Monthly Archives: September 2010

Displaying your FULL Work Week in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Are you still using Outlook 2003 (or earlier)? Do you need to display more than 5 days of the week in your calendar in a way that makes it easy to add new appointments.

(This article is less useful to users of Outlook 2007 and 2010 which already displays a very useable 7 days calendar)

If you are using Outlook 2000/2002 or 2003, there are two buttons on the Calendar toolbar that displays weekly views.

Clicking the Work Week button displays 5 days. This shows you the whole day (for each day) including empty time slots. It is easy to add a new appointment by clicking on the calendar in the appropriate time slot.

Clicking the Week button shows all 7 days… but in a condensed view that only shows existing appointments for each day. Empty time slots for the days are not shown and it takes more steps to add a new appointment.

Here’s how you can change the Work Week to show all 7 days…. empty appointment slots and all.

  • Click Tools-Options.
  • Select the Preferences Tab (should be selected by default anyway)
  • Click the Calendar Options button.
  • Tick Sat and Sun under Calendar Work Week.
  • Click OK

Now when you click the Work Week button at the top of the screen, all 7 days will be displayed.

Categories : Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 0 )

Microsoft Answers… a FANTASTIC resource that I never knew existed

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Today’s post is the result of some EXCELLENT support that I received from Microsoft. Did you know that there is a Microsoft Answers website where you can post questions and get responses from many experienced users and even Microsoft employees.

It is a fantastic resource for trouble-shooting problems with all products from Microsoft… including Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Windows.

There’s a story that goes along with how I discovered Microsoft Answers and why I think it is a great resource but… If you want to go straight to the Microsoft Answers website without hearing my story, you can click on the Go To Microsoft Answers link now.

My story… I bought an excellent Microsoft Bluetooth Keyboard when I was in USA earlier this year. It worked great for a while and then for no reason at all… it stopped working!

I was sure that the problem was with the keyboard and not Bluetooth on my computer. I use several other Bluetooth devices… and they all still worked perfectly.

Obviously a hardware fault… but my company is based in Fiji and there was no easy way to simply return the keyboard… until today.

My parents are travelling to USA later today so I planned to send the keyboard with them… they would send it to Microsoft and bring back a replacement with them (the box says that the keyboard comes with a 3 year warranty).

I didn’t want to waste dad’s time (or he would probably just bring the old one back) so I wanted to send full shipping instructions. Unfortunately Microsoft doesn’t make it easy to find out how or where you can return stuff.

My searches online eventually led me to the Microsoft Answers website….  this is how the site describes itself.

Real People, Real Answers… the community-based forums where you can search, browse, and post questions and answers. Thousands of community members—including Microsoft folks—are here to help.

I didn’t have much to lose… my parents were flying out in a few hours and I wasn’t able to locate information anywhere else…. so I posted a question.

I got a response in less than 30 minutes… telling me that my keyboard came with 90 days of free phone support (from the day of the first incident)… and a number on which I could call.

I called the number… and worked patiently through the scripted questions before I was connected to a technical support person.

15 minutes later… my Bluetooth keyboard with the suspected hardware problem is working perfectly (I am typing this using it).

I had the keyboard sitting in my desk drawer for two months… less than 60 minutes after posting a question on Microsoft Answers… it is working again.

Since then I have spent a little time browsing around Microsoft Answers to see how useful it would be for readers of this blog.

My opinion… If you don’t have immediate access to someone who provides you with technical support, check out Microsoft Answers now.

It is a great way to get problems related to Microsoft products solved quickly. There are sections dedicated to all Outlook, Word, Excel, Windows…

Categories : Office Tip Comments ( 2 )

English Premier League (Soccer) Timetables in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 9 ) Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

After our post on American Football schedules in Outlook last week, soccer fans requested for timetables of their favourite English Football teams to download into Outlook as well. We’re happy to oblige…

Please find following a list of teams with links to their 2010/2011 timetables.  I am starting the list with a few teams only but we will update the list with new teams.

If your team is not on the list then please either:

1. Email us at with the name of your team and we will try and find the schedule for you (we will update the table with the new link) or
2. If you have found the relevant page on your team’s website then please email us the link so that we can update the table and share it with other football fans.

Team Click to Download Schedule
Arsenal Arsenal Schedule in Outlook
Aston Villa Aston Villa Schedule (Not in Outlook)
Chelsea Chelsea Schedule in Outlook
Everton FC Everton FC Schedule in Outlook
Fulham FC Fulham FC Schedule in Outlook
Liverpool FC Liverpool FC Schedule (Not in Outlook)
Manchester City Manchester City Schedule in Outlook
Manchester United Manchester United Schedule in PDF (Not Outlook)
NewCastle United NewCastle United Schedule in Outlook
West Ham United West Ham United Schedule (Not in Outlook)

Remember, if your team is not in the list then please email us at or leave a comment on the blog and we’ll do our best to find the information and update the table for you and other fans of your team.

If you like this post, please subscribe to our blog or newsletter using the form or links on the right. We have regular posts on making the most out of Outlook for your business.

Categories : Office Tip Comments ( 9 )

How I cured my checking-email-too-often habit!

By standss - Comments ( 6 ) Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Do you have an unconscious habit of going to your Inbox too many times in a day? Do you find yourself clicking Send&Receive many times a day, I know I did. In this post I share what I found were the causes of the habit (for me) and a simple solution that has worked exceptionally well for me.

Why is this a bad habit?

For me… I was finishing the day feeling like I had accomplished littledespite being busy for most of the day… which is another way of saying that I had wasted my day doing unimportant work.

So… why do we check emails so often?

My personal experience… I think that the main reasons are BOREDOM or DIFFICULTY. Some self-analysis revealed that most of my unintended expeditions to my Inbox were when:

  1. I was bored of what I was doing and was hoping to find something more interesting to work on in my Inbox… or
  2. The work I was involved in had come to a point which required a difficult decision… and I was hoping to find something easier to do in my Inbox… something to help me avoid the difficult decision.

When you see it in writing, it’s pretty clear that they are not valid reasons for checking email. The problem is that they become habits… I was doing it without even realising it.

How I cured myself (or at least got an acceptable level of control over it)

Here’s a process that has worked very well for me.

  1. Check your emails and respond to whatever you need to.
  2. Decide on what you will work on next 40 minutes (or until the task is complete)
  3. Close Outlook (unless you need to access your emails to do your work)
  4. Do you work!

After 40 minutes… take break and REPEAT.

The first week I tried this was amazing. I got more done in the first few hours of Monday than I used to get done in the first few days of the week.

Why did this work for me?

Having Outlook closed while I am focussing on a project makes it much harder to check my email without conscious effort. Finding Outlook closed reminds me that I am working on something else and helps break the unconscious  habit… it is much harder to click on the Send & Receive button when Outlook is closed (the normally annoying Outlook start-up time turns out to be useful habit-breaker in this situation).

I know that many productivity gurus say that we should only check our emails a few times a day and possibly schedule email time into our calendars. That does NOT work for me…. firstly because of the nature of my work… and because I like checking my email.

Using this method I can get good productive work done throughout the day… and also respond to my team and customers in a timely manner… and indulge my email habits.

Please tell if this method works for you by leaving a comment on the blog.

Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 6 )

Change the default reminder time for Outlook Calendar Appointments

By standss - Comments ( 4 ) Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

When you create a new Outlook appointment, Outlook sets itself a reminder to remind you (with a pop-up message) 15 minutes before the actual appointment. It is easy to change the 15 minutes on individual appointments or to change the default to a more suitable period.

To change the reminder on an individual appointment:
Open the Appointment.
Change the time shown in the Reminder dropdown.

To change the default reminder time:

If you find yourself changing the reminder times on individual appointments, it may be easier to simply change the default from 15 minutes.

In Outlook 2010:

  • Click File on the ribbon
  • Click Options and then click Calendar.
  • Change the default reminder time to whatever time is suitable for you and then click OK
  • Defualt Reminder Time

    In Outlook 2000/2002/2003/2007:

  • Click on Tools-Options
  • Click on the Preferences tab
  • Select your preferred reminder time in the Calendar section
  • Click Ok
  • Categories : Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 4 )

    Football season schedules inside your Outlook Calendar

    By standss - Comments ( 12 ) Monday, September 13th, 2010

    The 2010 Football season has just begun. Download the game schedule of your favourite team(s) into Outlook so that you don’t miss a game.

    Most of the teams now have schedules on their website that you can easily download into Outlook. I have compiled a table below with links to downloads for the teams I know of.

    I am starting the list with a few teams only but we will update the list with new teams.

    I do not live in USA… and to be honest I don’t quite understand the games or the amount of excitement my US based cousins show for this game… but I’ve seen the same frenzy during Rugby season on our part of the world so…

    If your team is not on the list then please either:

    1. Email us at with the name of your team and we will try and find the schedule for you (we will update the table with the new link) or
    2. If you have found the relevant page on your team’s website then please email us the link so that we can update the table and share it with other football fans.

    Here’s a list of the teams so far…

    Team Click to Download Schedule
    Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens Schedule In Outlook
    Chicago Bears Chicago Bears Schedule In Outlook
    Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals Schedule In Outlook
    Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys Schedule In Outlook
    Denver Broncos Denver Broncos Schedule In PDF (Not Outlook)
    Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers Schedule In PDF (Not Outlook)
    Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars Schedule In Outlook
    Kansas City Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs Schedule In PDF (Not Outlook)
    Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins Schedule In Outlook
    New England Patriots New England Patriots Schedule In Outlook
    New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints Schedule In PDF (Not Outlook)
    New York Giants New York Giants Schedule In Outlook
    New York Jets New York Jets Schedule in PDF (Not Outlook)
    Oakland Raiders OakLand Raiders Schedule In Outlook
    Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles Schedule In Outlook
    Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers Schedule in PDF (Not Outlook)
    San Diego Chargers San Diego Chargers Schedule In Outlook
    San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers Schedule In Outlook 
    Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks Schedule In Outlook
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers Schedule In PDF (Not Outlook)
    Washington Redskins Washington Redskins Schedule In Outlook

    Remember, if your team is not in the list then please email us at or leave a comment on the blog and we’ll do our best to find the information and update the table for you and other fans of your team.

    Categories : Office Tip Comments ( 12 )

    Productivity Tip: Make Outlook display your Calendar instead of the Inbox in the Morning

    By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Friday, September 10th, 2010

    Want to increase your productivity. Look at your Calendar BEFORE you look at your Inbox in the morning. Here’s how to setup Outlook to automatically display your calendar when it opens in the morning.

    Your emails in your inbox generally reflect the priorities of others. Go there first and you can easily find yourself in fire-fighting mode instead of strategic mode for most of your day.

    Start the day by looking at your Calendar and seeing what you have already scheduled for the day. Schedule any new things that you want to do today that are important to you and your business. Then look at your Inbox.

    I have setup my own Outlook to open up displaying the Calendar instead of the Outbox. Here’s how you can do the same.

    In Outlook 2010:

    • Click File-Options
    • Select Advanced
    • Change Start Outlook in this folder to Calendar.

    Start Outlook Calendar

    In all other versions of Outlook:

    • Click Tools-Options.
    • Select the Others tab.
    • Click Advanced Options. The startup folder is displayed at the top of the screen.
    • Click the Browse button to select the Calendar.

    The next time you open Outlook, you’ll be looking at your Calendar.

    Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 2 )

    Printing BLANK Calendars from Outlook

    By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

    I have been working with my team on planning our main projects for the rest of the year. The discussion process was much easier with a pencil, an eraser and a blank printed calendar for each remaining month of the year.

    Here’s how you can print out blank monthly calendars from Outlook.

    Create a new Calendar Folder

    •  Go to your Inbox.
    •  Click File-New-Folder to display the New Folder Dialog

    New Calendar

    •  Enter a suitable name (I used Temp)
    •  Change Folder Contains to Calendar Items
    •  Select a folder where you want the new Calendar to be created. (I selected the Deleted Items folder. I am only going to use this folder for printing i.e. I am not going to enter any real appointments in it)

    View the new Folder

    •  On the main menu click Go-Folder List.
    •  Select the Folder from where you created it (under Deleted Items for me)
    •  Click File-Print

    Print Calendar

    •  Change the Print Style to Monthly
    •  Change the Date Range to the range you want to print.
    •  Click Preview
    •  Click Print

    If you created the folder in the Deleted Items folder, you’re done. Otherwise you need to delete the Temp calendar folder that you created.

    The last time I did this post, a user asked me why I didn’t just print my normal Outlook calendar. The reason is that I want to print BLANK calendars. My normal calendar already has my existing appointments on them which I don’t want to print out.

    Does this tip work for you? Do you have other better methods? Tell me what you think by leaving a comment on the blog.

    Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 2 )

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