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Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook by [Linenberger, Michael]
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Total Workday Control Using Microsoft Outlook Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Kindle Edition, 30 Mar 2011
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Length: 443 pages

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Product description

About the Author

Michael Linenberger (Danville, California) has been a management consultant and technology professional for more than 20 years, he now leads workshops on productivity, task, and e-mail management.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9053 KB
  • Print Length: 443 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0974930466
  • Publisher: New Academy Publishers; 3 edition (30 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004VAA9HE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #489,815 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think I could win awards as the world's most disorganised person - getting 150+ emails a day and managing to deal with about 10 of them in any detail the rest got at best a quick skim and at worst completely ignored.

And then I discovered this book. I bought it as something to read on the plane on the way to my holiday in US (sad I know!!) By the time I arrived in US my eyes had been opened to how to change things and for once the change didn't mean completely reinventing myself. It was literally a case of bringing structure and order to the chaos. I finished the book sat by the pool.

Then I got back to work after 3 weeks away, opened Outlook and found over a couple of thousand unread messages. Made the changes laid out in the book and started to apply the principles. Seven hours later 40 tasks in by taskbar and no messages in my Inbox - for the first time in years I felt like I was in control. I knew what needed to be done and when.

The only problem is that I keep going round preaching about how wonderful the systems is - all my colleagues seem to have noticed the change suddenly the person who can't tell them what is coming up knows exactly whats on the list of tasks. And more importantly takes great delight in ticking the tasks off as each one is completed.

I have bought a second copy of the book because I want to have one permanently in my desk drawer to refer to and to lend to my colleagues.

I can honestly say that this is the first book which has changed my life. It won't be joining the extensive collection of self-improvement books on my bookshelf - this one is one you want to open again and again.

Thank you Michael Linenberger - keep up the good work.
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Format: Paperback
Linenberger has a way of working that suits his environment and may suit yours provided you are a bad manager of your own workload or you work in a badly managed company, so that you are overwhelmed by tasks and e-mails. If you are not in that situation, this book is not for you.

Like many efficiency gurus, Linenberger states that his version of task management will work for all. It won't. He states, for example, that that one should leave replying to e-mails to the end of the day, which indicates either that he does not deal with customers or that he has no understanding of good customer service.

Linenberger has that management consultant's habit of inventing new and slightly nauseating buzz words to describe normal business processes (Now-Horizons, Manage-Your-Now! and so on). He is also very verbose. The whole system could have been explained in a few pages, but he talks down to the lowest common denominator and is happy to repeat information constantly. He is also given to hyperbole - this is a set of tips and practical lessons on using Outlook more effectively and not a "hugely powerful concept".

As for the system itself: if you fit into his target market, it should work for you - I already use a similar system (though not in Outlook), and I am never overwhelmed as Linenberger seems to be. However, a good deal of what he writes is simple common sense. It is good that it is written, as many people need this spelled out to them when they are over-worked, but this book is overrated.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been trying to 'get organised' for a good 7 or 8 years since I thought there must be methods out there to tell you how to use a todo list better. I think I must have tried most of them - GTD, 7 habits/Covey, Do It Tomorrow, The Now Habit/Unschedule, Personal Efficiency Program, and my own hybrids of those various systems. I've tried to implement those systems in outliner software, paper, todo list software, Excel, email folders, .... the list has gone on and on. Whilst each of them sounded good in theory they didn't seem to work for long in practice for my type of work.

My job is project-based work largely sat in front of a PC bar the odd meeting, conducted and driven a lot by email, and I'd often be enthused by a new system for a few days but would quickly find it couldn't keep up, particularly with emails where both transferring them to another 'system' and tracking them for future reference just seemed like too much work.

I'd had this book in my Amazon wishlist for a while so after yet another system had failed me I decided to give it a go, read it in a weekend and quickly had it implemented, and haven't looked back since.

Every system I've previously studied seems to be immediately challengeable with 'but how does it handle...', but the system presented in Total Workday Control is intuitive and everything seems to just work and for the first time I don't feel like there's stuff out there I'm missing, or action lists going stale because I can't face going through them again. I'm writing this review having been three days away from work and it took me about half an hour to clear my inbox and feel back in control.

This is the only system where I feel I'm getting better at it the more I use it.
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I can't claim to have implemented the "Eight Best Practices" fully - which may be why I haven't yet achieved "Total Control" but this book has certainly improved my control of both a busy work-schedule and an ever-improving Forgettory!
The book outlines a "workday" scenario which many will relate-to. It then gives you the option of either "quick start" or "read howto in detail" for the changes in the standard Outlook configuration needed to make the system work. You may see these changes as "dauntingly radical" (for example - "empty your Inbox of ALL messages" !) but the more-detailed explanations may give you the courage to try it.
Read in conjunction with David Allen's Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity I've found it a useful tool - I just wish I'd found it 10 years ago!
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