set “rules” for emails that clog my inbox, they are a nice to know, nice to be over and great reading etc. but not a priority. Having them sent straight to my reading file has certainly reduced the inbox nightmare I had.

Thank you once again.  Craig – Head Teacher


Hi Geoff, thanks for following up. The most valuable thing I took from the Personal Productivity with Outlook training was the task list. It’s not something that I was using before and I have found it quite effective. I have been able to get more things done and it serves as a useful reminder for tasks that are not usually a part of day to day operations. It also helps me follow up on things that I have requested from people. Ian Rice – Logistics


Thanks so much for the workshop (Personal Productivity with Outlook Webinar), it was absolutely fantastic, I loved it. The workbook is brilliant also and a must have. Both workshop and workbook were / are really well presented, and I’ve been implementing a lot of what you have covered along the way, with more to do. It had always frustrated me knowing that I was using only perhaps 5% of the capacity of Outlook. A greater factor however, is that I had no idea what a fantastic productivity tool and work organiser Outlook can be! Webinar Participant

Thanks Drew. I have made a few changes. Have started delegating tasks electronically to some staff to get them in the habit and will be doing some lunchtime learning on some of the topics. Trying not to put so many reminders on my tasks and using the task list instead with a good grouped view. Auto colour coding significant emails as they come in.
Turned off arriving email notification and limited my email processing time to morning and afternoon. It’s great to go to my inbox and see a long list of hurried to and fros in a conversation and then apply some concerted effort/thought to the issue rather than get caught in the same cycle.  Mark – Program Manager – WA Government

Hi Drew. Have rarely been so focused. Every moment seems accounted for and I’m ticking things off the list with joy. Lisa – WA Government

HI Geoff, thank you so very much for the awesome Personal Productivity with Outlook training session. The has had a huge impact on my productivity; I’ve been able to execute the task function a lot better by switching off my reading pane – I do still find myself writing notes in my paper diary but I think over time I will get better at breaking this habit.
I’ve also enjoyed being able to create the quick-step email distribution lists and colour coding emails, separating those from my manager to those I am copied in on.
Now that I have defined my colour palette for the calendar, I’m able to see at a glance meetings that can be switched around if needed – this has probably increased my efficiently loads as I manage several calendars and quite often have to move meetings around. So, to see what can and can’t be shifted at a glance is really helpful and saves time. Thanks Geoff and will be in touch if I need any assistance with any of the features. Talitha – Local Government