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Michael Linenberger’s Blog Has Moved!

Nov 7, 2012

We just moved our blog site to our main domain ( Just trying to consolidate things. We modernized the theme a bit too.

We’ll try to keep the old articles up for a while to support links. But no more new blogs will be posted here. So be sure to reset any RSS feeds you may have so they point to the new location.
The new RSS feed is at


Outlook 2013: Fixing the Harder to Open To-Do Bar

October 30, 2012 [updated 4:33 pm]

If you have been playing with the Outlook 2013 Preview, one thing you may have noticed is that the To-Do Bar’s display controls have changed a lot compared to Outlook 2007 and 2010. These are the controls that open and close the To-Do Bar; they also control what data you see there. The overall effect of the changes is simplification, and that’s good. But as a result, in some ways the settings are now harder to use.

There are a ton of little changes in these controls, some good, some bad, and I cannot cover them all here. However in this post, I want to focus on one important change that may mess you up: it’s the manner in which you hide and show the To-Do Bar; I think Microsoft has simplified it a bit too much in 2013. The good news is that I am going to show you how to tweak Outlook and add a Quick Access command that will fix it, (sort of).  And I’ll show another method just pointed out to me by Bjørn Hopland, who I now see has an excellent Microsoft Office productivity blog. Read the rest of this entry »

Some articles about Outlook 2013 and

October 26, 2012

Here are some links to some articles about Outlook 2013 that may be of interest to you.

Outlook 2013 has a new Quick Reply feature that allows you to write your reply right in the reading pane:

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, Microsoft’s free webmail service, Hotmail, is being replaced by Here’s an article that has  an overview of


The New Window 8 Tablets and MYN/1MTD

October 25, 2012

This Friday, October 26 (tomorrow), Microsoft releases Windows 8. It’s a major new release with a lot of good new capability. By the way, the full version of Windows 8 is now called Windows 8 Pro, which you’ll see below is an important point.

But more exciting to me is that this Friday Microsoft also releases the much anticipated Microsoft Surface RT tablet—a tablet that runs the new Windows 8 RT operating system. RT is a simplified, tablet-only version of Windows 8. There’s been a long wait for an iPad competitor from Microsoft, and Surface RT is it.

And even more exciting to me is that Friday is also the release date for a number Windows 8 Pro tablets. These are tablets that run the full Windows 8 just as if it were a regular laptop but on an iPad like device. The new Lenovo ThinkPad 2 is an example.

Many other manufacturers are also releasing varieties of these starting Friday and beyond. All of this represents a major productivity tool evolution for knowledge workers—you come out ahead because you can have PC power on an iPad-like tablet.

If you are considering getting one of these new tablets, the point of this article is to discuss specifically what they mean for MYN/1MTD users—can you use them successfully with MYN/1MTD?

The short answer is this:

  • Windows 8 RT tablets will have limited use with MYN/1MTD;
  • Windows 8 Pro tablets will have full use with MYN/1MTD.

To dig into that answer takes some discussion; let’s start with Windows 8 RT, as there are some issues there.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Many Flavors of E-mail and Outlook from Microsoft

October 25, 2012

I don’t know about you, but my head has been spinning in the last months as I consider all the different Microsoft offered e-mail programs, and how they relate to Outlook and Exchange. I watch these because MYN/1MTD is often closely tied to Outlook, and as new e-mail program variants come out, we all start to wonder which we can use with MYN/1MTD.

First, let me list all the various mail programs from Microsoft that I am aware of—it’s quite a list! You’ve got the many versions of desktop Outlook (usually part of the desktop Office suites that include Outlook). You’ve got Outlook Web Access/App (OWA). You’ve got Windows Mail in Vista. You’ve got the Mail portion of Windows Live, Windows Live Essentials, Windows Essentials (and Windows Live Mail). You’ve got the mail portion of the new web-based Office 365. You’ve got the new You’ve got the new Mail app in Windows 8 Pro and Windows 8 RT. You have Hotmail. And a while ago you may have had Outlook Express. Did I miss anything?

Only One for MYN/1MTD

Now, let me try to simplify things, especially for MYN/1MTD users. Out of all of the above, only one has tasks support for MYN/1MTD, and that’s desktop Outlook (all versions from 2000 to 2013). Only desktop Outlook is supported because it’s the only software that fully implements the Outlook Tasks module—and that’s what we need for MYN/1MTD, the full Outlook Tasks module. If you cannot use desktop Outlook, then, no matter which other e-mail program you use for mail, you will need something else for tasks (in that case, I recommend you use Toodledo for tasks for MYN/1MTD).

All the Other Microsoft Mail Programs

What about all the other mail programs above? How do they relate to MYN/1MTD? How do they relate to my daily business mail?

What follows are some FAQs that may help.

Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Featured on Cover of new iPad-based Time Management Magazine

Oct 5, 2012

There’s a brand new iPad-based magazine out from the Canadian publisher Glenn Watt, and I have been featured on its cover this month. It’s called Time Management, and it offers a cross-section of various time management systems out there. It’s a good magazine! There’s an overview my system, and a video interview with me. But more important, you’ll see lots of other systems profiled as well.

My Article Was Featured In Time Management Magazine


If you’d like free access to this first issue and the next two, you can use a code to get that; here’s how:

  1. From the App Store on your iPad search for “Time Management Magazine” (or just click the image above from your iPad) and download the free app.
  2. Open the magazine in Newsstand, and the magazine home page is displayed.
  3. The code can be entered by pressing the “Subscribe” button and then selecting “Current Subscriber” then entering the code: “ThreeMonthsFree

Once the code is used, the user will be able to access the full magazine for three months, and will be sent an email at the end of the three months asking if they would like to subscribe. If the above steps get confusing, here is a link to a video that shows how to do it:


Is Your Outlook Slow? You May Have Exceeded Exchange’s Single-Folder Item limit

October 5, 2012

Has your Exchange-based Outlook mail client performance gotten slower over time? For example, is Outlook Search getting slower? Or do you often get a message saying something like “Requesting data from Microsoft Exchange Server” that is slow to clear before you see your mail update?

If so, you may have a problem that most people are not aware of: you may have reached Exchange’s single-folder item count limit. The good news is, if you have exceeded that limit, it can be fixed fairly easily as I discuss below, and your speed should come back.

Read the rest of this entry »

Our Obsession with E-mail and “Busyness”—and Finding a Balance

October 3, 2012

Why do many of us need to check e-mail all the time? Why do many of us choose to work on e-mail and other things even in our free time? In other words, why are we so obsessed with busyness?

One view is we are trying to get ahead. It’s the competitive American way. We work hard to try to get the big rewards (or at least to keep up).

That may be true for some of us. Our constant busyness is part of a thought-out strategy to achieve more—for ourselves and our family.

But I wonder if for many of us, rather, this constant search for busyness is an attempt to fill a void. Read the rest of this entry »

Is Your Task List Too Big and Out of Control?

October 3, 2012

Is your current task list is too long and out of control? Are you a One Minute To-Do List (1MTD) or MYN user, but perhaps have given up using it because your task list has gotten so big?

This is the most common reason people give up on using any sort automated task list—automated lists get too big and out of control very quickly. Even users of the excellent GTD system often say their Next Action list gets too big and so becomes unusable. Really, any automated task system will easily get out of hand—so don’t feel bad. The common source of the problem is that old tasks tend to build up in automated lists and few of us know how to handle that.

Well, in the 1MTD and MYN systems, there is no reason it has to be this way. There are easy ways to keep your task list short, well focused, and under control. Those ways are built into the systems, so if you have lost your way with either system, let me show you how to get your list cleaned up now. Read the rest of this entry »

Use Outlook’s Daily Task List to Look Ahead


In MYN I teach how to use the start date to schedule tasks to the future if you want—that hides those tasks until you are ready to work on them, and keeps your current list less cluttered. But in nearly every MYN webinar and seminar when I teach that, I am then asked “but if we are hiding future tasks from the To-Do Bar how can I see my upcoming future tasks”?

My answer is always two-fold. First, if you use the start date correctly, you can schedule a task to appear a day or two ahead of when you need to work on it. That way you rarely need to look ahead.

But many MYN users, particularly those getting started, worry about being blindsided by upcoming tasks, and so still want to have that future view.

Well, you can always look in the Tasks folder; MYN settings do not filter those tasks so you will see them all there. But the Tasks folder can be a bit overwhelming, so here is another solution: use Outlook’s Daily Task List.

Read the rest of this entry »