Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Outlook as your personal diary

In Outlook, we can put in tasks for ourselves, and here I have created an example - just fill up the dates, priority, the status and completion percentage :

It will appear in the Task List below your calendar.

Ok, now I have dragged the task to the time slot 2pm and extended it all the way to 5pm. When right-clicked, you can see that this slot has been set to 'Busy'.

Now I need to create an appointment so that I remember about the dinner with friends tonight:
I don't want my other colleagues who share my calendar to see personal appointments like these, that's why I have set this appointment as 'Private' by clicking on the padlock icon on top.

Here's a view of my shared calendar from my colleague Michelle's Outlook (notice my dinner appointment is displayed as 'Private Appointment') :

Outlook's calendar caters for appointments, tasks, and also make your private ones stay private :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Reading Hour with Microsoft Word

You have a lengthy document to read, say 175 pages, and you;ll be scrolling your mouse from page to page and that process will get tedious after awhile, and before you know it, you've lost track on which page that you were on!

Word actually makes reading pages of content easy for you, below is a screen print of a document (ebook more like it) which consists of 175 pages, I have zoomed out the view so that you can see the first few pages :

Before you panic, let's click on the View tab, and in the Show/Hide group, I have hovered my mouse on Document Map to see what the screen tip tells us.

Put a tick (/) in the Document Map checkbox, and a side panel appears on the left with all the headings specified in the document listed for easy navigation across the pages, just by clicking on the intended topics/titles.

Another option would be to go to the Contents page (table of contents) and you can navigate there as well by pressing on the Ctrl key + topic in the Contents.

Refer to the bottom right of the document, there is a 'Full Screen Reading' layout option there, click on that.

This is how the reading mode looks like, and you can adjust some of the 'View Options' as seen here :
To go from page to page, click on the arrow at the bottom sides of the pages, just like flipping a page!
Happy reading! :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Outlook's 'lil helpers'

I have come across situations where I was at the verge of embarrassing myself, and trust me, at that time, I really thanked the Outlook team for adding in awesome helpful features. Have you ever sent an email to the wrong recipients? In my case, I pressed 'Send'; without noticing that I was sending the mail to the wrong group of recipients and this included a CC to my boss!!

Well fret no more, your email/message can be recalled. I have an example of an email which I have accidentally sent out and I intend to recall the message, that is if the recipient has not opened the mail yet.

Go to your Sent Items folder, and click to open the email. In the Message tab, under Actions grouping, click on 'Other Options'; and you will see the 'Recall this message'.

You can either delete the message or delete it then have a replacement for the mail, and there is a check box at the bottom to notify you of the status of the recalled message. I have selected to delete the message and also to be notified if it is successful or otherwise.

This is the notification I got because Leo has already opened the mail hence my mail recall is unsuccessful, therefore when you wrongly sent out mails, make sure you perform the recall ASAP as well!

Another feature that Outlook does is to enable voting in emails. I have composed an email to my team mates asking them about their transport to our offsite venue and have them notify me via voting, it looks like this:

In the Options tab, in Tracking group there is an option to 'Use Voting Buttons', and I have selected to customize my voting buttons :

I just need to type in the driver's names here so that the recipients can specify whose car they'll be following down:

This is how the mail looks like to the recipients.

Their replies/votes will come in like this :

To view the complete tracking of the votes, go to your Sent Items folder, and open the mail that you sent out. In the Message tab, click on Tracking and votes are shown in this summary form :

Aren't these features helpful, you would definitely need these 'lil helpers' someday :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Hide and Seek with Excel

Sometimes when I work in Excel, I have some formulas which I want to keep away from people viewing the document so that they don't accidentally or intentionally change the values. This protection is only on the cell level and not for the whole workbook.

This is my excel sheet with a simple table that calculates the interest based on the principal, rate, and duration. I have clicked on the highlighted cell so that you can have a look at my formula.
First, we should set the protection for the cell, select the range of cells and right-click. Select Format Cell.
In the Protection tab, check Lock and Hidden.

From the ribbon, click on the Review tab, and in the Changes group, select 'Protect Sheet' so that cell range we selected just now will be locked and the formula hidden. You can also specify a password here, but I have chosen not to for this example.

Now when I click on the highlighted cell, the formula is not visible.

Here's what happened when I tried to edit the cell :

To remove the protection, just turn it off by clicking on 'Unprotect Sheet'. If a password was specified initially, then there will be a prompt first before the protection is turned off.
Next time you have cells with sensitive values or formulas, protect the values by locking and hiding the values.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

OneNote Templates

I have stopped carrying around a notepad or organizer since I started using Microsoft OneNote in my laptop. From my daily notes, to meeting minutes, and screen clippings of materials, I 'jot' all these into my OneNote notebooks.

If you don't know how to start in a new page, on the right panel, there is an arrow next to the 'New Page' option, that enlists a wide range of template choices to choose from to help you get started.
To spoil you, there is a selection there at the bottom of the list to view 'More Templates Choices and Options..."
All these templates have been categorized for easy selection, and here I have expanded Planners and selected 'Prioritised To Do List' template and voila:

Easily now, I just fill up my To-Do items for the day so that I don't miss out on my tasks.

So do try out the other types of templates for your meeting minutes, etc.

In the Templates task pane, refer to the bottom and you can find more options for templates, such as setting a default template or create a new template with the current settings.