Category Archives: SpeedFiler

SpeedFiler Featured on the Cranky Middle Manager Show

I recently had the good fortune to be invited to talk about SpeedFiler and the problems it can solve, in a special Productivity Tools broadcast on Wayne Turmel’s Cranky Middle Manager Show (part of The Podcast Network).

The Cranky Middle Manager Show is an irreverent but insightful look at the world of middle management. Host Wayne Turmel vents, offers humorous commentary and talks to the smartest people in the field about management techniques, career strategies and just keeping it together day after day. If you ever feel stuck between the idiots that make the decisions and the morons who won’t do as they’re told, this is the show for you.

Thanks, Wayne, for the opportunity to participate in your show.

(Tip: listen to the show if you’d like a discount coupon for SpeedFiler.)


SpeedFiler 1.1 Released!

SpeedFiler is a major factor in how I keep my inbox under control, and without it, my outgoing items would all be dumped in Sent Items, instead of in the folders they really belong in. Basically, it allows me to file messages in a fraction of the time it would otherwise take using only Outlook’s own features. For me, it’s the difference between letting my inbox keep piling up and getting more cluttered vs. keeping a tidy inbox containing just the stuff I haven’t yet processed — the difference between working inefficiently vs. operating at peak productivity. [Full disclosure: I am the author.]

SpeedFiler 1.1 was released this week. Apart from adding support for Outlook 2007’s new Ribbon toolbar, it is a maintenance release that fixes bugs and improves performance and stability.

SpeedFiler is free to download and use for 30 days, after which it costs $24.95 to license it. However, by entering coupon code BLD742, you’ll get a 20% discount on your copy. Offer ends January 19.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, I’ll be posting much more frequently — already working on a few posts…

How to expand Outlook’s preview area with a single keystroke

Is your preview area squashed so narrow that you can’t comfortably read messages in Outlook’s main window? I’ll show you how you can use a single keystroke to expand it to read your messages, and then contract it again. This is an incredibly simple tip, but I’m amazed at how much it has changed my email experience.

By default, Outlook divides its main window into three sections: navigation pane, message list and the preview area. If you don’t have a wide screen, the preview area is squashed up against the right hand side, and is not really comfortable to use for reading messages — just for scanning them to see if they need to be opened in a separate window for more attention.

This frustrates me, as I like to use the main window for actually reading my messages. I’ve tried widening the preview area at the expense of narrowing the message list, but if the message list is too narrow, it will take up 2 lines for each message, i.e. show only half the number of messages as before — not good, since I also like to see as much of my inbox as possible in a single glance. Continue reading

Overcoming Email Overload at the ABA

Tomorrow (Thursday) at 10:00-11:30 AM Pacific / 1:00-2:30 PM Eastern the American Bar Association Center for Continuing Legal Education (ABA-CLE) is holding a teleconference and live webcast about Overcoming Email Overload.

Adriana Linares, one of the experts on the panel, tells me that this blog and SpeedFiler are listed as resources in the session materials. Thanks Adriana, and I hope you lawyers have an informative and useful session tomorrow.

Outlook Tip: Display your folders in non-alphabetical order

The Outlook folders tree shows folders in alphabetical order only. In order to display them in a different order, you can use either of the following methods:

  • Promote a specific folder to the top of the list
    If you want a specific folder to appear before the others, rename it with a punctuation mark at the beginning of its name. For instance, if you want the “Pending” folder to appear first, rename it “!Pending” or “_Pending”.
  • Define the position of each folder in the list
    If you want to define the position of each folder, just prefix each folder name with a number, for example:

If you use SpeedFiler to file your messages, you do not have to type the numbers, as SpeedFiler looks for matches anywhere in a folder name, not just the beginning. So if you want to file an item in “1 Rejected”, just open the File In Folder window and start typing the word “rejected” until you see “1 Rejected” in the list of matching folders.

“I don’t have time to save time!”

256328_stopwatch_1.jpgOver the last few months, I’ve been running a private Beta of SpeedFiler. I’ve recruited a wide range of people, including some of the busiest people I’ve worked with.

However, a few of the people I contacted gave me an almost identical response: “It sounds really interesting, but I’m too busy right now. I’ll try it out in a few weeks.” Because I know them well, I know they are not just being polite, and having worked closely with them in the past, I also know that SpeedFiler could save them lots of time and reduce their stress.

I remember a time when I would have given the same answer — that was before I clawed my way back from the edge, with the aid of GTD. The above answer boils down to:

“I don’t have time to save time!”

Continue reading