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In Empowered Productivity Training, you learn the best way to keep your inbox at zero — it is possible —  is to create calendar items and tasks from your emails. But often you need to transfer the information from the email into another format.

Let’s say someone sends you an email with the details of a function you are attending.  If you insert that email, or the contents of it, into your calendar appointment for that function, you’ll have handy all the pertinent information about the appointment inside the appointment itself.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Double click on the appointment in your calendar to open it.
  2. On the menu bar at the top select “Insert,” then “item.”
  3. By default, your inbox is highlighted in the top window and all of your emails appear in the bottom window.  Scroll to the email that contains the information and click on it.
  4. On the right side of this dialog box it reads, “Insert As: Text Only, Attachment, Shortcut.” Pick one, but before you do understand your choices.

Here are the options:

  • Text Only — the body of the email will get inserted into the big white space in the lower half of the appointment.
  • Attachment —  a little envelope picture will appear in the big white space in the lower half of the appointment, which you can then click on, and the original message appears in email format, so you can still reply or forward if you need to.  But note, if you choose to insert the attachment, many handheld devices will be unable to display or open this attachment, so if you need to read it on your handheld, like on the way to the appointment, than be sure to select “Text Only.”
  • Shortcut —  Gives you a shortcut to find the email in your inbox or another folder, as long as you haven’t deleted it.  I don’t recommend using this option because I want you to delete emails when you have everything you need from them.

Read here about tracking verbal conversations using Outlook’s “Post in this folder” feature. For more Outlook tips, and ideas on productivity and organization, visit