Friday, September 11, 2009

Working smarter with email software

Microsoft Office Outlook

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, I was getting quite frustrated in Lotus Notes, trying to chase down one email item in the new threading feature. I was mouthing profanities until I realised that I had no hope of finding that email item. I had routed a duplicate of Lotus incoming items to my Yahoo inbox and was subsequently retrieving such items via the POP3 interface into Outlook. Why didn’t I use connect Outlook directly to my Lotus Inbox via Lotus IMAP4 emulation? Well, because the Lotus IMAP4 interface gave up on me some months ago. Never found out why from our sysadmin team.

 

 

Anyway, so here I am in Outlook 2007 hunting for another email item. Blast! Really hard to find. Even though I have just installed Microsoft Desktop Search 4.0 (which even searches non POP3 local stores, even IMAP4 transitory things.) Even though I had Categorised items (but obviously forgotten to categorise this one).

Soo, I switch the Inbox View to Arrange By: From. That looks half promising. But I can’t see the Preview and I have to scroll like crazy to get to another From: sender.

Lightbulb blinks on. View > Expand / Collapse Groups > Collapse All Groups

Aaah!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Excel Data Picker

I was leading a training session the other day, demonstrating in-cell validation using lists or number limits and Deepa asked whether she could drop down a date list, like we do in a custom list. I blinked and said, “you mean a Date Picker?”. Then I realised, it was a good request. I immediately pointed to the date picker living in Access 2007 cells (even though they annoy Pepe) and the new Word 2007 Date Picker Content Controls. But Excel cells? I muttered something about the richness and maturity of Excel and said I would have a look on the internet.

There it is, an effort by ISamRad – it’s offered plain, unwrapped, an .xla in all its glory (download it here). I just tested it with Excel 2003 and Excel 2007, both work fine. Sam is actually Sam Radakovitz, a program manager on the Excel team – he contributes to the Excel Blog.

Enjoy!

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