Still no Scripts Menu in Latest Microsoft Outlook for Mac

July 21, 2015

A few weeks ago Microsoft released an update to their latest Microsoft Outlook for Mac. It’s version 15.11.2. And it’s now being made available as part of the standard Office 2016 for Mac updates (you no longer have to search for it separately). In other words, it’s becoming a full member of the Office 2016 for Mac release. And it still has no Scripts menu.

I wrote about the first release (Dec 2014) of this new version here, and I complained about the lack of a scripts menu, compared to Outlook 2011 for Mac. I hoped that it was due to its early release status. But, unfortunately, still no Scripts menu, and so still no way to convert emails to tasks. So, if you are using tasks in Outlook 2011 for Mac with the 1MTD or MYN systems, I would not upgrade to the latest Outlook. Perhaps in the fall, when Microsoft releases the shrinkwrap versions of Office 2016 for Mac, this will be fixed.


Tip: Use iPhone’s Siri to Add Tasks to Outlook

July 15, 2015

You can add tasks to your desktop copy of Outlook using Siri. Simply speak your task into Siri (in a specific manner, shown below), and seconds later that task will appear at the top of your 1MTD or MYN task list in desktop Outlook

To do this, you need to have Exchange in place, or be using an account as your main account in Outlook. By the way, this works by routing tasks through the iPhone Reminders app. But you don’t need to be using the Reminders app, or even launch it—it happens in the background.

Here’s how you do it:

Activate Siri and state “Set Reminder for today at 2 PM to Send out July Newsletter”

Then stop talking and wait a moment. Siri will then either ask you to confirm it, or just state that the reminder has been added. In moments you’ll see the task “Send out July Newsletter” appear in your desktop Outlook task list, at the top of your Normal priority section. (And with MYN settings it will be underlined). This way of adding tasks is incredibly easy to do and I currently do this many times per day.   Continue reading

Pretty Good Article on Using Outlook Categories

July 12, 2015

If you are just getting started with Outlook Categories, here is a pretty good introductory article:

Of course, my courses provide a more complete overview, and how to use them with 1MTD/MYN, but this tech republic article is a good way to learn quickly.


Our Videos for (Pocket) Informant Are now Updated for Version 4

July 3, 2015

I’ve been recommending for years that Toodledo users on an Android phone or small Android tablet consider using the app called Pocket Informant to access their Toodledo MYN or 1MTD tasks while on the run.

Well, a while back WebIS Inc, the company that makes that product, upped the version number to 4, and changed the name to Informant. We just caught up with that change and have released new videos to show you how to configure the software for 1MTD and MYN.

Specifically, Video #6 in the Extras page for the 1MTD book has been updated (and is still free). And Lesson 22B in the paid MYN-Toodledo video class has been updated. There are no new features that are relevant to MYN or 1MTD tasks, we’re just keeping up with menu changes and so on.


Outlook Tip: Using Outlook 2013’s People Peek

June 29, 2015

You may know that Outlook 2013 allows you to “peek” at bits of the major datatypes (Mail, Calendar, People, and Tasks) by hovering your mouse over their labels in the lower left. The People Peek may be a mystery because it probably shows nothing—rather you really want it to show a list of key contacts, as in the figure below.

The reason it may be empty for you is because you haven’t yet added any favorites. To learn how to do that, read on!   Continue reading

Outlook Tip: Recall Message (and the new Undo Send in Gmail)

June 24, 2015

Last week I discussed the Resend This Message command. Well, another command under that same Actions menu in a sent item is the Recall This Message command. It attempts to erase a message that you have sent to others, so they cannot read it. It’s been in Outlook for decades.

Finally, Gmail has rolled out a similar feature call Undo Send.

The thing you need to realize about both of these system is this: there is no guarantee it will work!  Continue reading

Meetings without Smartphones or Laptops

June 22, 2015

Ever been running a meeting and noticed that half the participants are reading their Outlook mail on their smartphones? I had the luck of departing the corporate-employment world just as smartphones and laptops were becoming ubiquitous in meetings. But as I teach seminars live inside corporations these days, I see them in constant use and see the negative effect they have in meetings.

Cited about halfway through this New York Times article is an anecdote from a leader in a multibillion dollar products company who required smartphones to be left out of his weekly management meeting. He said when he first started that rule, his employees were like crack addicts, missing their fix. But soon the meetings became vastly more productive. Within weeks, they slashed the length of the meetings by half, he says.

Studies show that multi-tasking is not an efficient activity. Those studies show that any perceived gains in productivity are actually an illusion. Continue reading

Rude or Mean Bosses: a Lose-Lose Situation

June 21, 2015

Continuing on from my posts about work-life balance, I just read another interesting article in the New York Times, this one about the impact of rude or mean bosses. According to the article, these are bosses who, as part of their daily interaction with staff, routinely do one or more of the following:

  • Interrupt people;
  • are highly judgmental;
  • neglect to say please or thank you;
  • take too much credit for other people’s work;
  • put other people down;
  • walk away from a conversation because they lose interest;
  • answer calls in the middle of meetings without leaving the room;
  • or even openly mock people by pointing out their flaws or personality quirks in front of others;
  • and more (see the article).

The article states that such incivility in the workplace is a problem that has gotten much worse in recent decades.   Continue reading

Tip: Use Flags to Mark Tasks when Mobile

June 19, 2015

If you are like me you read a lot of your e-mail on your smartphone. But what if you want to convert an e-mail you read into a task? Most smartphone mail apps cannot do that (there are exceptions and I’ll list them below).

What I do is mark them with a flag, and then when back at my desktop or laptop, convert them to a task there (and remove the flag, and file the e-mail).

Now, I normally only recommend using flags for deferred replies. So I wish there were another way to mark these. But most smartphones have no other way. It’s not so bad though; I find when I look at them later it only takes a second for me to recall why I flagged the item. It works. If you use Gmail, then use the star in the same way.

If this doesn’t work for you for some reason, another method is to forward the email to yourself so it pops into your Inbox a second time, but this time put the word TASK in front of the subject line. A little drastic, but it works.

Here are some smartphone apps that allow converting e-mails to tasks:


Use Outlook Rules to Auto-Categorize Incoming E-mail (Free Video)

June 16, 2015

One of the primary reasons using Outlook Categories is faster than using lots of topic-named folders is that you can auto-categorize incoming mail very easily using Outlook Rules. These menu-created rules automatically assign categories to incoming e-mail based on sender or subject line or keyword in the e-mail, and so save a huge amount of filing time.

Rules with Categories Are Much Better than with Folders

If you’ve use Outlook Rules before to auto-file into topic named folders, you’ll find using them with categories is much better. Why? Because the mail is delivered to your Inbox after it’s categorized. That way you can still read and act on the mail. Continue reading