Productivity blogs abound with advice about only checking e-mail a few times per day, yet most e-mail programs assume that checking e-mail is your number one priority. You can turn off pop-up notifications and the new mail chime, but you’re forced into checking your mail every time you want to send a new one.
How do you send an e-mail message? Almost always, you start by going to the Inbox. For those of us who are easily distracted, that might kill the next half-hour of productivity right there.
If you’re running Windows 7, there’s a better way. You can send a message without ever looking at your Inbox. As long as Outlook is running, you can right-click the Outlook icon on the task bar. This will bring up the jump-list menu that has a list of actions you can perform.
At the top of the jump-list is the item, New E-mail Message. Click that, and a new e-mail message will open. You can compose and send the message without ever going to your Inbox.
Note that the jump-list includes other items, such as New Appointment, New Meeting, and others. You can perform any of these tasks right from the task bar.
The Windows 7 task bar is pretty powerful, and jump-lists can be quite useful. Right-click on other programs’ icons to see what you can do.