Productivity Tip for Outlook 2007 Users

No  ToasterIt seems like this time of year we’re all looking for new ideas to increase productivity and boost results over the previous year.  Here’s a simple change I recently made that has really helped me, so I thought I’d share it.

I tend to be easily distracted when working on projects on my computer (maybe you are too?).  One distraction that always tempted me to interrupt whatever I am working on was the “New Email Desktop Alert” that popped up whenever I received a new email in Outlook.  (Some people call these alerts “toast” because they pop up on your screen like bread from a toaster.)  They look like this:


Well last week I turned these alerts off and wow, what a difference!  They always annoyed me, but I guess I didn’t realize how often I let them interrupt my work.  I have noticed a significant improvement to my workflow since turning them off.  Maybe you will too?

If you are using Outlook 2007, here’s how to turn off the alerts:

  • In Outlook, click on Tools, then Options….
  • In the Options dialogue box, click on the “E-Mail Options…” button.
  • In the E-mail Options dialogue box, click on the “Advanced E-mail Options…” button.
  • In the Advanced E-mail Options dialogue box, uncheck the box next to “Display a New Mail Desktop  Alert”
  • Bonus:  In that same dialogue box, you can uncheck the box next to “Play a sound” if you’d like to mute the new mail alert sound each time you receive an email.
  • Lastly, click on the “OK” button in all of the dialogue boxes to close them out.

That’s it!  Now you won’t be bothered by those alerts any longer and hopefully your workday will be a little more productive and enjoyable.

PS. If you are an Outlook 2010 user, click here for separate instructions.

Have a safe and productive 2013!

Michael Swanson About Michael Swanson

Mr. Swanson has over 13 years of senior executive level experience in trial law firm financing. He is the published author of How David Beats Goliath: Access to Capital for Contingent-Fee Law Firms and has given lectures at seminars and CLE programs nationwide, educating trial lawyers about financial management. Mr. Swanson is also a member of the PILMMA advisory board and ASTC.

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