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January 05, 2006

GTD 2006.4: Using Google to tame Outlook

Today's Getting Things Done Tip is for anyone who needs a big stick to whack their Outlook into shape for the start of the new year: Use Google to tame Outlook.

Here's how:

1. Create a new folder in Outlook called Reference.
2. Dump all your existing folders in Outlook about everything except currently active projects into Reference.
3. Get the current Google Desktop, Version 2, free from Google at http://desktop.google.com/ and install it. Let it index Outlook for you.
4. Stop filing emails except if they go into a currently active project; just dump them in Reference and let Google sort them out.
4. If and when you need something that's not part of a currently active project, use the Google Desktop Search to find it.

It takes about 25% of the net time filing everything in a multitude of folders and then manually searching those folders for one item takes.

This is part 1 of my taming Outlook approach: part 2 tomorrow.

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There is also the Lookout plugin for Outlook, which was bought by Microsoft - http://www.lookoutsoft.com/Lookout/download.html

This indexes everything in Outlook - it effectively replaces Outlook's find function with something that actually works. An essential plugin and absolutely free.

Hi Peter,

No Google task indexing, as of now. And I like Copernic too. But Google's price - free - cannot be beat and you can minimize the Google Desktop to a small toolbar in your taskbar - the SideBar mode is good sometimes, but not all the time.

Does Google Desktop search finally index tasks? I haven't found anything yet that does that. I will put in a plug for Copernic Desktop Search. I like their ability to customize better than Google's. It's not a web app, but I didn't care for the web app look of Google's offering. I get a small toolbar in my taskbar and that's good enough. Preview and highlighting are also part of the package. Worth checking out for Windows machines.

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  • Who?
    Bob Walsh, (Author, managing partner of Safari Software, Inc. a micro-ISV)
    Exploring the intersection between Getting Things Done and building a micro-ISV.
    Live from Sonoma, California USA.
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    Because there's a way to get everything done, I just know there is!
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