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Outlook calender / colors

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  • Outlook calender / colors

    I´m using Outlook and set it up according to the recommendations (GTD whitepaper).
    I was wondering how to use the colors in the calender (on which I only put sharp dates).

    For now I use the colors for
    - work
    - recreation
    - calls
    - home office
    - sports
    - friends
    - anniversaries
    - doctors visits

    Does that sound to make sense or does anyone has better suggestions?

  • #2
    I would recommend using colors only if they are easy for you to maintain, even when you don't feel like it. Otherwise, they will quickly become a drag to your system.


    • #3
      I've used Outlook for GTD for years, currently using Outlook 2007.

      I've tried many combinations of colours but 2 trends emerged - my calendar looked like a christmas tree, and colleagues didn't take me very seriously when they saw it.

      I use the catagories for tasks (actions) that you might typically expect (@office, @agendas, etc) but my personal lightbulb moment was when I was rereading some of David's material on what goes on calendars:

      Hard Landscape
      Tickler reminders
      Information relating to the day or week

      So I created the following categories and I use them exclusively on my calendar:

      Hard Landscape (colour grey)
      Information (colour yellow)
      Tickler Entry (colour green)
      Vacation (color pinkish)

      So my calendar is a "sea of grey" most of the week, with "all day events (time as free)" usually in green or yellow. This has stuck for over a year now. Grey might sound boring, but it caused the fewest comments from colleagues, which is worth it's weight in boredom!


      In repsonse to feedback from colleagues about hidden / private entries appearing in my calendar when they were trying to book meetings, I created a second calendar called "Calendar - Personal" and stuck all my personal GTD reminders in there. Lots of people's birthdays, credit card reminders, weekly reviews and out of work hours stuff that colleagues really don't care about.

      In the calendar view you can display both calendars overlaid on each other, in a merged view mode. You do this by viewing them first side by side, then clicking the arrow in the tab where it shows the calendar's name. You can do this with any number of calendars including meeting rooms, or shared team holiday booking calendars.

      I've tried to use an attachment with a screen clipping here. You can see a couple of examples. The overly Purple/pink header is because the whole of Monday and Tuesday are marked as out of office. I couldn't really show more without revealing personal information - sorry!:

      Click image for larger version

Name:	Outlook example.png
Views:	1
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ID:	637

      Have fun!


      • #4
        highlighting free time ?

        Thanks so far.

        Do you recommend to highlight (in any color) ALL the "free" time during a day ?

        To explain:
        I have some difficulties to take real free time for myself during a week and I´m searching a valid solution. For now, I work often as long as I feel energetic enough but I lack REAL recreational time - which on the long run wouldn´t work.


        • #5
          Heh - there's whole other threads on that topic

          I think the point is made even clearer in "making it all work" that FUN can be something you treat as a project / goal / vision.

          Block time out if you need to.Try treating a piece of leisure time as a project and see whether that helps. I'd suggest keeping this thread on Outlook and searching the forum for good leisure time threads though