Category Archives: Office

How I have my mail view configured in Outlook 2013

Part of what we do as consultants is help people from the ground up with software. Nothing is more ubiquitous than Outlook but it is also probably the least well utilised.

Below I’ve disassembled how I setup my Outlook view of my mail. This layout helps me get the most bang for my buck on a 24inch display and helps me organise myself.

There is a logical progression, left to right of: start > email comes in on the left and it is followed through its lifecycle as I flag, reply, familiarise, track tasks against it and schedule my time > end.

It is the result of quite a lot of experimentation but ultimately is my own preference. Feel free to submit your own in the comments :-).

Continue reading How I have my mail view configured in Outlook 2013

Do you really want to update your software during the working day…?

Only a minor issue in reality, but a reminder to treat our own systems like we treat our customers production environment – plan your changes!

Today I was offered a client-side Microsoft Office update as part of our entitlement to use Office on our client machines – part of our Office 365 subscription (as a partner we get E3 which is awesome and helped us to retire a 3-box Hyper-V cluster running our ‘on-premise’ VM’s hosted in a Data Centre, but that’s another post…).

Anyway, thinking nothing of it I clicked on yes, go ahead and make my day with the updates, to then be told I need to get out of Outlook and Lync – DOH! I hadn’t thought this through as I was busy working with quite a few windows open…

Screenshot 2013-11-25 12.23.26

I decided to hold off on the update, leaving the dialogue box open and thinking I’d leave it till lunchtime (instead I’m writing a long overdue blog post Winking smile), but later double clicked on a an Excel spread sheet I wanted to edit to be told that ‘Office is busy’ and EXCEL.EXE can’t be used right now…

Screenshot 2013-11-25 12.24.25

DOH! again – Just because I didn’t close Outlook and Lync to allow the update to update those programs didn’t mean that the update didn’t continue with what it could do (as I allowed it after all) with the rest of the Office components..

So, the moral of the story is simple – plan your changes!!  just because we are now in a time when even our client software is ‘Cloud’ with regard to management and updates, often getting monthly patches to enhance functionality or address a new vulnerability doesn’t mean we should become blasé with our attitude of when to install them.

Which reminds me, now when did I last backup this device? a lovely Surface Pro which is also my ‘desktop’ PC….hmmm… a job for later me thinks!

Outlook 2010 won’t open attachments, right click nothing happens, double click nothing happens

While on customer site today I got involved in a small support issue with attachments not opening in Outlook 2010. Right clicking on attachments did nothing, double clicking on attachments did nothing.

Firstly I looked in the event viewer and saw nothing related to any office errors.
Secondly, I ran a repair installation of office 2010 and soon after the issue reoccurred.
Thirdly, I tested further by attaching a plain text file to an email and sent it to themselves with the same result – nothing would open.

The only thing sitting between Outlook and the registered application for opening that file type was the Anti-Virus program.

This particular antivirus program didn’t offer a repair option in control panel so I uninstalled and reinstalled it and got them to retest – issue solved.

The hook between outlook and the antivirus must have encountered an issue and the only want to fix is was the uninstall/reinstall.

Hope this helps someone else, there wasn’t much on the web about it.


Moving a OneNote notebook to SharePoint 2010

A customer was having trouble with moving a OneNote notebook to SharePoint 2010 so they could collaborate on it together so I thought I would do a quick post on the process.

Creating a local notebook

In order to move a notebook to SharePoint you need to have a notebook to move. You probably already have one so I’ll just leave you with a screenshot of creating a new one.


So now you have your local OneNote notebook.


Creating a Document Library on SharePoint

You will need to create document library on SharePoint to hold the notebook. You can either create a new one or using an existing one. From a logical separation point of view you should use it’s own library.

Give it a name and set the document template. The document template choice simply changes what happens when you click on the New Document item in the library, nothing more. You could pick anything you like from the list.


Before leaving the page you need to copy the link to the library. Make sure you only copy up to the the library. Don’t copy the /forms/allitems.aspx bit, it won’t work. If you are having trouble with this part, you can also get the exact link by clicking on the “Email a Link” button and copy it from there.


Moving the local notebook to SharePoint

Back in OneNote, right click on your notebook and on “Properties”.


Click on “Change Location”.


Paste in the link to the new library and click on “Select”.


OneNote will now move your notebook to SharePoint.


Once it’s done you will see a confirmation, click on “OK”.


That is it, simple and quick. You can how invite people to work with you on your notebook and the changes will sync pretty much live between everyone’s machines and also be available offline.



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