Trucks tips

Move Complex and Non-Critical Emails Into a To-Do Folder

In Outlook 365, you can create a structure of folders for organizing emails. Many people use the folder structure for archiving emails, but folders are also a great way to manage incoming emails as tasks and get them out of your inbox view. We're going to use these folders to do email triage, organize the messy inbox, and overcome email overload. To do this, create three new folders under your inbox folder. The first is a "To Do" folder, and the second and third are subfolders called "Follow Up" and "Someday." These loosely follow the Getting Things Done® or GTD® methodology of organizing tasks. Getting Things Done® and GTD® are registered trademarks of the David Allen Company. To create these folders:

  • Right-click your "Inbox" folder, and select "New Folder."
  1. Title the first folder "To Do."
  2. Click the arrow next to the Inbox folder to view your new To-Do folder.
  3. Right-click the To-Do folder, select new folder, and name this folder "Someday."
  4. Repeat to create a "Follow Up" subfolder under the To-Do folder. Now you have four folders for incoming emails, and you can use all four to manage your tasks and keep your inbox clear. When new emails arrive, move them to the appropriate folder: Inbox – The only emails that stay in your inbox are those that you should answer immediately. They’re either urgent or can be handled quickly (in three minutes or less). To Do – Drag non-urgent emails and emails that will require more than a three-minute response into your to-do folder. You’ll follow up on these items later, but moving them immediately keeps your inbox empty while you process the emails. Follow Up – Move emails to this folder that are put on hold. Things like replies you're waiting to get or tasks that you've delegated. Someday – Some emails don’t require a response. Instead, they’re things you’d like read/review one day when you have time. Drag those into the someday folder to review at some point in the future when work slows down and you need something to do. This might be the equivalent of an Archive folder, but you can use it for items that you'll need to quickly access in the next few weeks. After processing your email, schedule time on your calendar every day to review and handle the items in your to-do folder. This method has three benefits: First, it keeps your inbox clear, allowing you to achieve inbox zero and avoid getting overwhelmed by a cluttered inbox. New emails that come in at a steady stream don't get mixed up with existing emails you've already read, pushing all the important emails down. Second, your emails are better organized! You have a set place to go now for emails that need your attention—just as many folders as you need to stay on top of your email, but no more than you need. Instead of creating countless folders (for different projects, clients, or other categories), you have just four to work with. Third—and perhaps best of all—it allows you to manage your time better throughout the day, focusing on important tasks instead of getting distracted by constant email questions and requests.

Change your Teams theme

Did you know that you can change the look and feel of Microsoft Teams? Simply open Teams settings, navigate to the General tab and choose whether to use the traditional white background or alternatively apply the dark or high contrast modes.

Turn off your camera

In the same fashion you can turn on and off you video camera. You can either use the meeting setup panel (item 2 above) to disable your camera; or simply use the meeting control panel to enable video again.

Blur your meeting video background

If you use Teams for video meetings, this might sound familiar. Your home office is a mess and you need to join this video call. Two solutions for that: first off, you can use the Background Settings function (item 3 above) to blur your video background right on from the meeting setup or the meeting controls. The second solution is way more elegant : use a virtual background (we’ll go through the process later). If for some reason, the Background setting button seems inactive in the Meeting Setup panel; make sure you turn on your video camera first.

Stop the echo in Teams meetings

When you and other meeting participants join an audio or video Teams meeting from the same room, you will hear annoying echoes. You can easily get rid of the echo by hitting the Audio off button in the Meeting Setup panel (show above as item 4).

Record your meeting

One important capability of Teams that you might want to use from the get-go is the ability to record a meeting. You can initiate a recording from the Meeting control panel as shown below. The recording itself is then kept in Microsoft Stream, and you can easily share the recording as a link in a Channel conversation (or by email if needed). Once the meeting is done, you’ll receive an email with a link to your recording in Microsoft Stream. If you initiated your meeting from the channel, a link to the recording will be also made available as a post in the respective channel. Ad-hoc meetings recordings will be available in the Chat tab for the meeting itself, alongside with an file exchanged, meeting notes and whiteboard if used. You might as well consider adding the Stream app to your channel so fellow members, can easily access all meetings pertaining to the group.

Start Cisco Webex Meetings from Teams

Microsoft and Cisco compete in the area in the area of Team communication and collaboration. Still, your company might be using both. Did you know that you can integrate Webex into your Teams Channel? There is a Webex app that you can easily add as into a Channel tab. The team members can then easily access their Webex meetings and join their own Webex meetings from Microsoft Teams. They are also able to schedule Webex meetings and have the Team notified via the Posts tab.

Integrate Trello in Teams

Many teams use Trello kanban boards for a myriad of collaboration use cases. Those could span ongoing task management as well as more strategic planning of projects, products or programs. You can easily open Trello as an App in Teams by adding it using the Apps tab to access your relevant boards and cards. You can also add it as a 3rd party tab in your channel. Both will require to provide your Trello user credentials.

Adding a Calendar

Visualizing and managing a shared calendar is probably another great potential usage for Teams. So far, Teams doesn’t provide a straightforward Outlook integration. That said, you can add a Website tab to your Teams channel and point to to either your your Outlook group Calendar or Google Calendar URL. Most probably users will need to input their user credentials in order to access the calendars.

Use Teams to manage employee shifts

if you manage a group of employees working in shifts in retail, call center or even a small factory, you can use Teams in order to plan and share work schedules. The Shifts application that you can easily add to Teams, makes it very simple to manage the shifts schedule, receive schedule requests for PTO, medical leave or vacations from your colleagues and even allow them to clock in and out their shifts. You can then create employee attendance reports are needed. Cool!

;