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Changing the 'Outlook' of Your Work-life

Organizing your email inbox using Outlook is a key part to increasing your efficiency at work. Below we wanted to highlight key functions to help yourself get organized throughout the day.

 

Conditional Formatting of Calendar View

Step 1: Navigate to “Calendar”, “View” tab and click on “View Settings”

Step 2: Click on “Conditional Formatting…”, followed by “Add”

Step 3: Rename the “Name” field (e.g. John’s meetings) and select a “Color” to assign to the rule

Step 4: With the rule (e.g. John’s meetings) still selected, click on “Condition…” to define the different rules by which you want a calendar appointment invite to be picked up by the rule. For example, by inserting “John Doe” in the “Organized by” box, any invite from “John Doe” will be automatically colored red.

Color Categories

Emails can now be tagged with colors and categories and eventually sorted using these color categories.

Step 1: Select an email or multiple emails and click on “Categorize” on the “Home” tab.

Step 2: If you are happy with the current category settings, you can start applying the colors and categories to the emails. If not, click on “All Categories…” to add or delete existing labels, rename a label, add a shortcut key, or even add new color categories.

 

Tasks Feature

If you noticed, emails that you flag as to-do items will be automatically populated in the “Tasks” panel accessible on the right. While in the “Tasks” view, there are options to allow you to easily choose when you want this task to be completed, for example today, tomorrow, or a custom date range that you can set up yourself. In addition, these tasks are also accessible on the “Calendar” panel on the right, presented in a summary timeline format. The visual timeline format serves as a visual reminder as to when tasks need to be completed.

Two Time Zone View

You can now display 2 time-zones by the side of your calendar by doing the following:

Step 1: Navigate to “File” tab, and click on “Options”

Step 2: Select “Calendar” and scroll down to the “Time Zones” section

Step 3: Check the box indicating “show a second time zone” and then label and select your desired time zone.

 

Personal Note Taking Tools

If you are an avid OneNote or Ever-note user and use those programs  to document and sync up your personal life, a link to access OneNote or Ever-note directly through Outlook is a useful feature. You can easily add emails or tasks to your personal Evernote by right clicking on emails or tasks, and even by clicking the “Evernote” button on the “Home” tab.

 

Written By,

 Mickey Abbatiello

10 Ways to Create a Fun and Innovative Workplace

Having an inspired workplace is key to growing a successful company. We acknowledge the fact that work can sometimes be a drag, but it is up to the leaders of the company to make sure their employees are taken care of. People should be able to enjoy going to work especially since we are there for at least 40 hours a week!

To help out, we will outline 10 simple ways to spark creativity, efficiency, teamwork, fun and happiness in the workplace. 


1. Creativity Room / Area: The creativity room / area is a section of the office that employees
can spend time to take a breather from their day and just think. Picture a room filled with
white boards, colorful markers and no distraction. This is where employee’s can foster
creativity with their teams in a free form environment. To help keep thoughts organized, we
create different sections on the boards where anyone can add to at anytime. Some sections
include:

a. Inspirational quotes
b. New ideas and/or ventures to increase business
c. Suggestions to help improve the team improve
d. To do lists
e. Goals
f. Lastly, ultimately whatever fits your company best. Be Creative.

2. Employee Involvement: Making everyone feel like they are contributing and apart of the
team is key. A great way to do this is to give dedicated tasks to different team members that
only they are responsible for. This allows them to develop their leadership skills in driving
specific tasks by themselves as well as helping team members in need of their newly found
expertise.

3. You Teach Me, I Teach You: A great team takes out time to learn from the knowledgeable
people sitting right next to them. Many team members have different work and cultural
experiences that can compliment each other in a great way. A way to do this is to appoint a
different team member each month to teach the overall group something new. Topics can
range from learning about 'search engine optimization' or how to play the guitar.

4. Employee Recognition Awards: It is important to recognize the employees for their dedication and hard work. Many people make many sacrifices for the betterment of the company and it shouldn't go unnoticed! Having a recognition awards program can consist of passing a trophy or in our case a “championship belt” around to a member of the team that is displaying the company’s cultural values. As one team member receives the award they than pass it on to someone else within the team, allowing for everyone to recognize each other for their hard work

5. Party Time: Having fun outside of work allows people to get to know their co-workers on a more personal level. Each month a team member should be appointed to plan an event for the team within a specific budget. The event can be a regular happy hour, wine tasting event, ski trip, competitive Dave and Busters showdown, or a professional sporting event. Just remember have some fun!

6. Provide Free Life Services in the Workplace: Many times your employees get caught up at
work and do not have time to take care of their personal responsibilities during the day. So
why not bring it to them. Best practices include:

a. Providing free breakfast
b. Traditional pizza Fridays
c. Scheduling dry cleaning services for your team
d. Provide free professional massages during lunch hours
e. Schedule free workout classes after work
f. Bring in nutritionist to provide health education for your employees

7. Role Swap: It is important that everyone has a diverse skill set and continues to learn the ins
and outs of the company. A way to do this is to allow different team members to role swap
and take on the responsibilities of another team member. This will allow people to work
with someone they never have before and will continually develop their skill sets.

8. Mentor Program: A mentorship program that focuses on career development helps create a
great dynamic work environment. Each employee should have a mentor that is of higher
experience. This individual is there to provide career direction, an unbiased voice, get you
acclimated to the company, and to ultimately look out for you.

9. Power Hour: Now some of you may confuse this with a college drinking game but we are not talking
about that one. The business power hour is a pick me up once that 2 o’clock feeling comes
along. Either everyday or periodically, once it hits 2PM, its time to turn the radio on and give
everyone a jump-start. Now we are not saying blast music and cause a disturbance, but it
works best to turn on a soothing station that everyone will be comfortable with.

10. Theme Day: Dressing up in work attire everyday could get tiring. So throughout the month
there should be at least one day in which everyone has to dress up for a selected theme. Some of the
themes include:

a. Sports day: Allowing everyone to represent their favorite team
b. Halloween: People can bring out those crazy costumes
c. Different Holidays: Everyone can wear red, white, and blue for the fourth of July
d. Movember: People can grow or wear funny mustaches to raise money for charity

Here at Balitello, it is very important to us to create a company that people want to be apart of. Work
is supposed to be both challenging and fun. We believe a positive workplace environment acts as a
catalyst for greater things to happen. New and fresh ideas are always accepted and we would love to
hear from others on different ways to make the workplace more creative, efficient, fun, team oriented 
and most of all enjoyable!

 

Written By, 

 Mickey Abbatiello