If working through the Pandemic has proven one thing, it’s that the pace of work isn’t about to slow down! As great as it is to see increased productivity, one thing that may be missing while working from home is those in office learning moments. In the spirit of that, we thought we’d enlist the help of our membership to find out what they do to make their workday easier!


Automating Emails in Outlook

Outlook’s Delay Delivery function is great for sending out those repetitive yet necessary emails that we need on a regular basis. Set your automated emails up with a CC so you can forget them until they arrive in your inbox. Now you can focus on other things!

- Ryan Lam, Washington State Hospital Association

Hold That Time

My best time-saving tip is scheduling meetings and providing options to other Executive Assistants is to place a “hold” on those dates/times provided. Time goes so fast. If there is not a “hold” then it is booked and then we are at square one again.

- Jennifer Stahle, Intermountain Healthcare

When I coordinate meetings, I offer 2-3 dates with varying times. That gives the respondent more options to consider which is more efficient than the multiple back & forth emails with a single date and time.

- Dee Drummer, cHAP, Mary Greeley Medical Center

Reach Me Direct

We recently added a line under our signatures that alerts the reader to call us for assistance. This helps us avoid constantly checking my inbox & has greatly helped our time management.

- Debra Carter & Erika Sands, North Carolina Healthcare Association

Handling Urgent Tasks

When my “to-do” and “follow-up” task list becomes unmanageable and I start feeling overwhelmed, I use my calendar to make “an appointment” for each urgent item. I allot sufficient time to address each item, then mark it complete in the Outlook Task list, and move on to the next urgent task. I seem to accomplish much more when I can zero in on one urgent issue at a time instead of trying to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. It sure makes a difference on my daily stress level!

- Ingrid Hamel, California Hospital Association

Provide Additional Assistance

If someone phones your boss and they are not available, always inquire whether another member of the executive team may assist with their request. This could help reduce the amount of work you need to do in the future, plus the requester will greatly appreciate your service efforts!

- Anonymous

Scheduling Meetings Via Doodle Poll

I have found it helpful when scheduling larger meetings or calls to use the “Doodle Poll” feature. This free and easy-to-use tool has been incredibly helpful for me! It allows one to insert a variety of meeting dates and provides the participants with the ability to select the date/time that works best for them! One is then able to view the results and see which times work well for the majority. The link to access this feature is https://doodle.com/en/.

- Blake O'Donnell, cHAP, Tennessee Hospital Association

Conditional Formatting

I have used conditional formatting for many years for my emails. With so many emails that fill up a person’s inbox, It’s a quick and easy visual to spot that all-important email. I actually have red for my current executive’s email and so when it pops into my inbox I can see it amongst all the others. In my past, I used other colors for people within my organization that I considered high on the priority list. I didn’t go crazy with the conditional formatting but did have about 3 or 4 different colors that I set up for those important people. It’s pretty simple to do in Outlook and saves a lot of searching sometimes.

- Peggy Vela, Hendricks Regional Health

If you have any tips or tricks that we could add to the list, please email Bonnie Sanderlin. Submissions may be edited for clarity or brevity.