Priority time tracking and management in MS Outlook

It has been a couple of weeks since I went public about a cool MS Outlook tool for recording time spent on priority and project workload so that you can see exactly how long you have worked on that particular project, deal or other piece of work. Since then people have called, emailed and tweeted me asking exactly how I use it.  so, here’s how I use it for my priority project management recording and billing.

OK, so I use  Qlockwork (non-affiliate) straight out of the box and – as mentioned in my earlier post – I have it set at the 2 minute recording slot option, simply because some of my work does involve interrogating a number of programmes, files and web sites, often in short bursts at various points of the project cycle.

  1. I use Microsoft Outlook Categories as key tools in my priority management and project management methodologies. I therefor have a ‘Category’ column in all my relevant Outlook views.
  2. I still want to apply Outlook Categories to all critical priority workloads so I use these along with Qlockwork Project labels. I have created a ‘Category’ column in my Qlockwork calendar folder. My preferred Qlockwork view is ‘View Activities in a List’ view, to which I have added my Categories column.
  3. One of the first things I do when starting a project is to define (and where I am working with others – agree) a naming protocol for the project and all collatoral and communications that flow as a result of the project management and the associated priority management decisions I / we will be making as we move the project forward.
  4. There will, invariably be a folder for the project in Outlook and a project folder on our system.
  5. The only additional set-up step I include to accommodate my priority time tracking and management approach with Qlockwork is to create a ‘Project’ within Qlockwork. I create a new project name and then, in the ‘Subject Matches’ area include all keywords that would capture work in Outlook, MindManager, Word, Excel, PowerPoint or any other programmes I use to plan, execute and deliver the project.
  6. I have found that this workload management approach allows me to more accurately track, record and manage time spent on individual project work simply by grouping all the recorded activities in my Qlockwork list view by Category. (right-click on column headings and select ‘Group by this field’.
  7. The ability to manually add Project labels to work flows that might have been missed through the automatic settings (Control or shift to select items and then selecting the project from the ‘Set Qlockwork Project’ dialogue box in the toolbar) completes the picture.

There you have it. I’m still using it and continue to find it useful. Let me know if you want any further information or simply go to Anne Currie at Qlockwork and tell her Richard sent you.

Till next time,

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