Whether headed to a conference, out of the office for a business trip, vacation to the beach or other great destination, there are a number of things you can do to prepare before you head out the door.
- Check your calendar for the need to cancel any appointments and to let others know you will be gone.
- Limit the number of meetings you make the week prior to your trip to allow you time to catch up on current work.
- Mark off your calendar the day of your return so you have time to catch up before jumping back in full force.
- Block off time on your calendar if sharing your calendar with others so they know that you’re gone.
- Don’t forget to update your voicemail greeting on your office phone, cell phone (yes I said cell phone), and remember to provide contact person for immediate assistance and when you plan to return.
- If you have size limits on your email box, before you leave use the mailbox cleanup tool in Outlook to check and manage the size of your mailbox. First sort by size and delete large size files first. Then sort by conversations, then senders and clean out as many old emails as possible. If you need to save items permanently use F12 and save in “My Documents” as an Outlook format. Then you can delete permanently from your email folders.
- Spend time the week before you leave clearing out your current inbox and work daily on keeping it updated so when you return you only have to deal with new incoming email and not the old stuff.
- Turn on automatic replies using “out of office” message. This message should let people know when you will be back and who to contact in case of emergency.
- Make sure to back up all files in case of power outages, etc. while you’re gone.
- If going on vacation, turn off your cell phone and limit the checking of email. It’s called a vacation for a reason!
- Relax and enjoy your trip!
If you need future help with controlling email or using Outlook in a more productive way, check out our upcoming Outlook classes: