Monthly Archives: March 2016


Cyclone Winston’s Effect on Standss and Fiji

By standss - Comments ( 5 ) Monday, March 14th, 2016

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I have received many emails from concerned customers and readers asking me if we were safe when Category 5 Cyclone Winston hit Fiji. I have personally written to thank everyone who wrote but in case I missed someone, your kind thoughts mean a lot to us.

In this post I’ll share how the cyclone affected Fiji and what our team are doing to help.
For those who don’t know, even though the majority of our customers are based in USA, UK, Europe and other parts of the world, we are actually based in the beautiful islands of Fiji.

On 20th February, our islands were hit by the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall over Fiji on record. In fact, we found out later that it is the second strongest cyclone to have been recorded to had made landfall anywhere in the world.

Cyclone Winston has been classified as a Category 5 storm. Wind gusts of 306 km/h (190 mph) were recorded.

Our company is based in Suva, the capital city. While the cyclone was originally expected to go through Suva, we were spared when the storm changed course.
There was some rain and wind damage but it was small compared to what happened elsewhere in Fiji.

Cyclone Winston inflicted extensive damage on many islands and so far 44 people have been confirmed dead. It is estimated that approximately 40% of Fiji’s population has been significantly affected by the storm.

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The response from people in Fiji and the International community has been amazing. Many Governments have provided money, supplies and people to assist those in need.

People who were not affected directly in the main centers have also mobilised themselves and done their best to reach people in affected areas with rations and supplies.

I went out with some friends the week after the cyclone to do the same. The following photo is an area that was previously green rain forest. The pictures in this post speak for themselves and show just how ferocious the winds must have been.

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The team at Standss knows how lucky we were. Things could have been much worse for us personally and for our country if the major populated areas such as Suva and Nadi had been hit.

We have set aside a minimum $10,000 to donate to various charities in Fiji who are leading the relief efforts.

50% of this has already been handed over to Save the Children Fiji who have been chosen as one of the lead organizations to assist in getting children back into school as quickly as possible.

We know that will be a difficult task as many schools have been severely damaged. In addition to that many children have lost all their school supplies.

It is essential that children get back to school as soon as possible. The educational benefits are obvious but being back in school also has other benefits. Children get those hours to be in a safe environment… to be with their friends… to be children.

We wish Save the Children Fiji the very best with this important and difficult task.

I want to finish off with a final picture. During our trip to the affected areas we also took a few bags of lollipops to distribute to the kids (I know that it’s not good for them but a small treat after the trauma won’t do any harm).

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The cyclone may have set us back but it won’t take away the Fijian smiles that our country is famous for.

As we now say in Fiji… We are Stronger Than Winston.

I’d like to finish by saying thank you to all our customers. We are only able to give back to our community because of your support.

Thank you for giving us the ability to help others in this time of need.

Categories : Uncategorized Comments ( 5 )

How to use Clutter in Outlook… with and without Office 365

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Monday, March 7th, 2016

Happy!

Microsoft introduced the Clutter feature for Office 365. In this post, I share how Clutter was designed to declutter your Inbox… my own experience… and what you can use instead.

What is Clutter

Clutter was introduced for Office 365 users at the end of 2014. Microsoft says that Clutter was designed to help you focus on your most important messages in your Inbox.

It uses machine learning to identify lower priority messages and move them out if the Inbox to a new Clutter folder.

How to use Clutter (if you have Office 365)

By default, Clutter is turned off. You need to go to Outlook Web Access (OWA) to turn Clutter on (or off).

There are instructions for doing this on Microsoft’s website here.

My Experience

I find that Clutter does a pretty good job of identifying which emails are newsletter etc and moving them away to the Clutter folder. My Inbox has less emails and they are mainly the ones that I need to work on.

To be honest, I don’t read (or need to read) most of the emails in the Clutter folder.

However… the problem is that Clutter also gets it wrong!

I have found that it occasionally moves out emails that need my attention… and sometimes those emails need timely responses.

As an example, a few weeks ago I had to get my credit card reissued because it had been used fraudulently. The card in question has several important monthly online payments linked to it… payments that were essential for our business.

The payments for these (obviously) could not be processed because the card had changed. Unfortunately, some of the emails related to the card failing ended up in the Clutter folder.

It was only by coincidence that I looked in the Clutter folder for something else and discovered the payment warnings.

So…if you decide to use Clutter, I recommend checking the clutter folder once a day for any important emails.

Otherwise you can turn it off and try the following

Getting the Benefits of Clutter (without using Clutter)

I think the goal of Clutter is still worth achieving i.e. getting lower priority emails out of your Inbox and to a separate folder which you can read at a time of your choosing…

… and to be honest you probably will find that you don’t choose to read those emails very often. I know I don’t.

You can achieve this by creating a folder (called say Newsletters) and then using Rules to move the relevant emails to the folders automatically.

You can find instructions on using Outlook Rules to Declutter your Inbox here.

The problem with this as that it takes a lot of work to maintain rules.

The automated way: Use the Newsletters feature that is built into QuickFile for Outlook.

Both the Pro and Ultimate versions of QuickFile have a feature that aims to do what Clutter does but leave control in your hands.

If you’re one of the thousands of user of QuickFile for Outlook, this is all your need to do.

Right Click over the email and click Newsletter.

The email will automatically be moved to the Newsletters folder (created by QuickFile inside your Inbox). All future emails for the same newsletter will automatically be moved there.

Now your Inbox will stay clear of these emails but your important emails will still make it through.

Note: QuickFile for Outlook works can be used with any type of email account in Outlook including POP3 and Office 365.

If you’re not a user yet, you can download a trial copy of QuickFile for Outlook from here.

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