MS Outlook has been a great organizer for emails, calendar events, and notes. It makes going through emails easy since you can stay on top of your inbox and yet stick to your schedules and calendar events while getting all the notes, documents, spreadsheets, etc., relevant to an event at the touch of a button. However, that only makes it a tool to organize your emails and calendar events. It is not yet a project management tool. In a real project management scenario, you need to collaborate with team members, share info, documents, spreadsheets, etc., with them, make presentations to them and more. That calls for transforming outlook into a project management tool without venturing into any other management tool. Is it possible to turn Outlook into a project management tool? With some clever use of existing plugins and integration of some relevant software, it is possible to turn Outlook into a project management tool.
Using Project Aliases
Emails can eat up your time and attention if you cannot control their flow. With the help of subfolders named after project aliases, you can keep a track of developments in real time. Whether it is a new project request or a status update about an ongoing project, you can keep track of key information related to every individual project minutes. With the help of aliases, you can manage the rules and push traffic into specific folders automatically, thereby helping you to prioritize emails. It is like splitting your workload into folders and sub-folders. Each folder is like a separate department and each subfolder in a folder is like elements of a project. You can split up emails by projects and subdivide folders by responsibility, key deliverable, short-term goals, long-term goals, process, etc.
MS Outlook boasts some wonderful plugins. There are plugin applications that help with duplicate email removal, recovery of the deleted message, alerts, auto-schedulers, print tools, etc. There are plugins with which you can engage in a video conference on Google Hangouts right from the Outlook pane.
Integrating with OneNote
As the project takes off you may come up with ideas that help execute modules timely and properly. But you just cannot go on scribbling ideas on pieces of paper and expect them to stay on your table. You need to store these ideas digitally and conveniently. This is where MS OneNote can help you. Whether you just write a few lines or draw a diagram, you need to organize it in a way that you can use it when needed and also share it with the team. OneNote can help you in this pursuit. Integrating OneNote with Outlook is also easy.
Backing Up With OneDrive
Nearing deadlines and the fear of losing business-critical data is a huge headache for project managers. It not only adds to your stress but may also significantly set you back in time. To overcome the loss of important data you also need to integrate OneDrive to MS Outlook. This will automatically back up all your emails and attachments to OneDrive. So even if you lose critical data, you can always access it from OneDrive.