Tag Archives: Appointments

Creating Tasks and Appointments from Emails

By standss - Comments ( 4 ) Friday, June 5th, 2015

We recently upgraded our TBYL! for Outlook users to QuickFile for Outlook. The response has been overwhelmingly positive but a few users asked… Where are the Quick-Task and Quick-Calendar buttons?

These buttons are used to create Tasks and Appointments from Emails (to use TBYL terminology, move emails from your collection system to Action System)

The Quick-Task and Quick-Calendar buttons are part of QuickFile Pro for Outlook as shown below (we are only showing icons and not words to save space on the Ribbon).

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By default clicking on either button will create the Task or Calendar as appropriate and attach the email to the body. You can change this default behaviour if you want from the QuickFile Settings screen.

If you have any other questions regarding QuickFile, please let us know by sending an email to support@standss.com.

Categories : General, Outlook as a Business Tool Comments ( 4 )

How to Schedule Appointments without Overwhelming Yourself

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Do you find yourself turning up at appointments late (or stressfully on time)? The problem may not be related to having too much to do but instead to how you schedule your appointments.

The secret to stress-free appointments is what happens before and after the appointment!

For me appointments are basically things I need to do at a specific time and day. These include work related meetings with others, work related things I need to get done on my own, as well as personal things such as taking my son to music or playing golf.

I used to find myself frequently “arriving” late to appointments until one of my new golfing friends told me that 4 PM golf means you should be ready to tee off (start playing) at 4, not arrive in the car park at 4.

Learning to be on time for golf has helped me discover some rules that have helped me use appointments in a more productive and less stressful way.

1: Is there enough time to finish off from any previous appointment (before this appointment)

Do you need to make notes or schedule follow-up actions after the previous appointment is over?

If you’ve been working on something on your own, have you allocated enough time to save your files in the correct folders etc?

Have you allocated enough time to do that before the start of the next appointment?

2: Have you given yourself enough time to prepare or to get to the meeting?

If the meeting is somewhere else, have you allocated enough time for travel (and taken into account the amount of traffic at that time of day)?

This is one I frequently got wrong when taking my son to guitar lessons. I underestimated the time to pick him from school, take him for a milk shake (might as well make the guitar lesson a weekly father-son event), and then end up at the lesson.

If it’s a sales meeting, have you given yourself enough time to get familiar with the client and the offer?

3: Have you given yourself enough time after the appointment?

This is the same as #1 but for this meeting instead of the previous appointment. It is liberating to finish a meeting knowing it’s finished (instead of knowing that you need to take time out later to make notes etc).

What does this mean for your Outlook Appointments?

Before you set an appointment in your Outlook Calendar, make sure that there is enough space between that appointment and the ones before and after.

If it’s an appointment with yourself then you can create a meeting slot that includes the before and after time.

If it’s an appointment with someone else, then you probably want to make the start of the meeting the actual meeting time. In that case make sure that there is enough free space before the meeting for you to travel, prepare etc.

Outlook also lets you set Reminders for appointments. By default this is set to 15 minutes but you can change this to whatever you want for individual appointments.

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Change the reminder to give yourself enough before the meeting to get to the meeting on time and fully prepared.

Final thoughts…Don’t Schedule too much into your day!

There is a lot of research that now shows that we can get much more done if we schedule regular breaks during our day as well. That was probably the idea behind morning tea and afternoon tea (or the equivalent coffee breaks in modern times).

So remember to take a break.

I hope this tip helps you to get more important things done with less stress.

Please leave a comment if you find this useful… or have your own tips to better appointments.

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:

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 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:

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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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Time Zone Problems when Scheduling Outlook Appointments

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

I showed up for a meeting today on the WRONG DAY! I actually had a phone meeting this morning with someone in New York (I am in Fiji). When I called up, I realised that although I had called at the right time, it was the WRONG DAY! I had called a day before instead a day after the date in New York.

Here’s how you can avoid making the same mistake by entering your appointment using the date and time in the other person’s country… and have Outlook automatically show it in your calendar at the correct time for your time zone.

This tip works in Outlook 2010 and later.

  •  Open your appointment
  •  Click Time Zones on the ribbon. Outlook will add a time zone drop-down next to the appointment time.
  • Click the drop-down to pick the time zone of the other person.

appointment

Now you can enter the date and time (make sure you enter the date in the other person’s time zone) of the appointment.

Outlook will automatically add it in your calendar at the correct time in your Time Zone.

Do you have other tips for dealing with appointments in different time zones? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

 Related Posts: Displaying multiple time zones in Outlook : Lets you see the times in the two zone side-by-side.

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Categories : General, Office Tip, Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 0 )

Why Scroll when you can jump directly to a Date in Outlook Calendar

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Here is a quick shortcut that lets you jump directly to a particular date in outlook calendar rather than scrolling through the week or month view to get to that date.

This is one of my favorite’s shortcuts as it saves a lot of time when getting to a future date to schedule future appointments/meeting.

This shortcuts works in Outlook 2013 and earlier versions as well.

Here’s the steps:

  • Go to the Outlook Calendar
  • Press CTRL+G on the keyboard. This should display the Go To Date pop-up as shown below:

Go to Date

  • You can select the date you wish to jump to using the drop now. What makes it even better is that it recognizes normal English words as well for example “Tomorrow”, “Two days later”, “second Monday of August” etc…
  • You can choose the view in which the date should show from the Show in: drop down
  • Click OK or Press Enter

The calendar will now display the date that you entered.

Do you know of other shortcuts in Outlook to get things done faster?

Let us know by leaving a comment on this blog.

Smart Schedules version 1.0.773 (Improvements based on user suggestions)

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

We have just posted an update to Smart Schedules for Outlook. The updates in Version 1.0.773 have been based on user requests.

This update is free for all existing registered users of version 1.0 or later.

Fixes and Features in this update include:

  • New Feature: Ability to add Project Name before or after the subject of the Appointment/Task.
    SmartSchedules can now display the Project Name in different ways next to the appointment or Task depending on what works for you. For example:

(Project Name) Appointment Subject
Appointment Subject (Project Name)

  • Bug fix: Error messages when browsing for date in Non-English language.
  • Other ribbon changes for Outlook 2010 and above.

Click here to view the full list of updates in Smart Schedules for Outlook

Download latest version of Smart Schedules for Outlook

New to Smart Schedules: Smart Schedules is an Outlook addin that simplifies project management inside Outlook allowing you  to automatically schedule and reschedule Appointments/tasks for the full project.

Watch a short demo video on our website or you can also download a fully functional trial version of the Smart Schedules Outlook addon.

Customize the Outlook To-Do bar to Display Information you need

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Friday, November 9th, 2012

The Outlook To-Do bar is a great addition to Outlook 2010 (and 2007), it shows you the appointment(s) for the day, your task list and easily lets you navigate to future dates to see your upcoming event.

What makes it better is that you can easily customize it i.e. turn on or off the information to Display on the To-D0 Bar. Here is how…

Note: the instructions below are only for Outlook 2010 unless specifically mentioned.

  • In any Outlook folder, click on the View tab > in the Layout group click To-Do Bar
  • The information that is currently being displayed in the To-Do bar will be TICKED, to hide any item, simply click on it again and it will get untick.

Now only the items which are ticked will be displayed in the To-Do bar.

Apart from customizing what gets displayed or not displayed on the To-Do bar, you can also customize the individual items such as increasing or decreasing the number of appointments or task which can be displayed on the To-Do bar.

But note that when you increase the information to display for one item, it decreases the number of items for the other. Here you need to prioritize what information you need to be aware of more often, your appointments or tasks:

  • Simply move your cursor on the To-Do bar between the Appointments and Tasks list
  • When your cursor changes to an arrow like image, drag the bar up or down to increase/decrease the number of items to display.

I hope you find this tip useful in organizing your workday.

Do you have suggestions for any other customization in Outlook?

Share it with our readers and us by leaving a comment below.

Outlook Calendar Tip: Go Straight to a Future Date rather then Browsing to it

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Do you need to make an appointment entry for a future date e.g. 20 January 2013, how can you get there?

Most of us would say:

  • Go to the Calendar
  • Change to Week View or Month View and BROWSE to the future date

You are right, this is one way of doing this BUT there is a much easier and faster way to JUMP to the future date.

Here is how you can jump straight to a future date:

  • Open Outlook
  • Go to the Calendar
  • Press CTRL+G on your keyword. This brings up a screen as show below:

Go to Date

  • In the Date: field, enter the future date e.g. 20-1-12
  • From the Show in: drop-down list select the view you would prefer
  • Click OK

You will now jump straight to the date entered, all you have to do is enter your appointment in the required time slot, Faster right?

Hope you find this tip useful.

If you know of other ways to make the use of Calendar easier and faster, let us know by leaving a comment below.

Categories : Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 2 )

How to Set Reminders for Outlook Emails

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Often the emails that we receive require some future actions for example to setup a meeting with a client or making a phone call on a particular date/time. Ofcourse you can create a new Appointment or a Task to do the same but in this post, I will show you how easy it is to set reminders on the email itself.

In Outlook 2010 (When a message is closed)

  • In your Inbox, select a message
  • Under the Home tab > go to the Tags group
  • Click Follow Up > Add Reminder
  • On the Custom dialog box, tick the Reminder checkbox. This activates the Reminder date and time boxes beneath the checkbox.
  • Select a date and time for the reminder to appear. Additionally you have the option to select what sound to play when a reminder appears by click on the Sound button.
  • Click OK.

The message will now be automatically flagged for follow up and the reminder will appear at the date and time specified.

In Outlook 2010 (When a message is open)

  • Under the Message tab > go to the Tags group
  • Here on the steps will be the same (as above) as when the message is closed.

In Outlook 2007 (When a message is closed)

  • In your Inbox, right-click the message
  • Click Follow Up > Add Reminder
  • On the Custom dialog box, tick the Reminder checkbox. This activates the Reminder date and time boxes beneath the checkbox.
  • Select a date and time for the reminder to appear. Additionally you have the option to select what sound to play when a reminder appears by clicking on the Sound button.
  • Click OK.

The message will now be automatically flagged for follow up and the reminder will appear at the date and time specified.

In Outlook 2007 (When a message is open)

  • On the open message window, click Follow Up on the Ribbon > Add Reminder
  • Here on the steps will be the same (as above) as when the message is closed.

In Outlook 2003 (When a message is closed)

  • In your Inbox, right-click the message
  • Click Follow Up > Add Reminder…
  • On the Flag for Follow Up dailog box, select a Due by date (and optionally a time for the reminder to appear).
  • Click OK

The message will now be automatically flagged for follow up and the reminder will appear at the date and time specified.

In Outlook 2003 (When a message is open)

  • On the open message window, click Actions on the menu
  • Click Follow Up > Add Reminder…
  • Here on the steps will be the same (as above) as when the message is closed.

Do you think that this is much easier then setting up new Appointments and Tasks?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Categories : Outlook as a Business Tool, Outlook Email Tips Comments ( 3 )

Start your day with Outlook the way YOU want

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

Everytime you open Outlook in the morning, the first thing you see is a inbox full of emails that you will be working on. This is how the day starts for alot of us, but this can be changed.

We are all different and we always like things which can be personalized and configured to our likings.

Do you wish to view your Calender, Contacts, Task or anything other then your Inbox (emails) in the morning?

I personally have Outlook setup to open my Calendar so I know what I had actually planned for my day. (I don’t like starting with the Inbox because it is too easy to jump into emails and start working on things that are not real priorities)

You can follow the simple steps below to change to the folder of your choice:

In Outlook 2010:

  1. Click the File menu > Options > click Advanced on the left column
  2. Under Outlook Start and Exit, click Browse and then choose what folder you want Outlook to show you first: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks or any of your other folders

In Outlook 2007 & 2003:

  1. Click the Tools menu > Options
  2. Click the Other tab, and then click Advanced Options.
  3. Under General Settings, next to the Startup in this folder box, click Browse and then choose what folder you want Outlook to show you first: Calendar, Contacts, Tasks or any of your other folders.

Now when you start Outlook, it will display the folder that you have selected above.