Published on December 27th, 2023 | by Sandeep Patil0
Architecture of Management
As I recently joined a new organization as Architect, little did I know that my first activity itself would surprised me! The job of Architect is pretty much about designing, defining the sequences of an operation etc. So true to the Architectural spirit, I began my work by preparing a flowchart. However, this flowchart wasn’t for designing any software as such!
On one hand the Software around us are growing complex in nature, so are the organizations that develop it. Secondly, as a person’s seniority and role grows in organization, his/her communication counterparts increase rapidly. Handling all these communications effectively becomes a challenge. Nowhere is it more evident than the bedrock of corporate communication – Microsoft Outlook!
MS Outlook has long back surpassed being an email exchange program, it instead have become kind of personal organizer.
However, the software has grown organically and thus has incorporated lot of diverse, dissimilar features which are quite flexible and free to interpretation. This is in contrast to the other Office-365 products like Word or Excel or PowerPoint, which had focused approach and thus quite cohesive features. Outlook on the other hand deals with diverse topics like communication (E-mail), Time planning (Calendar), Task planning (Tasks) etc. Add to that the capabilities of online meetings (MS Teams) and Note Taking (One Note) and we are looking at a much complicated landscape.
Particularly in past few years, as my cosmos of communication got larger… I struggled to do the time/task management greatly. Then comes an moment of epiphany where a person breaks down all the building blocks and sits to rearrange anew. Something similar happened with my decade-old relationship with Outlook.
It triggered me to design a sequence of operations for my help. I am sharing the same herewith for others benefit. I however wish that Microsoft or some third party provider creates a layer of simplified operation on top of this gamut of features provided by Outlook. This might make users life easier and streamlined.
Use “Message Rules” to filter, label
Use “Custom view” to eye-catchiness of messages / meetings
Use “Categories” to Tag. Since Outlook doesn’t distinguish between categories for emails vis-a-vis calendar items, I used similar colors to distinguish them