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How The Richest Man In The World Works

Bill Gates, head honcho at Microsoft, has written an article for Fortune magazine revealing a number of insights on how he manages his day.

Gates, unsurprisingly, makes good use of his company's technology, and prides himself on being virtually paper free. We say virtually - he's still got a whiteboard for brainstorm, but claims he'll be getting a digital one in a year. And that's not the only thing he's proud of. Gates somewhat boastfully described his tri-monitor desktop setup, noting that "
once you have that large display area, you'll never go back, because it has a direct impact on productivity".

Gates said he receives one hundred emails a day from colleagues and companies in the computer industry, which are strictly filtered by his secretary. Also of note his an apparent dis-interest with to-do lists (hint to the Outlook team, or bad news for 37signals?!). Instead, he relies on flags and priority tags. Gates noted the shockingly (and surprisingly) distractive nature of the email notification / pop-up in Outlook, which he calls the toast. "
I'm very disciplined about ignoring that unless I see that it's a high-priority topic."

Gates noted his use of SharePoint as a way of managing the mass of information he deals with, and Desktop search for finding his documents. Not very interestingly, he didn't say whether it was Google or MSN's product, but we think it was probably the latter.

Asides from reading like an overview of what Microsoft sells today, it does offer some insight into how the world's richest man goes about his days. It paints a picture of a digital future, albeit, a Microsoft based digital future.

View: How I work

View: Gates' office

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