Tag Archives: Appointments

Use Outlook to create and share standard processes with others

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Thursday, September 8th, 2011

You can easily create templates of appointments and tasks for standard work processes and project plans with Smart Schedules for Outlook. These templates can then be used to create an entire series of appointments and tasks for new projects in the future. Do you know that you can also easily share your process templates with other Outlook users?

You can export the templates you have created in Smart Schedules into a zip file. This zip file can be sent to your members who use Smart Schedules. The templates can be easily imported into Smart Schedules from this zip file by using the import function in Smart Schedules.

Below are instructions on how to can easily share Smart Schedules Templates with others.

1. Export the Smart Schedules templates from your computer
2. Send the Zip file to your members
3. Import the Smart Schedules templates

1. Export the Smart Schedules templates from your computer (Your End)

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox
  • Click the Project Centre button on the Smart Schedules toolbar/ribbon
  • On the Project Centre window, click Create/Edit Templates under the Project Commands section
  • Select the templates you would like to send to your members from the list of templates (multiple templates can be selected with the use of the Ctrl or Shift key on your keyboard)
  • Click Export button. If the Export button is not displayed on the screen, then click on the Show Import/Export Templates link

Show Import and Export Template link

  • Enter a name for the zip file and save it to a preferred location on your computer.

A zip file will be created containing the templates you selected for Export.

2. Send the Zip file to your members

You can now attach the zip file to a email and send it to the member(s).

3. Import the Smart Schedules templates (Member’s End)

You can now advice your member(s) to follow the steps below to easily import the templates into their Smart Schedules program:

  • Start Outlook and go to your Inbox
  • Click the Project Centre button on the Smart Schedules toolbar/ribbon
  • On the Project Centre window, click Create/Edit Templates under the Project Commands section
  • Click Import button. If the Import button is not displayed on the screen, then click on the Show Import/Export Templates link

This should now import the templates into the Smart Schedules program.

I hope this tip helps you get more out of the time you put into creating process templates in Smart Schedules.

Reminders Showing Twice in Outlook + Solutions

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Yesterday a friend of mine called for assistance regarding an unusual problem he had with Outlook Reminders. For some reason Outlook (he was using Outlook 2010) showed each of outlook calendar reminders twice. He had put up with this for sometime until it got really frustrating. Here’s how I fixed the issue.

Research on the web showed two solutions. I tried both and the second one worked.

Option 1: Use the cleanreminders switch when starting Outlook

This one did not work for him but it may be the solution that works for you.

  1. Quit Outlook
  2. Click Start > Run
  3. Type Outlook.exe /cleanreminders (don’t forget the space after the exe) and press Enter

Option 2: Check your Outlook data files to see if any file is listed twice

Here’s what did work for him (I recommend you do the cleanreminders first anyway)

I checked his Outlook data files and found that his main Outlook PST was listed twice. I removed one and everything was back to the way it should be.

To check your Outlook data files:

  1. Quit Outlook
  2. Go to your Control Panel and double click Mail.
  3. Select the Data File tab
  4. IF AND ONLY IF you see the same data file listed twice, select the second one and click Remove.
  5. Restart Outlook.

Did any of these two methods work for you. Do you have a different solution.
Please leave a comment on the blog.

Categories : Outlook Calendar Tip, Outlook Performance Comments ( 3 )

How to organize Appointments and Tasks in Outlook by Project

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Many of us use Outlook’s appointments and tasks to manage our 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?  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 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:
  4. Assign to Project

  5. 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.
  6. 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.

  1. On the Smart Schedules toolbar, click Project Centre
  2. From the Project drop-down, select the Project to which you assigned the appointment or task
  3. 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:

Project Centre

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 Manager (Smart Schedules)

Categories : Smart Schedules for Outlook Comments ( 2 )

Questions & Answers re Smart Schedules for Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 3 ) Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Things are really starting to happen fast. We are launching Smart Schedules for Outlook on 3rd June – less than 24 hours away.

If you haven’t seen the video of how easy, fast and error-free scheduling of appointments (and tasks) in Outlook can be, take a look at the video now.

We are busy putting the finishing touches to the website and related material in place.

Actually, the software itself is complete and ready to go, we are just getting everything in order so we can handle the huge rush once we launch… after all this is being launched to more than 20,000 Outlook users.

In any case, we have been getting a HUGE NUMBER OF QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS coming in which is truly appreciated.

It seems that the information I have sent out over the last few weeks has struck a chord with many people (I think that’s the right use of the phrase) and I want to answer all your questions before the actual launch.

I suspect that we will be under a lot of pressure once we launch so I may not be able to answer questions then.

I hope that the following answers help you make up your mind about the software and snap up the 200 copies of additional software that we will be giving away.


I’ve had a few questions with regard to both Smart Schedules and the launch process. I’ve tried to answer them below:

Q: The video showed Smart Schedules in Outlook 2007. Does Smart Schedule work in other versions of Outlook too?

A. YES. Smart Schedules works with Outlook 2003, 2007, and 2010.

Q: I seem to receive your emails in the middle of the night. I don’t want to miss out on the limited software that you are giving out for early movers.

A. I have absolutely no idea how long the first 200 sales will take BUT… the emails I have received seem to indicate that demand is high. If you don’t make the first 200 because of a time zone difference, please email me within 24 hours of the launch email.

Q. Are there sample templates for my industry to help me get started?

A. Definitely. We have included templates for many industries including legal and real estate. However please use these templates as a starting point only. You need to refine them to ensure that the appointments and tasks are scheduled correctly for the way your business works.

Q. Is there a way to share my templates with other people in my organization?

A. YES! Smart Schedules lets you export and import templates easily

Q. Can I have a template with appointments/tasks scheduled both before and after the trigger date?

A. Yes. We did not originally have this but feedback from readers made it clear that this was an essential feature that you wanted.

Q. What about existing appointments and tasks? Can they be added to Projects so that they show up in the Project Centre.

A. Yes. Again this was something that readers pointed out. We appreciate your great ideas and are happy to report that this has been implemented for you to use as well.

Q: How much will Smart Schedules cost?

A. Sorry but you have to wait till tomorrow (3rd June) to find out but we will be giving a SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNT to anyone who purchases during the launch week.

We will be launching in less than 24 hours time. Once again I wish to thank you all for taking the time to read my report, watch our video and having faith in our solutions.

Oh… one last thing: we are going to have a rock-solid guarantee for Smart Schedules for Outlook – 60 days for anyone who purchases during the launch week. I truly believe that Smart Schedules will make a dramatic change in the productivity of many users and I want to make sure you have enough time to feel its benefits.

Till tomorrow…

Have a better Outlook.

Sanjay Singh

PS: The launch takes place in less than 24 hours. See the video now to see if you want to claim the 200 copies of extra software that we are giving away.

[Video] Outlook Appointments & Tasks… the Fast, Easy ERROR-FREE way

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

Since our last report, we’ve been getting a lot of emails from readers… is the video ready… I want to see if this solution will work for MY BUSINESS. So…

The video is ready… take a look right now at:

The Fast, Easy, Error Free way to Schedule, Manage and Reschedule Appointments and Tasks for all your projects… inside Outlook.

My personal favourite part of the Smart Schedules for Outlook… how I can see ALL appointments and tasks for a project in one place… it makes it so much easier to see the impact of changes.

Beta Testers have been telling us that their favourites include how quick and easy it is to create ALL appointments and tasks for a process from a template…. and how easy it is to ACCURATELY reschedule multiple appointments when there is a change in a deadline.

We’d love to hear what you like so please let us know after you see the video.

Sanjay Singh

PS: We are giving away a limited quantity of other software as part of the launch. Take a look at the video now to find out if this solution works for you.

PSS: Then, if you have the time, I would appreciate any feedback you can send me on the video… send us a email at news@standss.com. And…don’t forget to send us any questions you have on our new software.

Are Outlook Appointments and Tasks too DUMB for use in real business?

By standss - Comments ( 1 ) Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

You may have noticed that I dedicate a lot of time to getting the most out of Outlook for my (and hopefully your) business – just look at the emails and blog articles I send you.

So I was abit surprised (confused?) during lunch when two of my friends (a lawyer and a real estate agent) commented that they do NOT think that Outlook’s Tasks and Appointments were SMART enough tools for their businesses.

They were both using Outlook but were frequently finding that when they relied on their Outlook calendar, they were RUSHING about in the last minute trying to meet DEADLINES due to INCORRECT entries…

These guys are both extremely competent highly professional people… if they were having problems then I was sure that many other people would be having similar problems.

So I decided to do some research… to try and understand what they actually meant… and hopefully find a solution.

Their problem was that they needed to enter a SERIES of related appointments and tasks into Outlook (sort of like a process)… based on the start date for the real estate agent and the end date (generally a court date) for the lawyer.

It was TIME-CONSUMING and ERROR-PRONE to do this by hand each time…
sometimes some steps were missed or entered on the wrong date.

The problem was made worse because invariably there was a change in a critical date which required RESCHDEULING of multiple items and… it wasn’t easy to find and change them all in Outlook.

It wasn’t uncommon to miss updating one or more appointments.. and unfortunately THE SIMPLEST STEP BECOMES THE MOST CRITICAL AS SOON

The good news is that we have been working on something that I hope to release in the next month or so.

But before we do that… we thought we better make sure that we were understanding the problem properly.

Could you give us a couple of minutes of your time to answer two simple questions:

1. Why does your industry need to enter a series of appointments (and
tasks) into Outlook?

2. What are some of the problems of doing this in Outlook at the

Please type in a quick response and send it to news@standss.com

With so many readers, I can’t guarantee a personal response… but
I can guarantee that I will personally read your email.

That’s all for now… Wishing you a better Outlook.

Sanjay Singh

P.S. I really DO value your input in getting things right. Why
does your industry need to enter a series of appointments (and
tasks) into Outlook? and… What are some of the problems of doing
this in Outlook at the moment?

Please send your response Now to news@standss.com

Coming Up… Smarter ways of Scheduling Outlook Appointments (and Tasks)

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Sunday, May 15th, 2011

We’ve had a lot of requests from readers in the past for something to make appointments and tasks more effective… we realise that most of our past reports and addins have focussed on email productivity.

But… recent conversations with other Outlook users and reader emails are telling us that simple scheduling errors have been causing a lot of stress for many people.

So… we have been working on a system that helps you create not only individual appointments and tasks but ENTIRE SCHEDULES of them.

And then lets you monitor them… and RESCHEDULE them in case dates change (as they always do)… all INSIDE Outlook.

We’re aiming to ELIMINATE almost all HUMAN-ERROR from the process.

I’m not quite ready to show you the result yet… but keep your eyes on your Inbox.

More about the project later in the week…

Sanjay Singh

Mark Appointments as Complete in Outlook

By standss - Comments ( 0 ) Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

A reader asked me if there was any way in Outlook to mark appointments as complete… this is available for Tasks so it should be fairly safe to assume that there must be an easy way to do the same for appointments/calendar items. It turns out there is no built-in way to do this but here’s a work-around you can use instead.

There is an easy way to change the color of individual appointment items in Outlook. I use this trick to make my completed appointment Red (you can use any color you want).

Appointment Completed

Here’s how you can do the same…

If you are using Outlook 2007 or 2010 (scroll down for earlier versions of Outlook)….

The color of appointment items in Outlook 2007 is controlled using categories.

First… let’s create a category to mean Complete.

  • Go to your Calendar.
  • Right-Click over any existing appointment.
  • Click Categorize and then click All Categories.
  • Click the New button.
  • Enter a name for the category (I used the word Complete), choose a Color and click OK.
  • Click OK again to return to the Calendar screen.

The appointment you had right-clicked over should now be colored. If this appointment is actually not completed, you can clear the color by…

  • Right-click over the calendar item.
  • Click Categorize and click on the Complete category again (or click on Clear All Categories).

To mark another appointment on your calendar as complete.

  • Right-click over the calendar item.
  • Click Category and select the category of your choice (the Complete category).

If you are using Outlook 2003 or earlier….

The color of appointment items in Outlook 2003 (or earlier) is controlled with labels. Outlook comes with a default set of 10 labels (each of a different color) and you can also create your own.

First… let’s change one of the labels to mean Complete.

  • Go to the Calendar folder.
  • On the menu at the top, click Edit > Label > Edit Label
  • Edit the label text as needed

Now… to mark an appointment on your calendar as complete..

  • Right-click over the calendar item.
  • Click Label and select the label of your choice.


This little technique makes it simple to see which appointments have been completed and which ones still need your attention. You can also use the same technique to color code different types of appointments for quick visual reference.

Did you like this article? Do you have suggestions to improve this technique?… Please leave a comment on the blog.

Other Posts on Outlook Appointments

Change the default reminder time for Outlook Calendar Appointments

Converting Outlook Emails to Appointments or Tasks

Categories : Outlook Calendar Tip Comments ( 0 )

Converting Outlook Emails to Appointments or Tasks

By standss - Comments ( 2 ) Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

You may want to convert an email to a Task or Appointment if you need to take some action on it. Your Outlook Task List and your Calendar are where you should put any items that you need to work on.

Here are two ways to ‘magically’ convert an Outlook email to an appointment or task item

Method 1: Drag and Drop

1. Right-click and drag the email you want to convert.

2. Drop the item to the Task or Appointment folder where you want the new item to be created. A menu appears as shown below:

Copy Item to another folder

Outlook 2003/2007


Copy mail item to another folder

Outlook 2010

3. On the menu, select the option you want to use. You can either copy the email to the new location or move it there. The original email can either be copied as text into the body of the new task or appointment… or it can be attached to it. Personally I prefer to choose Copy as Attachment. This makes it easier to access the full contents of the email and then do a Reply if I need to.

Once you select an option, the new task or appointment will be created.

4. Fill in any additional information needed, and save the item.

Method 2: A Simple Button Click

There is a easier and more powerful way of doing this if you are a user of our addin QuickFile for Outlook. QuickFile adds a few extra buttons to the Outlook toolbar or Ribbon to give Outlook some extra functionality.

Simply select the email and then click the appropriate button on the toolbar 

QuickFile Toolbar

What is even cooler is that QuickFile for Outlook can also automatically create appointments and tasks from outgoing emails after they are sent. This is really handy if you need to take action on a future date on an email.

1. Compose your email as you normally would
2. Click the Send button, the Send & File screen will be displayed.
3. Click the Show Options >> link on the screen to expand the form
4. Click on Task/Schedule it! link to open the screen below:

Creating Appointment or task

5. Place a tick in the respective checkboxes to make an Appointment and/or Task.
6. Fill in the required fields and click OK.
7. After saving these setting click Send&File to send the email. (The Appointment/Task will also be created if you clicked on Send Only or Send&Delete)

According to your settings your Task and/or Appointment will be created.

If you aren’t a user of QuickFile yet, Click here to download a fully functional 30 days trial version of QuickFile for Outlook

Outlook Productivity with Windows 7 Jump Lists

By standss - Comments ( 4 ) Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

If you’re using Outlook and Windows 7, here is a tip that will take you all 2 seconds to implement but will save you hours of time in the future.

One of the new features that Windows 7 has is called Jump Lists. Jump Lists are basically a list of options that get displayed for programs on the Task Bar.

  • Start Outlook.
  • Right Click over the Outlook icon on the Task Bar. The following options will be displayed in the Jump List (which is what Microsoft has called the pop-up that gets displayed when you right click)

Jump List

Why do I like this?

I can use this Jump List to quickly create a new contact, appointment, task or email… without having to look for the appropriate button on the Outlook ribbon.

How to make it even better.

You can pin Outlook to the Task Bar so that the icon (and associated jump list) is there even when Outlook is closed. To pin Outlook to the task Bar:

  • Start Outlook.
  • Right Click over the Outlook icon on the Task Bar and click pin this program to the taskbar.

I hope you find this tip useful. If you have your own tips to share about the new features on Windows 7, please leave a comment on the blog.

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