Multitasking is the name of the game anymore. Computers haven't made things easier for us. Instead, they made it easier for us to accomplish more. For instance, you may find yourself trying to answer e-mail, schedule meetings, and log calls at the same time.
If you're using Outlook, you don't have to close one task to start another. Instead, open a new window, complete the interrupting task, and return to what you were doing. To open a new Outlook window, simply right-click the additional folder you wish to open and choose Open In New Window. You can then resize the new window, work with windows side by side, or cycle through them using Alt+Tab.
Now, there's one catch to this behavior. Outlook remembers which windows are open when you exit. The next time you open Outlook, it'll open all of the windows that were open before you closed it the time before. This happens when you choose Exit from the File menu to close Outlook.
The easiest solution is to use the Close button (the X in the top-right corner of the title bar) to close each window before you exit. Then, exit Outlook. The next time you open Outlook, it will open only the main window.
Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.