Interested in processing e-mail at warp speed? Read on!

“Making e-mail agile is fundamental to keeping up with all you have to do every day.”
– Taco Oosterkamp

I’m Taco Oosterkamp. I love showing people how to turn Outlook into a powerful tool instead of an application that drains the energy out of you.

Even Microsoft employees buy my book to super-charge their e-mail!

I’ve already trained thousands of people to use clear, easy steps to empty their inbox every single day without fail. I love traveling around the world and would love to visit your organization or business and super-charge your employees myself if you, too, need serious relief in an all-too-often time- and efficiency-wasting arena.

And because I’m committed to effectiveness, my presentation rocks:
•    In a live session of 1 to 2 hours I explain and demonstrate what to do in Outlook to get a better overview and work faster. Minimum attendance is 50 people, maximum attendance is not an issue.
•    You’ll get a license to use a software tool that sets up extra folders, buttons and shortcuts, all of which I’ll explain during the session. This information alone will save each attendee almost an hour a day per person. The software tool only has to run one time and it’s not a plug-in for Outlook. And if you decide you don’t want to use it, no harm, no foul: it’s optional!
•    Each attendee will get a copy of my book ‘Each Day Empty’ which explains in clear, concise English everything I will demonstrate during your live session.
•    Each attendee will also receive a mini course by e-mail. The mini-course revisits the information in a low-key, engaging style, so nothing you learn during the live session will be forgotten.

Based on the size of your organization and the physical location of the live session, I can offer you a gigantic boost in e-mail productivity at a very affordable per-person cost.

So don’t wait. My calendar fills up fast. The sooner you get these keys to greater email speed and productivity, the sooner you’ll be saving time, energy, and money.

Contact my manager Eva de Vries at eva@meereffect.nl today to receive a proposal or schedule a consultation by telephone.

P.S. I’ve said it once already, but it bears repeating: Even Microsoft employees buy my book to super-charge their e-mail! If this isn’t an unofficial-but-telling endorsement of the value of what I know and show, I don’t know what is!

Read Your E-mail, Faster

Processing e-mail can take a lot of time. And while writing responses may account for most of the time and effort, if you can speed up reading new e-mails, that helps a lot, too.

Minimizing the amount of keystrokes and clicks that I need to do my work has always been a great passion of mine. One of the Outlook features that really helps is the Reading Pane. You can display it via the main menu: View | Reading Pane | Right.

When the Reading Pane is visible, you can see the contents of the currently-selected e-mail without having to open it by hand. This removes a little bit of hassle for each e-mail, which adds up when you receive tens of hundreds of e-mails every day.

Most people that I train or coach are a little afraid of the Reading Pane, as there have been warnings of virus activity. Not to worry: in new versions, this has been fixed. The help file for Outlook 2007 states: “You can view messages safely in the Reading Pane. Potentially malicious scripts or attachments are not activated or opened automatically in the Reading Pane.”

Try it to see how it works for you.

Get your inbox to empty after your holiday – fast

In my Each Day Empty eBook, I describe how to quickly empty your inbox reliably day after day. But after an extended holiday, you may need some extra help to tackle your inbox. My own Outlook downloaded 3,200 emails when I returned –  was I ever glad I already knew some of the following tips!  Now they’re yours, too!

  1. Learn how to sort and group e-mails in your mail reader. In Outlook you can use the View | Arrange By item in the main menu.
  2. Sort all mails in your inbox by Subject. A lot of the spam that gets through your spam filter will be grouped together now. You can quickly remove all mail starting with Cyrillic symbols (unless you happen to live in Russia) and any spam that has the same subject repeated in the Subject box can easily be spotted.
  3. Next, sort all of your mails by the To field. This may not be relevant to everyone, but I still get e-mails (especially spam) that was sent to an e-mail address other than my own. Sorting this way helps remove these messages easily.
  4. Now sort the remaining e-mails by From and Date. This way you group all mail that came from each specific sender, in the order they were sent. Your rate of speed may vary while doing this, but I tend to scan quickly through all mail, starting with the oldest ones. But I don’t reply to any of the mails at this stage because this way I can read up on the developments, better understand my customers and employees, and keep myself from replying to something which has changed or been revoked in a more recent e-mail.
  5. After taking these steps, I’m up-to-date again. I’m aware of current issues, I know whether there are serious problems that need my attention, and I know which e-mails I’m going to want to answer first.

Even before I go on vacation, I think about my first days back in the office. In my out-of-office autoreply, I mention the date I think I will be answering e-mails again – and make that date several days after I return from vacation. This way, I don’t have to tackle e-mails while in an ‘urgent’ catch-up mood and I can continue to feel rested and relaxed from the vacation I’ve just enjoyed.

Fortunately, as soon as I’m up-to-date again, it’s a breeze to keep my inbox empty each day for the rest of the year.

Get more screen real-estate, on the cheap

Did you know? With Outlook 2007 and newer versions, you can hide or display the Navigation Pane (at the left side of the screen) by clicking Alt+F1.


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Use Alt + F2 to toggle the display of the To-Do Bar at the right side of the screen.

Ctrl + F1 hides or displays the Ribbon. This doesn’t work in the main Outlook window but it can help to free up space when editing a Task Item or other item.

[w] = I’m waiting for you

Did you know? Using a simple [w] in your emails can greatly improve the quality of your life. Read this step-by-step explanation to find out exactly how this works in Microsoft Outlook.

If you delegate, order, or ask anything via email, you can command Outlook to add that email to a Waiting For list just by adding a simple [w] to the body of the email.

A [w] at the bottom of your email is inconspicuous, so most people won’t notice it. It’s a powerful tool to keep your Waiting For list up to date and your mind at ease

To enable this feature, simply create a new WaitingFor-Email folder and add a rule.

I copied this description from my webpage at http://waiting-for.com. I built that website to let others know about the [w] command and encourage you to do the same. Go ahead — make someone’s day!

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Only CC’d? Please display in another color

If you receive scads of mails every day, it’s handy to be able to quickly see if each one was sent to you directly, or if you’re just on somebody’s CC list.

In Outlook, here’s how to set up this function:

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