Turn Off Outlook's New-Message Alerts

Wait, did you read that right? Turn off Outlook's you've-got-mail alerts? Why on Earth would you want to do that? In a word: productivity.

Think about it: New messages are constantly flowing into your inbox, and by default Outlook alerts you to each and every message.

That's not much different from a co-worker popping his head into your office every five minutes to ask a question. Talk about productivity-killing interruptions!

Consequently, you might want to try life without the alerts. Disabling them is easier than you might think:

1. Choose Tools, Options, and click E-mail Options.

2. Click Advanced E-Mail Options.

3. Uncheck the box next to Play a sound.

4. Uncheck the box next to Briefly change the mouse cursor.

5. Uncheck the box next to Show an envelope icon in the notification area.

6. Uncheck the box next to Display a New Mail Desktop Alert.

Click OK and you're done! Outlook will continue to fetch (or receive) new mail at regularly scheduled intervals, but without any of the usual interruptions.

In other words, you can review your inbox on your schedule, not Outlook's. Give this a try, then let me know if you prefer working this way.

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