The UsefulTechnology Blog

Tips and Tactics for a Better Digital Life

January, 2006

  • Utraquism in Office 2003

    Yes, that is a real word. 'Utraquism' means "the use of two languages on an equal basis". And, yes, I didn't know its meaning either until I found it in dictionary. But it's a good word, and we should all use it more frequently. In the most tenuous...
  • Take control of your Inbox!

    Here's an excellent article that just caught my eye: http://www.microsoft.com/atwork/manageinfo/email.mspx . Great advice for anyone struggling to tame the email beast.
  • FolderShare - my new best friend!

    Steve Clayton's blog helped me discover FolderShare, a brilliant little application that lets you share folders across devices. It's fabulous! Very easy to use, very quick and very smart! And I can finally wave goodbye to those crazy times of copying...
  • Emails stuck in your Outbox?

    Outlook was really messing with my mind this weekend when it started behaving really oddly. That was, at least, until I discovered a solution using a cunning combination of brute force and extreme web surfing! On one of my computers I spotted that...
  • Online premiere of The IT Crowd

    There's an odd marriage for computer geeks and comedy fans coming soon to British TV when a new series starts on Channel 4. The programme's called 'The IT Crowd' and premieres next Friday 3rd February with a double bill. But you don't need to wait until...
  • Coping with Out of Office Autoreplies

    Users of Microsoft Outlook with a Microsoft Exchange Server email account will know that they can use the Out of Office Assistant (in the Tools menu) to automatically send email replies when they are away. But what should you do with all those Out of...
  • Expression Interactive Designer - get the CTP today!

    Microsoft released the public beta of Expression Interactive Designer, the software formerly known as Sparkle, today! Check out the Channel9 video at http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=157843 or download directly from http://www.microsoft.com...
  • Doing your research

    Lost for words? If you use Microsoft Word 2003 as your email editor and need to find a more fancy way of expressing yourself, just highlight a word in your email and press SHIFT+F7. This brings up the Research task pane giving you access to a multitude...
  • [TABLOG] Prevent people from replying to meeting requests

  • The Ultimate Pen Gizmos

    I just have to share this innovative set of concept gadgets from a company called Canesta . These weird looking pens are intended to double up as both virtual keyboards and image projectors so you can do away with your laptop and screen (or projector...
  • That email delay rule again

    MVP Diane Poremsky, keeper of the excellent Outlook Tips site, passed on a couple of ideas in her daily tips email yesterday on how to prevent the accidental sending of an email. The first tip was to leave the addressee fields blank until you're ready...
  • World Cup 2006 Fixtures for Outlook

    Here's a link to a site that includes a .zip file containing all the 2006 Football World Cup fixtures in Outlook meeting format so you can drag'n'drop 'em into your Outlook calendar. No reason to miss an important match now! http://www.geocities.com...
  • Neutralising Nasties in your Messaging World

    Alfred sent me a link to a Microsoft website that explains everything you need to know about a putting in place multiple layers of defence for business messaging. There's some useful stuff in this neat little site including free evaluation trials...
  • Exchange 5.5 - the final fix

    Quirky! I just noticed that Microsoft ended up extending the support lifecycle for Exchange Server 5.5 to 10th January 2006 instead of ending it as planned on 31st December 2005. This was done to align the end of support life timings will the release...
  • Reading emails in plain text

    One useful Microsoft Outlook setting for self-protection is hidden in Tools > Options > Email Options > Read all standard mail in plain text . If you switch this on, all HTML emails will appear on screen as plain text, thereby protecting you...
  • Outlook Date Magic!

    Diane Poremsky at the excellent Outlook Tips website just issued a timely (geddit?!) reminder of the power of Microsoft Outlook's date fields in her daily tip bulletin. If you're not yet subscribed to Diane's Outlook tips by email service, join now by...
  • Outlook backup tool stopped working?

    Microsoft Outlook users with personal folder should always ensure they take regular backups of their .pst files so they can be recovered in the event of hardware or software failure. There's a handy free tool to make this easier available for Outlook...
  • Remembering Spike

    There were loads of TV programme on over Christmas in the UK about the late Spike Milligan, one of the wittiest people to have ever walked this earth. Gawd bless 'im! But these programme somehow reminded me (isn't it weird how our brains work?!) of...
  • Quick magnify your email

    There are some shortcuts that you simply discover by accident! Like the dreaded CTRL+ENTER shortcut which many people unwittingly discover sends your email before you've finished typing it! I've blogged about a fix to that little problem here . But...
  • The best Outlook keyboard shortcuts ever...

    Ditch your mouse! Here's the über-mother-of-all-lists of Outlook keyboard shortcuts: http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/assistance/HP030842231033.aspx . Read and enjoy! And, if after reading this anyone still doesn't use SHIFT+CTRL+I to display blocked...
  • Happy Birthday Drinking Buddies!

    It's my brother's birthday today! Happy birthday Ian. Which, conveniently, reminds me of a handy Outlook tip. If you enter a contact's birthday date in the 'Birthday' field under the Detail tab , Outlook will automatically add a recurring calendar...
  • Changing an Email to a Meeting Request

    We've all done it. You start typing an email, then four lines into your magnificent prose you realise that what you've typed is probably best delivered in face-to-face meeting. So now you want to send a meeting request. It seems a terrible shame to deprive...
  • Surfing t'Internet in Outlook

    Few people use it this way, but Outlook does a pretty neat turn as a web browser. To surf the web from the comfort of your Outlook armchair go to View > Toolbars > Web to display the web address bar. Now, just type a URL (like www.microsoft.com...
  • Unblocking Blocked Attachments in Outlook

    Ever wondered why Outlook 2003 makes it so difficult to send and receive certain attachments? It's all for your own protection (especially you Dad!) but I've enclosed some handy tips here to help you get round Outlook's draconian settings! Which files...
  • My Top Tips for Good Email

    Blake Handler recently posted an interesting list of his 25 Rules for Outlook Etiquette. I was intrigued by this list and thought I should have a pop at compiling my own. Having just compared the two they are kind of similar, but different. Setting...