Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook: My Review
The Best Day-to-Day Organization Book I've Read
Are you tired of seeing hundreds of emails in your inbox? Have you read book after "how to get organized" book and struggled to figure out how to implement the recommendations? Total Workday Control was the answer for me. You may want to read it too.
I've read most of the organization workbooks. Fifteen years ago I had a Franklin Planner binder, then a Dayrunner, then a running to-do list.
Eventually I tried Getting Things Done, soon followed by Master Your Workday Now.
Does this sound like you?
ALL the books had great ideas and came close to what I needed. What Total Workday Control gave me that none of the rest had was a step-by-step guide to implementing the system with my current environment: Microsoft Outlook and and Apple iPhone.
It's a brilliant book, and I highly recommend it. Read on for more.
Poll: How do you organize your workday?
What approach do you use for organizing your workday?
How this book helped me
What I love about this book is that Linenberger gives detailed, specific instructions to implement the Master Your Workday Now organization approach in a Microsoft Outlook world.
Twenty years ago I successfully used a paper Franklin Planner and loved it. But as email and desktop apps invaded my life a paper binder didn't work any more.
Most electronic planning systems I looked at were either too cumbersome (Franklin Covey's software for example) or didn't integrate across multiple platforms. (In my case I use a Windows laptop, an iPhone, and an iPad.)
Some "getting organized" books gave me approaches and theories that I knew made sense, but didn't help me figure out how to implement them in Outlook. For example, both the Getting Things Done and the Master Your Workday Now (MYN) system recommend having an empty inbox and a regular approach to managing tasks. But anyone who's used Microsoft Outlook's tasks can tell you the interface doesn't exactly streamline your day.
Artificial due dates can actuallyÂ lead to more missed deadlines
With Total Workday Control I learned exactly how to implement the MYN system in Microsoft Outlook. It gives detailed instructions for Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, and Outlook for Mac 2011. He walks you through the three horizons of the MYN program and shows you very specifically how to configure Outlook tasks to meet your needs.
All the usual gotchas are covered: follow-up tasks, delegated actions, scheduled versus unscheduled tasks, categories, roles, and more -- and explained from both the MYN system perspective and how to implement in Outlook. This is exactly what I was looking for.
Equally important, he gives specific recommendations for apps to use in your mobile phone in order to sync with Outlook. For example, he recommends using TaskTask on the iPhone and iPad, and Touchdown on Android-based devices. My job requires a LOT of travel -- the ability to sync my Microsoft tasks to my mobile phone is critical to my day to day life.
I like the Master Your Now approach to managing my work day, and love how Linenberger makes it 'real' for us. As a result of Linenberg's clear and concise writing I now have an empty inbox and a manageable work day. What more could I ask for?
Help implementing Total Workday Control
These tools can help you implement the Master Your Workday Now system using the information in Total Workday Control.
You might not want this book if:
A guide to when you should look elsewhere
No book is all things to all people. While the recommendations have absolutely improved my life and productivity, that won't be the case for some people:
- Are you using Lotus Notes in your office? If so this is not the book for you.
- Are you adamantly attached to a particular productivity system (besides Master Your Workday Now)? You may still glean tips, but this book is specific to Linenberger's system of organization.
- Are you using a version of Outlook that's not on the supported list (currently 2007, 2010, and Mac 2011)? You might still enjoy the book, as long as you understand there will be differences in your version.
Learn more about Total Workday Control
I'd love to hear your comments.