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The Electric Wand
Random thoughts of a technology enthusiast.
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The Electric Wand
Tip o’ the Week #196 – Change Outlook meeting duration
It’s seemingly an irrefutable law that when you book a meeting for an hour, it takes an hour. Or what might happen is some people are still rocking up at 3 or 4 minutes after the start, and others start packing up 5 minutes before the end because they have another meeting to go to. Others yet will start...
8 Nov 2013
Tip o’ the Week #181 – “Working Elsewhere” status
This week’s tip comes courtesy of Phil Cross , who discovered it one day whilst trying to tell his colleagues where he was going to be. In Outlook, as you know, you can set the “ Show As ” status of an appointment or a meeting (and ToW readers of long standing may recall the difference – an appointment...
5 Jul 2013
Tip o' the Week #180 - A touch of magic
As more and more of us continue to enjoy new laptops courtesy of the Windows 8 Refresh program, the fact that most of them are touch-enabled is causing delight and surprise. The best things about touch on traditional laptop devices may be the less obvious uses – scrolling up and down a web page with...
28 Jun 2013
Tip o' the Week #154 - Outlook 2013 searching - reprise
Sometimes, the best bits of content benefit from revisiting, improving or just being done in a different way. It was good enough for Sgt. Pepper , and a mainstay of any self-respecting 1970s concept album (try and hear the Supper’s Ready lyrics at the end of the Squonk reprise in Los Endos , for example...
18 Jan 2013
Tip o’ the Week #150 – It’s a date!
Some tweaks and tips are basically not all that exciting unless you find they solve a problem you’ve had to deal with directly, maybe on a number of occasions, at which point they’ll transform to being a miraculous time saver that you’ll continue using for years to come. One such example, is the Copy...
7 Dec 2012
Tip o' the Week #144 - Office 2013 Templates
A short and sharp tip this week, courtesy of Louis Lazarus , concerning the way the New Office handles template files… and how to configure search in Outlook 2013 to be a bit more fullsome. See more templates online , and now, over to Louis… When you create a new document in Office 2013 with Word, Excel...
2 Nov 2012
Tip o' the Week #142 - Touch and Outlook 2013
Here’s a super-quick Outlook 2013 tip for anyone with a Touch-enabled PC running Windows 8… Incidentally, If you have a multi-touch laptop like the Lenovo x201 Tablet or X220 Tablet, you may find that after Windows 8 is installed, it won’t see that the screen can see multiple touch points … so pinch...
19 Oct 2012
Tip o’ the Week #136 – Inbox tips for Outlook 2013
If you’ve taken the plunge and started using Office 2013, you may be getting used to the subtle but impactful changes to the way some information is displayed, particularly lists of emails in your inbox. Outlook 2010 has a colourful Ribbon, emboldens folders where you have unread email, and shows everything...
7 Sep 2012
Tip o’ the Week #119 – Using Outlook in multiple windows
This week’s tip comes courtesy of Jon Morris , who is agog at the way lots of people switch between their Inbox and their Calendar, in Outlook. Hands up if you routinely use the Navigation Pane on the lower left of the main window, to switch between these two most commonly used folders? OK, put your...
1 Jun 2012
Tip o' the Week #110 - Tracking Outlook responses
Most of us regular Outlook users are well-versed in the Request/Response model of doing things other than email. Take an appointment in your own calendar: add an invited attendee or two, and you've created a meeting . What's different? The meeting invitations were sent out and the list of attendees is...
20 Apr 2012
Tip o' the Week #102 - When did someone really put something in their calendar?
I've been thinking about writing this tip since the ToW started almost exactly two years ago (yay!) but for various reasons, competitive advantage amongst them, I've held off. I figure it's now time to relent and share. genesis The tip concerns the differences in Outlook between appointments, meetings...
9 Mar 2012
Tip o’ the Week #91 – So you're OOF? Meh.
Now that Outlook, Exchange and Lync all provide a way of showing that someone is Out of the Office (aka OOF, not OOO ), it should be no surprise when you send email to someone internally, that you get an Out of Office message. Outlook’s tool tip tells you they’re out, Lync’s status icon shows the small...
20 Jan 2012
Tip o' the Week #70 - Windows Phone 7 usage abroad
If you’re planning on taking your Windows Phone to sunnier climes over the autumn/winter, this tip might help. One side-effect of going abroad is that the numbers you may have saved in your contacts, won’t be able to dial – 07802 etc won’t make any sense if you’re in the US…. One elegant solution to...
30 Sep 2011
Tip o’ the Week #67–Lync Conferencing Tips
An earlier Tip o’ the Week featured “ 5 Golden Rules ” for OCS and Lync conferencing, and those tips still stand. If you host or participate in a Lync conference, you can dial-in to the meeting from a phone as well as joining from your PC – eg for Microsoft-hosted Lync conferences, attendees can find...
16 Sep 2011
Tip o’ the Week #44 – Making Outlook show only email from external senders
This tip came about after one reader asked if there was any way to highlight email, in Outlook, that came from a set of external addresses [in short, it kind-of is, but it’s not so straightforward] . There’s a more universally useful tip lurking beneath, though – how can I hide all...
8 Jul 2011
Tip o’ the Week #36 – Using bookmarks in long emails
“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” ~ Thomas Jefferson Brevity . That’s one, important, word. Better to write a short, thorough email, than to overwhelm with info no-one will ever read (something a few folks in Redmond have yet to appreciate, perhaps...
10 Jun 2011
Tip o’ the Week #22: Sync SharePoint data into Outlook
This week’s tip comes from a reader: over to Microsoft UK’s Rob Orwin… In order to help my forecasting, I synchronise the appropriate documents to my Outlook so that when I send and receive they are automatically updated. To do this I simply: 1) Go to the SharePoint site where...
25 Mar 2011
Tip o’ the Week #20: Outlook date cleverness
Here’s a quick Outlook tip that some long term users may know but might have forgotten. Ever since the first very of Outlook was released more than 14 years ago, it’s had a surprising capability to handle dates using natural language descriptions. Whenever Outlook prompts you to enter a date (and allows...
18 Mar 2011
Tip o’ the Week #2: Travel times in Outlook
Another Outlook tip this week. There have been some calls for Microsoft to include a “Travel Time” capability to Outlook, that lets you automatically add getting-to and getting-from time to an existing Outlook appointment. There is one internal addin which integrates Bing maps to calculate the time taken...
7 Jan 2011
Exchange in the cloud or on the ground?
Following the price cut on the desperately-in-need-of-renaming BPOS services recently, I’ve been talking with a few people about the where the tipping point might be for running Exchange in house vs using some form of hosted provision. There are plenty of reasons why a hosted offering makes sense...
18 Nov 2009
Plain text, RTF or HTML mail?
Here's an interesting question that I was asked earlier today; I can't offer a definitive answer, but these are my thoughts. If you have any contradictory or complimentary comments, please comment or let me know. "Can RTF/HTML Mail be as safe as plain text with regard to viruses/malware etc?" Theoretically...
2 Aug 2007
Exchange mailbox quotas and a 'paradox of thrift'
The study of economics throws up some fantastic names for concepts or economic models, some of which have become part of the standard lexicon, such as the Law of Diminishing Returns , or the concept of opportunity cost , which I've written about before . Though it sounds like it might be something...
10 Jul 2007
Using Outlook Search folders to sift large volumes of email
[This is a re-heat and update of an older blog post on You Had me at EHLO! ] Search Folders in Outlook 2003 and 2007 can be a useful tool to manage large volumes of mail in your mailbox; one tip is to create a folder for "all mail since this morning" or similar; I also have a search folder for "all unread...
3 Jan 2007
Some more useful Windows & Outlook shortcuts
As I mentioned the other day , I've a penchant for using shortcuts in Windows: most (if not all) are documented in help files and the likes, but it is amazing how many people don't know about them or just don't use them. Continuing the list of shortcut keys that can save a few fractions of a second...
2 Jan 2007
Outlook 2007 caches other people's calendars
In the default modus operandi , Outlook 2007 likes to be in cached mode when running against Exchange, which is generally a *good thing*. Cached mode means there are (by and large) fewer occasions to go back & forth to the server, as it operates by synchronizing a local copy of the mailbox down to...
13 Dec 2006
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