Technique for Using Outlook to Manage Project Support-A step in the right direction
I came up with a systematic way to keep project support materials (computer based) organized in Outlook that I haven't seen elsewhere. Maybe its been discussed here or somewhere else, but I haven't seen it, and I think its worth sharing.
Step one: Create a systematic naming convention that you absolutely stick to. Mine looks like this: PROJECTNAME_filedescription_YYYYMMDD_Version#
Step two: Name your project in outlook in an abbreviated way so that the project name in outlook exactly matches the project name presented above in your file name. Something like NUTRITION PROGRAM-develop healthy eating shopping list. This makes it easy to look at your list of projects and tie them to your files.
Step three: save all of your project support files into your Project Support folder flat. No need to use individual folders for projects within Project Support. It will only slow you down.
Step four: This is the cool part. In your project notes field, type a description of the file and/or the work you are doing with the file (like a spreadsheet your using to build your shopping list). Then just highlight it, right click, and create a hyperlink. Go into Project Support, select the file, and there you are-a hyperlink to your project support, with a descriptive file name, right there in Outlook. You can largely avoid digging around in your Project Support folder for stuff and manage day to day work right from Outlook this way. Its also very easy to go into Projects Support if you need to since all of the files attached to a given project will be grouped together and named in the same way in Outlook.
Cheers! Let me know what you think!