Free Ebook(3 Days Only): 7 Tips to Cure Email Overload

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Friday, April 18th, 2014

Free PDF Ebook Download

4 Page PDF shows you 7 quick tips that you can implement today to give yourself a Clean Uncluttered & Focused Inbox that helps you get the RIGHT work done. The tips also make it easy to file and organize your emails so that they are easy to find later.

Download 7 Tips to Cure Email Overload

The ebook is summary our recent video series on How to Cure Email Overload. The video series was watched by thousands of Outlook users and received hundreds of very positive comments.

The ebook is available for free for the next few days only… after which it will become part of a paid course.

Download the Outlook PDF now… and tell us if you found it helpful by leaving a comment on the blog.

How to Cure Email Overload (Video)

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Instead of our regular blog posts, we are creating a series of 3 video posts to solve what our 30,000+ blog readers tell us is there #1 problem… TOO MUCH EMAIL!

You can watch the first two (short) videos here:

*   Video #1: How to Cure Email Overload

*   Video #2: A Focused Inbox to Get Things Done

These videos are free for the moment.

You will need to opt-in to see the video (as always we respect your privacy and will NEVER share your email with anyone).

We’re asking for your email again so we know who to send the PDF version of How to Cure Email Overload to… as soon as the video course is complete.

Once you have seen the videos, please let us know if there is any question you want answered in the third and final video.

Best Regards,

Your Outlook Team at Standss

PS: The videos may be taken down and converted into a paid training course later. Watch it now.


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Retention Policies: Your Deleted Items folder will be cleared every 30 days!

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

We have told you before why you should not use the Outlook Deleted Items folder as your filing cabinet i.e. do not use the Deleted Items folder as the folder where you keep emails for later reference.

Here’s another good reason…. If you are using Office 365 (I recently moved my email account to it), your Deleted Items folder is automatically cleared (every day) of emails that are 30 days or older.

The reason for this is that folders in Outlook that are linked to Office 365 have Retention Policies applied to them.

A retention policy defined how long Office 365 will keep items in users’ mailboxes and defines what actions to take on items that have reached a certain age.

The default action for the Deleted Items is to clear items that are 30 days or older.

While it is possible to change this default action, I don’t think you should. Automatically clearing emails provides two benefits:

  1. It discourages you from “filing” emails in the Deleted Items folder.
  2. It provides insurance in case you need to recover an email that you deleted recently.

You can find more information on Setting Email Retention Policies in Office 365 here.


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The Children YOU Helped Us Save in 2013.

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, February 18th, 2014


One of the first things I do at the start of each year is inform and thank our readers and customers, for the charity based projects that YOU have contributed to by purchasing our Outlook addins.

January was a very busy month and I somehow forgot.  I know I am a little late but here are the main charity projects that we carried out in 2013.

Our focus (as in previous years) is on the education and health of children here in Fiji. Our contributions include money, time and expertise.

Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD) Project at the CWM Children’s Hospital (Suva)

We have developed and are currently piloting a database for children affected by RHD in Fiji.

RHD is a problem that affects many children in Fiji and other Pacific islands. According to the world heart federation, RHD is the most common heart disease acquired by children in the world, especially children in the developing world.

RHD also tends to disproportionately affect children from low income and less educated families.

The standard method of control/treatment, once a child has been diagnosed with RHD, is the regular administration of antibiotics. The antibiotics are generally administered with a painful injection every 3 to 4 weeks.

While the Fiji Government has made testing and treatment of RHD free, statistics indicate that the compliance of patients is still poor and many children are at risk of serious heart damage that would require surgery to repair or replace heart valves.

These operations are not easily available in Fiji and are also very expensive.

We approached the Children’s Hospital in Suva with the idea of creating a database that allows the hospital to track compliance down to the individual patient level.

The aim of the database is to identify children who are not complying with the medical treatment necessary to control the disease.

This enables the hospital to identify which patients are missing injections and to intervene early by calling their parents.

The first version of the database has already been developed is currently being trialled at the main Children’s Hospital in Suva.

We hope to eventually link this system to mobile phone companies so that parents get reminded of as their children’s appointments (by SMS text) are due. This should further increase compliance while reducing the workload of the overworked nurses and doctors at our hospitals.

The data from the database will also be submitted to Government to aid with decision making that will hopefully save unnecessary operations, cost and even lives.

Educations Assistance to Save the Children Fiji (SCF)

We have had a long relationship with Save the Children Fiji (SCF). I have been a member of their Board for many years and have also served as the Chair Person.

Two of the SCF projects that we contributed in 2013 were the Education Assistance in and Education in Emergencies (EIS) programs.

The aim of the Education Assistance program is to provide school supplies to children at the start of the school year.

While SCF has been working hard to move people away from welfare and empowering them, the sad reality is that there are parents who are unable to adequately equip their children for school at the start of the year.

This results in children going to school badly prepared and often unable to partake fully, or worse dropping out.

Our donations over the years have helped keep children in school by providing school packs including bags, stationery, shoes and even uniforms.

The Education in Emergencies (EIE) project has a related but slightly different focus. Fiji is prone to flooding and cyclones/hurricanes one or more times an year. During the more severe events, schools are often closed and sometimes damaged.

School supplies may also be lost when homes are damaged. Parents from farming communities often have difficulty in re-equipping and sending children back to school if crops are damaged.

The money that we donate to EIE is used to get children back into a learning environment as soon as possible. In the past this has included provided school lunches, school supplies and setting up of informal temporary schools while main schools are closed for repairs etc.

This is a link to a newspaper article for one of the donations that we made: Standss Donation to Save the Children Fiji

Home of Compassion

The Home of Compassion is not a child based charity. Instead it is a home for the elderly. Culturally the elderly are still looked after by their families in Fiji. Formalized care for the elderly is not well established in Fiji yet.

However there is a growing need for this as grown children migrate out of Fiji or if there are special medical requirements.

We have worked with The Home of Compassion for several years to support their services. They do their best to truly make their residents feel at home and we are humbled to be allowed to contribute to them in a small way.

The above is a quick summary of the 3 main charities we had the privilege of working with in 2013. We were also able to make small contributions to other charities such as the Fiji Cancer Society and Fiji Blind Society.

It has been our good fortune to have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of many children and adults who have been less fortunate than us. We hope that it also makes you feel good because none of this would have been possible without your support of our business.

We want to do MORE… MUCH MORE!

We have big plans for the next few years and been working on a roadmap and strategic plan to grow our business (more on this in the next few weeks). This will enable us to have a greater impact on your business and by extension on the lives of the less fortunate.

We hope that you will continue to support our products, and let us know if we need to do more to keep earning your trust.

We look forward to your support as we make this journey together.


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Categories : Charity Projects, General Comments ( 0 )

Managing Projects in Outlook using Appointments and Tasks

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

In the post last week, we looked at some of the ways that you can customize outlook to suit your style of working and also effective handle the pile of emails in your inbox.

Other than emails, Outlook users also use the calendar and task to manage their daily lives and projects… and yet Outlook does not give us an easy way to manage projects inside Outlook. Outlook users frequently ask us how they can see all appointments and tasks that make up a project in one place.

Why is this important?  Most work or projects are made up of a series of steps all being related to each other. As we finish a step, it is important to know what the next steps are to get the project completed. Things also don’t always go according to plan… and we need to see what else gets affected when things change.

Our research showed that there is no simple way to organize and view related tasks and appointments under projects… so we added this functionality to our Outlook Project Management addin Smart Schedules for Outlook.

With Smart Schedules for Outlook you can:

  1.  Assign existing (or new) tasks and appointments to projects
  2. Quickly see all tasks and appointments for a project at the click of a button.

Here are step by step instructions showing you just how easy this can be:

Assign existing (or new) tasks and appointments to projects

  1.  Open Outlook and go to the Calendar/Task folder that the existing appointment/task is located in
  2. Select the appointment/task
  3. Click on Assign Project button on the Smart Schedules toolbar/ribbon. This will display the following screen:


 Select an existing project from the Project list.

  • Note: You can also type in a new project name if you would like to create a new project and add this selected appointment/task to that project.
  • Click OK.

Quickly see all tasks and appointments for a project at the click of a button

Smart Schedules Project Centre makes it easy to see all appointments and tasks that you have associated with a project.

On the Smart Schedules toolbar, click Project Centre

  • From the Project drop-down, select the Project to which you assigned the appointment or task
  • You will now be able to view the appointment or task assigned to the project and all other related appointments and tasks for the project as shown below:


Next Steps…

Smart Schedules for Outlook was designed with the help of almost 20,000 Outlook users. Try it for yourself today and tell us what you think.

Download a fully functional version of Smart Schedules for Outlook.

Watch a short video of our Outlook based Project Management tool (Smart Schedules)

I hope you find this tip useful managing your projects in Outlook.

If you know of other ways to manage projects using Outlook, share it with our readers by leaving a comment below.


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Customize Outlook to Work the way you want

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

First of all Happy New Year to all our readers and welcome back to work J

I’m sure you all have enjoyed the holidays and now recharged to work through another year.

Your inbox is sure to be full of emails piled up while you were away and so in this first post for the year, we will show you some of the ways that you can customize outlook to suit your style of working and also effectively handle the pile of emails in your inbox.

Tip 1: Auto Highlight Important Emails in Outlook

Not all emails in your inbox will require immediate attention for example newsletters, so how do you pick out which ones are urgent and which ones can be dealt with later?

Outlook has an in-built feature which automatically highlights by color coding emails so that you remain focused and easily identify important emails from the hundreds of emails you receive.

For me, I’m only interested in emails that have the word Outlook in them.

I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.

 This way you don’t have to waste time scanning through hundreds of emails.

Here’s how to auto-highlight important emails in Outlook

Tip 2: Mark Outlook Emails READ only after you ACTUALLY Read them

 If you are not using the auto highlight option above, you would likely be clicking through each email in your inbox to find the ones that you need to deal with BUT…

As you are clicking through your emails, Outlook is marking them as READ, which means they will no longer appear BOLD for you to clearly identify which ones are still left to be ACTUALLY READ or dealt with.

Here is a simple setting in Outlook which lets you set a minimum time that you need to be on an email before it is marked as read (I have set mine to 5 second):

 Tip 3: Easy Email Search Tricks in Outlook

 In the old days, finding an Outlook email meant wading through folders and manually searching for the correct email. Finding emails now is EASY particularly if you know some tricks to help you get more accurate search results. Here are a few of my favorite search tricks in Outlook.

I hope you find this tips useful in working through your emails this year.

If you have other tips for handling emails in Outlook, please share it with our readers by leaving a comment below


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Why images in your marketing emails can reduce response rates

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Adding images to your sales and marketing emails can make your emails look attractive and engaging but ONLY if the images and your well-crafted HTML email appears the same in the recipient’s inbox as you intend it too…

Using images in your marketing emails incorrectly can cause a reduction in response rates. Here’s why:

  • Plain text emails get through spam filters more easily (ultimately it depends on content so your plain text emails will still get caught if you are sending out obvious spam).
  • Email clients like Outlook do not display graphics in emails by default because spammers use them for tracking purposes etc. Therefore if you have your main message only in an image (without repeating it in plain text), then your readers may never actually see it.
  • Many email users are now using the preview pane to scan through emails before deciding which emails deserve their attention. If you have a graphic at the top that is not meaningful then your emails may be skipped.
  • Not all your readers are using the same version of Outlook as you are… in fact many may not be using Outlook at all (think Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail etc). In our experience images often cause HTML emails to display differently in different browsers which can spoil the look you want to achieve with your emails.

This is one of the main reasons that most of the professionally designed templates in our Email Merge for Outlook addin have little or no images in them. Instead we have used HTML to create a professional look that displays properly and looks great in all the email programs that your readers will be using.

I hope you find this tip useful with your email marketing campaigns this holiday season and improving your response rates.

Let us know if you have other techniques to improve the email response rate by leaving a comment below.


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Email Marketing Tip: Make sure you put your Contact Details on Emails

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Friday, December 13th, 2013

It’s holiday season and for most of us it’s also the busiest time of the year… sending out sales and marketing emails like newsletters, sales catalogues, invites, season greeting etc.

The last thing you want is for your emails to be marked as SPAM and not reach your recipients therefore you need to ensure that your sales and marketing emails meet the CAN-SPAM Act. The aims of this Act is to provide standards for sending out promotional emails while limiting the amount of spam.

One of the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act is that the Sender must clearly identify himself/herself by providing relevant contact information.

What does this mean to you… If you are sending out promotional emails then you probably need to put the following contact information at the bottom of all emails at the very minimum:

  1. Your (the Sender’s) Name
  2. Your Email Address
  3. Your Postal Address

It is a LEGAL REQUIREMENT that all promotional emails include the above at a very minimum.

If you’re not already doing this, make sure you include your contact information on the next promotional email you send out.

I hope you find this tip useful.

If you know of other tips to ensure your emails are not marked or regarded as SPAM, please share it with our readers by leaving a comment below.

Related Posts:

Send Holiday Season Invites, Greeting and Newsletters via Email/Fax/Traditional Post

Ingredients for Effective Email Marketing Campaigns


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Getting the Weather Forecast in Outlook 2013

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Here’s a small but handy feature of Outlook 2013. Do you know that you can get the weather for the next few days (in all your favourite cities) displayed at the top of your Calendar?

Weather Forecast

Here’s how you can:

  1. Set how the temperate is displayed
  2. Choose what towns/cities temperature you are interested

Turning Weather On and Setting Celsius or Fahrenheit

We live in Fiji where we use the metric system. I just can’t get the feel for what is a hot or a cold day any other way. Here’ what you need to do to change the units used to display the temperature if you need to.

  •  Click File-Options
  • Click on Calendar
  • Scroll down to Weather
  • Make sure that Show Weather on the calendar is ticked and click on Celsius.
  • Click OK.

Choosing Your Favourites Locations

What location’s temperature is being displayed? Use the following steps to add your location and to add other cities too if you want. I like to add locations that I will be travelling to soon as it helps me get a sense if how cold or hot it will be.

Go to your Calendar:

  • Click on the drop-down arrow next to the name of the city where the weather is displayed (In the image above, you can see my home town Suva is shown)
  • Click Add Location (from the list of options in the drop down).
  • Enter the name of the city town followed by a comma and the name of the country (e.g. New York and press Enter (or click on the magnifying glass)
  • Select the name of the city from the Search results.

The new city will be added to the list and its weather forecast for the next few days displayed. You can change between your list of cities by using the drop down arrow.

Do you find the weather feature in Outlook 2013 useful? Are there other “hidden” Outlook features that you use? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

(I personally find the temperature display useful in planning my afternoon golfing. It’s also useful to know the expected weather in places I will be travelling to… helps me to mentally climatize myself before the trip).


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Categories : General, Office Tip, Outlook Performance, Windows Tip Comments ( 0 )

Cyber Monday Sale is ON – 2 Days Only!

By standss · Comments ( 0 ) Monday, December 2nd, 2013

Dear Online Shoppers,

We’re turning the biggest online shopping day of the year into the biggest savings day of the year.

The Cyber Monday Sale is starting now at Standss and will last only for the next 2 days.

Early-Mover Benefit

For the first 50 customers only, buy a license for any outlook addins and you will be allowed to use the same license to install and use the software on 2 different machines for example your desktop and laptop (you use when travelling) or your Desktop at work and at home.

This offer is likely to run out fast as the email has been sent to 30,000+ readers, so place your order now to take advantage of this limited time offer.

Visit our website now to view the special offers and save HUGE!!!

Don’t Miss This Once-a-Year Opportunity!

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