Outlook Productivity

Maximum Productivity.  Minimum Effort.

Please note that we do not offer Outlook Productivity Essentials as a public workshop at this time

Options for in-house programmes

Options for in-house programmes.  All options include complimentary access to the fortnightly Outlook Productivity Refresher Webinars, unlimited email and telephone support and Gerrit Cloete’s Monday Productivity Memo.  Fees are applicable for groups of ideally up to 12 participants.  If it is a requirement, we can accommodate larger or smaller groups at adjusted rates. VAT, travel and accommodation expenses, which will be for your account, are excluded from our rates.  Depending on your needs and situation, we can negotiate the fee structure.  Payment in full up front attracts a 5% courtesy discount.                                                      

Option 1 – Outlook Productivity Essentials – 5 hours 

  • Workshop content at the end of this page.
  • General Outlook and other Windows productivity and time-saving tips.
  • Overview of 8 Work Habits (principles and processes) to increase and sustain productivity.
  • Productivity tips for using the modules of Outlook more effectively.
  • High performance email and workflow management.
  • How to organise, process and find email-based information more efficiently.
  • Basic email etiquette/protocol

Option 2 – Outlook Productivity Essentials: A Deeper Dive – 8 hours plus pre- and post-workshop activities to fully customise your event 

  • Outlook Productivity Essentials (as in Option 1).


  • Exactly meeting your productivity improvement needs:
    • Pre-workshop survey to determine needs, current use of Outlook, general productivity-related matters, potential implementation obstacles.
    • Customized workshop using survey feedback.
    • Follow-up survey to see progress.
  • Generous time for practice and facilitator-guided implementation throughout workshop.
  • Working in pairs or triads on commonly-encountered implementation challenges (3-person teaching).
  • Preparing for anticipated obstacles to integration of new knowledge, skills and behaviour “back in the office” (as from the pre-workshop survey).
  • Detailed email etiquette/protocol discussion and implementation as applicable

Option 3 – Outlook Productivity with Projects – 8 hours 

  • Outlook Productivity Essentials (as in Option 1).


  • For your small projects (anything that takes more than one action to complete):
    • Identify, evaluate (Return on Effort) and plan small projects
    • Brainstorming and planning: mind mapping with free Xmind software
    • Create and use templates in Outlook for project coordination
    • Integrating Xmind and Outlook into a project coordination tool

(NOTE for MS OneNote (the best piece of software you have – but don’t know it): Outlook, Xmind and OneNote must be one of the most powerful combinations of tools to help you plan for and manage information for small projects. We can customise this workshop to include a module on using MS OneNote in your project environment – let’s discuss.)

Option 4 – Productivity Quick Start: Any of the options above plus about 1- 2 hours individual “at the desk” tuition (Fee as per above options plus a per day for individual tuition)

  • We do any of the above-mentioned options for the group.
  • Afterwards we take about 1-2 hours per person for an “at your desk” final customisation and personalised implementation. We typically work with 4-6 people per day.

 OPTIONAL “bolt-on” module: Guided implementation, facilitated by a Productivity Pit Stop representative 

After the workshop, a 4-session online programme to implement new knowledge, skills and behaviour into “office culture”.   Online group meetings of 30-45 minutes every 2 weeks. Additional implementation sessions can be arranged. Email or call Productivity Pit Stop for support.


Outlook Productivity Essentials – Notes and Workshop Content

 Getting The Right Things Done – Simpler, Faster, Better

 With an introduction to “8 Basic Work Habits to Rapidly and Sustainably Increase Productivity”

 Important notes

  • MS Outlook is used in real time as implementation tool throughout the workshop.
  • This outline describes the content of your workshop, not necessarily the flow of the workshop. See each topic as a building block in your new productivity “toolkit”.

 General Outlook and other Windows productivity and time-saving tips

  • Navigate and create new Outlook items 50% faster
  • Auto-create new items from any other source of information (Internet, Word, Outlook and more)
  • Time-saving keyboard shortcuts in Outlook and Windows

 Overview of Productivity Principles and 8 Basic Work Habits

  • Think Productive
  • Clarity
  • Alignment
  • Slow down to speed up
  • Focus
  • Flexibility
  • Completion
  • Learn and improve

High performance workflow management: Making things happen easier and faster than expected

  • A calm mind is a productive mind – get things out of your head and into your system
  • “Map for Action”: A system to transform chaos into order
  • Make your work visible and actionable. (Your Inbox is NOT your “To Do” list)
  • “Action management” vs “time management”

Using Outlook as a business productivity tool

  • Time-specific actions:  Calendar productivity tips
  • Action to be done as soon as possible: Tasks productivity tips
  • Prioritising your work
  • Delegate whenever you can, and follow up
  • Easily manage and communicate items to discuss with others.
  • Daily and weekly “review and preview” routines
  • Reference information can be kept in Notes

 How to organise and process your e-mail more efficiently

  • Email triage – high-level email processing
  • Structuring e-mail folders
  • Use “Rules” to stay on top of your mail
  • “Quick Steps” (Outlook 2010 and later)
  • Create a “Finding System” instead of a “Filing System”
  • Make your work visible and actionable from the Inbox to your Calendar and Tasks

Basic email etiquette

  • Managing expectations
  • CC and BCC mail
  • SHOUTING, acronyms, emoticons
  • Making the most of the subject line
  • Easy follow-up system using email



  1. Let’s have a quick 7-minute to-the-point telephone conversation to see if and how we could help you and take it from there.
  2. Click here to email me your contact details with 3 suggested times for our conversation, and I will call you.
  3. You can also call me on 082 737 3676 or 021 465 2981.